Americas Judicial System
The United States leads the world in incarceration and addiction, but it is only the 36th most violent country in the world. How can that be?
Americas judicial system is a system of injustice that was built upon exploiting people in poverty and of color.
As long as prisoners are commodities, and society continues to allow for-profit prison systems focused on retribution and punishment, there will never be true justice and equality. There will be no peace.
While the US has 5% of the world's population; we currently house 25% of the entire worlds' prisoners (2.1 million). About 400,000 people are currently incarcerated right now in the US for drug related convictions alone, with 40k of those being due to marijuana; which is already recreationally legal in 19 states and medically legal in 39 states.
$80 BILLION - That's how much money is funneled into the private prison industry through government aid and taxpayers' funds per year; but still, prisoners are provided the bare minimum to survive and charged exorbitant prices for any other commodities or services they wish to consume including foods; hygiene products; and even phone calls to loved ones.
Inmates in most prisons are inside 23 hours a day, with virtually no intellectual stimulation or productive activities. Then upon release, these men and women are expected to instantly re-integrate and be a productive member of society.
Much of society's and the government's perspective has been "if you do the crime you pay the time" - except, of course, for me and my family. Most of us can see clearly by now that law makers don't actually intend to apply the laws they pass to themselves or their loved ones. So, today there are thousands of laws with hundreds being added every year; some of which many of us break commonly, knowingly, and unknowingly.
A moral judicial system invests in the offender. With compassion and understanding, it should teach us how to right our wrongs with action.
A Must Watch Documentary About Americas Failing Judicial System
"The 13th" is a documentary film directed by Ava DuVernay, released in 2016 that primarily focuses on the United States' criminal justice system and its history of racial inequality. The title "The 13th" refers to the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which abolished slavery in 1865, except as a punishment for a crime. It's a thought-provoking and informative documentary that seeks to raise awareness about the systemic problems within the U.S. criminal justice system. It has received critical acclaim for its exploration of these issues and has been influential in sparking conversations about criminal justice reform and racial inequality in the United States.
The documentary looks at the role of private prisons in the U.S. criminal justice system and how they have influenced policies and practices. It explores the ways in which political decisions and policies have contributed to mass incarceration, and it raises critical questions about the role of government, law enforcement, and the criminal justice system in addressing these issues.
Watching "The 13th" can broaden your perspective and encourage critical thinking about the justice system and society's treatment of marginalized communities. It challenges viewers to consider the consequences of policies and practices that disproportionately affect the poor and colored, or otherwise disadvantaged Humans.
The documentary doesn't just highlight problems but also calls for reform and change within the criminal justice system. It encourages viewers to question the status quo and consider alternatives to current policies and practices.
A Prison To Model
Nicosia Central Prison is the largest and most prominent correctional facility in Cyprus. It serves as the main prison for the country and is responsible for housing convicted individuals and those awaiting trial from across the island.
The docuseries, Inside the World's Toughest Prisons features the Republic of Cyprus's Nicosia Central Prison in a season 6 episode titled Cyprus: The Utopian Prison. The episode highlight's how the prison's director, Anna Aristotelous, taking over in 2014, transformed a dangerous, violent, negative prison into a positive, safe and prosperous prison.
Prison reform is one of the single most impactful things we can do for humanity. As it is our for profit prison systems that are perpetuating crime and poverty. But we can change that! There is a better way to do criminal justice.