I woke up this Sunday morning, flipped on the news, and caught the tail end of a panel discussion consisting of a Harvard health professor, a federal prosecutor, and bipartisan criminal justice advocates who all agreed that the US needs to commit to decarceration, the reduction of prisons. The Republican said it made sense fiscally, the Democrat said it made sense societally, the health professor said it made sense medically, and the federal prosecutor said it made sense judicially. There’s been resounding acknowledgement of European models of criminal justice success, heavy data on the negative social impact of American communities for overincarcerating, and academic, even scientific, approaches to instituting real, meaningful and positive changes to a very broken system. Yet, here we are… doing nothing, expecting nothing, and just talking in circles.

If I can flip on a national news channel on a Sunday morning and hear this continuing discussion, why can’t the changes be implemented? This was the same discussion being had at the beginning of Obama’s first term (and I’m sure years before I started paying attention). Twelve years later, it’s still the same talk, but maybe even by more from both sides of the aisle. In the last couple of years, there’s been very little movement in helping the overall problems. When one thing gets decriminalized, another takes its place as the “worst of society’s dieases” that can only be cured through long internments in cages. How about we just get to the heart of real issues and remove the “business” being done in the name of justice and add that money into the community, where the problems should be fixed. A little less talk and a lot more action is in order to change a system that’s short of anything useful except cash, and let’s save the Sunday morning news shows for anything other than problems we should have already fixed…

by Rory Andes

End the caste system that enables these inactions…

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