Reply To: Session #1: Key Takeaways

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-The US relies on incarceration to “solve” problems created by political actors and failed policies. We keep people trapped in an endless cycle of harm, punishment, incarceration, and wasteful spending on corrections.

-Communities are devoid of the services and resources that actually keep people healthy and safe.

-The pic is strewn with myths and misconceptions. Perhaps one of the most pervasive misconceptions is that society needs policing/incarceration to maintain public safety. The data shows time and again that we can dramatically decarcerate/defund and increase public safety at the same time.

-Statistical data as presented in “Mass Incarceration The Whole Pie” is a powerful tool to reveal and understand trends, patterns, and disparities in mass incarceration. A high altitude view is critical, yet I want to keep in focus that behind statistics are actual human beings, actual lives. As I begin to learn about justice policy, I wish to keep aligned with Kaba’s perspective–that the voices of those most impacted should be front and center in policy shifts and reforms.

-California has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world; LA County has one of the largest jail systems on earth. Our state has A LOT of work to do to catch up with its “progressive” reputation, but it is an exciting and important time in California history.

-Gov. Newson has pledged to close two state-owned prisons by 2022, the recent Humphrey decision should dramatically reduce pretrial detention in our state, and Measure J in LA county is groundbreaking legislation calling for the city to close Men’s Central Jail in LA and to prioritize county funds for community based alternatives to incarceration. It is an exciting time for policy in California 🙂