One in 34 Americans is under control of the correction system. The U.S. incarcerates more people than any other country in the world. Period. One in 29 white males will serve time in American prisons or jails. For black men that number is 1 in 3.
These are the startling statistics that mark our modern American justice system. These are the troubling facts Shelby County’s Chief Public Defender Stephen Bush presented at the 2013 Urban Summit last month in Memphis. The summit is in its second year and is targeted primarily at those working in urban ministries. In addition to criminal justice, the event featured nationally-recognized speakers on immigration, education, and health care. In addition, the Summit’s keynote was John M. Perkins, author and founder of the Spencer Perkins Center for Reconciliation and Community Development.
The Urban Summit is produced, in part, by City Leadership, an organization established to recruit, develop and catalyze leaders for the benefit of the city of Memphis.
Watch Bush’s presentation on the current state of public defense in Memphis and why meaningful access to justice matters as we “strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.”