Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2020
I learned so much in the details of the data laid out here. So much. It’s overwhelming how much is hidden in plain sight.
– “Forcing people to work for low or no pay and no benefits allows prisons to shift the costs of incarceration to incarcerated people — hiding the true cost of running prisons from most Americans.” This is the level of inhumane detail that shapes an understanding of the rot in the criminal legal system.
– “Probation, in particular, leads to unnecessary incarceration. Until it is reformed to support and reward success rather than detect mistakes, it is not a reliable “alternative.” This is why media narratives can be so dangerous in our understanding of the truth.
– “When a person is in prison for multiple offenses, only the most serious offense is reported. This makes it hard to grasp the complexity of criminal events, such as the role drugs may have played in violent or property offenses.” Never ever have even considered this once.
– “The criminal justice system punishes poverty. The median felony bail bond amount ($10,000) is the equivalent of 8 months’ income for the typical detained defendant. Poverty is not only a predictor of incarceration; it is also frequently the outcome, as a criminal record and time spent in prison destroys wealth, creates debt, and decimates job opportunities.” It is a feedback loop to keep people in jail.
– “We should be wary of proposed reforms that seem promising but will have only minimal effect, because they simply transfer people from one slice of the correctional “pie” to another. Keeping the big picture in mind is critical if we hope to develop strategies that actually shrink the “whole pie.”
Hope is a Discipline: Mariame Kaba x The Intercept
– “It’s the difference between an individual notion of justice and a societal and collective notion of justice. For me, in terms of a societal collective notion of justice, the criminal punishment system isn’t it. And cannot be it.”
“While an individual police officer might be brought to trial, and even less likely might end up being incarcerated, this really does nothing at all to shift, change, uproot the systems and structures that are actually responsible for the killings and the harassment and the injury done to particular populations by the institution of policing.”
^ This is why abolitionist language and activism is important. It gets us to think in ways that flip everything we thought we knew on its head.
– ““These are procedural reforms and they’re more than insufficient. Chokeholds were banned in New York City when police officers choked Eric Garner to death on video. The NYPD had spent $35 million dollars on training their cops to stop using chokeholds and they still choked him to death.” Was George Floyd killed because he was choked to death? No. There are a thousand ways that the cops can kill people.”
^ The system will not reform itself. We cannot expect it to no matter how much money you invest. There are no bad apples. The entire farm system of policing is built on rot.
– “Defund is just one demand and one strategy. For me, it’s defund to abolish. It’s not in and of itself an end. Defund is more than just taking money away, it’s also shrinking the legitimacy, it’s shrinking the ideological footprint within our communities. It’s really about taking power away as much as anything from these institutions.”
– “As an individual person by yourself, you’re not going to be able to do much. You have to find other people who will work with you to get to whatever the goal is that you’re trying to pursue. Not all those people are going to be people you agree with on everything. And more than that, in fact, most likely, you’re going to have lots of political disagreement. But you could still come together around something that you want to work on together. And nothing that we do in the world is about us as individual people.” #JPN2021