Mass Incarceration – The Whole Pie 2020
Whew. This one was really informative. I really loved all the statistics being in one place. There were a few things that surprised me. I always thought that non-violent drug charges made up the majority of the charges/convictions for people who are incarcerated in both jails and prisons. I’m glad I now know that this isn’t necessarily the case. I also found that there are way more people locked up for murder than I had thought. Then again, just because a person is in prison for a particular crime, doesn’t mean they committed that particular crime. Also, there are so many different circumstances in which murder can happen, that maybe the term is just too broad. The article definitely addressed some of these issues, as did the second article. I was also really horrified to find out how many children and immigrants are locked up. There’s just no excuse for it. It makes me think of some of my former clients and just fills me with rage and disgust at how we as a country treat people.
Hope is a Discipline
There are two ideas that really challenged my thinking in this one. First, is the need for personal vengeance vs systemic and structural change. I understand my personal want to see Chauvin suffer personal consequences for his actions. But I also recognize that without major change, the same thing will just keep happening. I find that my rage is a great tool for action. But maybe directing that rage towards a system as opposed to an individual is a better idea.
I also really liked the idea of re-thinking what it is that our government is supposed to do. They are spending our money and they are supposed to be representing us. The idea of holding government officials accountable is so new to me. But I like it quite a bit. Like Norma, I liked the idea of mutual aid too. It reminded me of how the Black Panthers had a program to feed kids before school. Stuff like that is still happening, and I’d like to be more vocally supportive of it.