Charlie- Criminal Justice Student

“When you look at the last 30 years ,the incarceration rate in this country has gone up exponentially 400-500%. As much as you hear about violent crime, our murder rates are lower than they have been since the 50’s. Compared to the crime rate we see its been entirely disproportionate. You see people serving extremely long sentences for relatively minor non violent offenses. A lot of this has to do with the drug war/ tough on crime attitudes fostered in the 80s but has continued, to a large extent, to this day.

The prison rate is not rising as exponentially as it was in the 80s and 90s, but in terms of things getting better, its going to take a shift in public consciousness. A shift in how we look at prisoners, at how we look at those who have committed crimes, its a culture of dehumanization.

There is  a discrepancy in terms of how some people are treated and how other people are treated. You see people who are able to succeed in spite of some minor slip up when they were 18 or 19, then you see some other people with the same amount of intelligence, same amount of talent, who can contribute something meaningful and constructive getting caught in the trap of the criminal justice system. “

Charlie Ries- Criminal Justice Student

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