"real cost of prisons project" - comics

in what amounts to a happy accident, i learned about about these graphic novels that are a project of the real cost of prisons project. each offers another dimension of insight into the social and financial economics involved in the prison industry. they are available as pdf (by clicking on the links) and also in bound comic format. the titles:

Prison Town: Paying the Price

By Kevin Pyle and Craig Gilmore

Prisoners of the War on Drugs
By Sabrina Jones, Ellen Miller-Mack and Lois Ahrens

Prisoners of a Hard Life: Women and Their Children
By Susan Willmarth, Ellen Miller-Mack, and Lois Ahrens

see the site for more info on the comics, excellent 1-pager flyers (like the one below - click to see image full size), and more on the project.

from flyer:
national average cost to imprison a person for one year: $ 29,041

national average cost of one year of community college: $1,518


come to church, get a gun

i read a story today, linked from cnn's homepage, about a youth conference being held at a church. the event, itself, is not news per se. the fact that there was to be a gun giveaway was, however, news indeed. to be precise, a semiautomatic assault rifle was dangled as additional enticement to increase participation. (read more here)
this is particularly unsettling given the persistence of gun violence that many communities continue to experience.

the story of 10-year-old nujood ali presents another perspective on religion and violence. nujood lives in yemen and was married off to a man in his 30s by her parents. her story became news not because of her newly acquired status as a child bride, but because she walked herself into a courthouse and politely asked for a divorce. from the la times article:
"Her impoverished parents had married her off to a man more than three times her age, who beat her and forced her to have sex, she explained. When she told her father and mother that she wanted out of the marriage, they refused to help. So an aunt provided her with bus money to travel to court and seek a divorce."
(see her story here)

the youth at the conference and nujood and the many other child brides around the world are receiving an education all their own. with its own standards, evaluations, assumptions, and expectations. oh my...