Kevin D. Sawyer is a San Francisco native. He is the Associate Editor for the San Quentin News, an inmate run newspaper produced out of San Quentin State Prison. He is a 2016 recipient of The James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism.
When the problem of homelessness was in its infancy and jails were expanding to greet new “clients” each day, the issue concerning the growing number of unsheltered people on the street was practically invisible. Years later, two wars overseas, and a financial meltdown created The Great Recession.
The United States misappropriates resources (including the human ones) in a business-as-usual profit over people custom. For decades, the U.S. prison industrial complex has embraced tough-on-crime legislation to branch its growth through the incarceration of its citizens. One of the many downsides of this policy is the increase in people living in squalor while others are “sheltered” in the name of public safety.