The NAACP has joined the coalition of liberal and conservative groups seeking to reduce incarceration in the U.S., issuing a study saying that state spending on prisons has grown at six times the rate of spending on higher education in the last 20 years, says the Washington Post. “We find ourselves with a new crop of allies,” said NAACP President Benjamin Jealous. “This is a place where we've found commonality.” The report has been endorsed by conservative activists Grover Norquist and Pat Nolan.
Jealous has made the issue a top priority for the NAACP. His group will begin posting billboards in major cities with slogans such as: “Welcome to America, home to 5 percent of the world's people & 25 percent of the world's prisoners.” He willmeet with state officials to ask for cuts to corrections spending and corresponding increases in spending to public higher education. That could prove difficult. Even states that have begun to lower their prison populations have difficulty achieving substantial savings, said Marc Mauer of the Sentencing Project.