For all these reasons, the politics of crime and punishment have changed fundamentally, in ways hard to imagine in an earlier era.Today, polls show widespread support for a less punitive approach.At long last, a vibrant public conversation is underway.
In California it costs more than $75,000 per year to house each prisoner — more than it would cost to send them to Harvard.
Mass incarceration exacerbates poverty and inequality, serving as an economic ball and chain that holds back millions, making it harder to find a job, access public benefits, and reintegrate into the community.
Today, crime and murder rates remain near record lows nationwide.
Our cities — many of which suffered under a wave of violent crime in the early 1990s — are largely safer than they have been in years.
Marking a clear shift from the draconian rhetoric of the past, these essays take on the web of harmful policies that fuel mass incarceration and diminish opportunities for communities of color. From eliminating prison for lower-level crimes to incentivizing states to decarcerate, from ending money bail to abolishing private prisons, from reforming housing and employment laws to changing the public perception of the justice system and cultivating respect for all lives, the ideas in this book offer a path forward: one rooted in fairness, equality, and humanity.
The second volume in the series, How can we end mass incarceration in America?
Most disturbingly, the system profoundly discriminates against people of color at every juncture.
African Americans are more likely to be stopped by police, arrested, detained before trial, and given harsher sentences than whites.
Since then, the nationwide consensus in favor of a new direction has only hardened.
For the first time, the opportunity for truly transformative change is in view.