Reply To: Session #1: Key Takeaways

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– As I was reading the “Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2020” article, I was struck by the fact that individuals charged with misdemeanors are pressured to plead guilty in order to avoid jail time. As the article explains, “This means that innocent people routinely plead guilty.” The act of pleading guilty has long-term consequences. This is just one example of how the “justice” in the phrase “criminal justice system” is often absent.

– Another fact that struck me from the “Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2020” article was the fact that 1,700 youth are incarcerated for “status” offenses, meaning “behaviors that are not law violations for adults, such as running away, truancy, and incorrigibility.” Instead of analyzing and addressing the root causes of why youth may be running away or engaging in truancy, the system criminalizes them instead of helping them.

– As I was reading the transcript from “Hope is a Discipline: Mariame Kaba on Dismantling the Carceral State,” I was inspired by Kaba’s saying, “Hope is a discipline.” I believe that, especially with social justice work, one can sometimes feel disheartened by the lack of change that is occurring. However, as Kaba reminds us, “you have to hold fast to having a vision.” Reading this served as a valuable reminder for me.