Reply To: Session #1: Key Takeaways

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Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2020

After reading this informative article, a few key points stood out to me and offered a new perspective on the role of certain policies in place as well as how they contribute to a cycle of mass incarceration.

– One fact that really stood out to me was the statistic that those convicted of sexual or violent offenses are less likely to be rearrested if you look at recidivism from a different standpoint. Recidivism estimated from risk assessments have played a huge role in determining the outcome of whether or not an individual stays incarcerated and yet, recidivism is measured by arrest rather than an actual conviction which in return enables the system to continue mass incarceration as a result of policies focusing on locking individuals up due to potential recidivism that may not be in the same offense category.
– Another key takeaway was regarding the categorization of offenses in which in cases of multiple offenses, only the most serious offense is reported and subsequently, the minimization makes it harder to grasp the complexity of crimes. After reading about this policy in place, I realized how much of an impact it has on rehabilitation as well. By downplaying a crime to its most serious offense without taking into account other mitigating factors, such as drug possession that could equate to substance use disorder, the rehabilitation aspect of incarceration is unfortunately taking a hit as well because data is not portraying factors that played a role into an individual committing a crime.

Mariame Kaba on Dismantling the Carceral State

– I definitely had an “aha” moment when Mariame explained how defunding the police does not equate to merely stopping the flow of money going towards law enforcement but also dismantling the ingrained ideology that we needed policing in communities. To quote Mariame, “policing is derivative of a broader social injustice” and she does an excellent job of explaining how reforms for policing will never be enough because training will never acknowledge the years of systematic racism rooted in policing.