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Andrew Garcia

Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2020

As I was reading this article, it really was astonishing to see just how many correctional institutions we have in America. We also hear about how we incarcerate more people per capita than any other country, but having the statistics really was an eye opener. Furthermore, knowing that our current criminal justice is not sufficient, we often hear about using community supervision in lieu of traditional incarceration. This article, however, shows that even community supervision needs to be reformed. This was a key takeaway for me because it shows that there is multiple structural issues that must be addressed. When 168,000 people are arrested for technical violations, with no new crimes, and over 555,000 people incarcerated in local jails, it becomes apparent that we still have plenty to do in terms of reform.

Hope is a Discipline: Mariame Kaba on Dismantling the Carceral State

This article really painted a picture about how politics, law, and society all interact. For instance, I found it profound that this past summer was one of the biggest protest movements in American history. In the midst of a pandemic, we saw a new wave of individuals take an active approach to try and change policies that exist. However, we also saw how politics play a role as well. For instance, when Mariame Kaba points out the “cruel irony” that George Floyd would not even be protected by the act that was passed in his name, truly shocked me. It had me questioning whether or not the politicians even read the facts before passing a bill that basically did nothing to make people feel safer. Another key takeaway from me is when Kaba points out the difference between an individual notion of justice and a societal/collective notion of justice. We often focus on the individual aspect of justice, which is through obtaining vengeance, but we often neglect what it means to have justice in a societal sense. I found this to be so profound, and it leaves me optimistic that we can achieve societal justice through policy changes.