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.
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?
For all these reasons, the politics of crime and punishment have changed fundamentally, in ways hard to imagine in an earlier era.
Essay On Prison Reform
Today, polls show widespread support for a less punitive approach.Since then, the nationwide consensus in favor of a new direction has only hardened.For the first time, the opportunity for truly transformative change is in view.As a result, they are imprisoned at more than five times the rate of whites.In some states, this disparity is more than ten to one.In this remarkable collaboration, the country’s most prominent lawmakers and activists join together to propose ideas for transformative change.In these essays, they lay out their proposals to reduce the prison population and challenge our very conception of justice reform, paving the way for far-reaching political and cultural change.The American public has decisively concluded that our approach to criminal justice isn’t working.Mass incarceration is the civil rights crisis of our time.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.