Essay On Prison Reform

Essay On Prison Reform-52
Astonishingly, if the 2.3 million incarcerated Americans were a state, it would be more populous than 16 other states.

Astonishingly, if the 2.3 million incarcerated Americans were a state, it would be more populous than 16 other states.All told, one in three people in the United States has some type of criminal record. This system grew over decades in plain sight, and only a broad and bold national response will end it.

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Today, crime and murder rates remain near record lows nationwide.

Our cities — many of which suffered under a wave of violent crime in the early 1990s — are largely safer than they have been in years.

But in recent years, we’ve also seen the country’s leadership take grave steps back, from expanding immigration detention to reinstituting draconian federal charging policies.

The First Step Act — which needs to be fully funded and implemented — will not fix our deeply broken system.

In California it costs more than $75,000 per year to house each prisoner — more than it would cost to send them to Harvard.

Mass incarceration exacerbates poverty and inequality, serving as an economic ball and chain that holds back millions, making it harder to find a job, access public benefits, and reintegrate into the community.

Last year, Congress took a step forward by overwhelmingly passing the bipartisan First Step Act.

It shortened some of the most extreme federal drug sentences and expanded programming for incarcerated people.

Marking a clear shift from the draconian rhetoric of the past, these essays take on the web of harmful policies that fuel mass incarceration and diminish opportunities for communities of color. From eliminating prison for lower-level crimes to incentivizing states to decarcerate, from ending money bail to abolishing private prisons, from reforming housing and employment laws to changing the public perception of the justice system and cultivating respect for all lives, the ideas in this book offer a path forward: one rooted in fairness, equality, and humanity.

The second volume in the series, How can we end mass incarceration in America?


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