My eyes were glued to the screen and I could feel the wheels turning. Usually this is a good thing.
Many bits of entertainment have clogged our screens, so having found something that also required brain power should be celebrated. VICE News Special. Our President. Prison. Vicious super cycles. Poverty. Minorities. Questions. Solutions. Or maybe just more questions. All of these topics combined to create one giant connection to past, present, and the future.
If you have ever read some of my previous posts then my political views are not exactly in question. This is not a political issue to me. This is more of a deeper issue regarding a cycle perpetuated and worsened by our failing court system. A system that has been failing under the leadership of both sides of the political spectrum. #ReformMatters
If you do not have time to watch the documentary because you hate America and have given up on anyone ever changing for the better…
I would highly recommend a full 17 minute clip of John Oliver telling you what’s up. #ForTheLoveOfPrison #LastWeekTonight
How do we change our current system to rehabilitate those who made terrible life choices? How do we break a cycle of poverty and true life stories from generations of incarceration destroying one person and one family at a time?
Sure. They messed up and there should be consequences. Some continued the major problems we have in this country by selling drugs or conspiracy to do so. Others would possibly make Ted Bundy blush. Those of us on the outside get the pleasure of judging because we did not get caught. Someone reached out a hand when we needed it most. Maybe we all worked really hard and were at the right place at the right time.
Do we need to consider the reason for their sentences when determining their fate? Absolutely.
The money spent. Our money spent on what exactly?
The one size fits all approach.
The plea deals. Oh the plea deals. We are at 97% for non-violent criminals accepting plea deals before setting foot in trial.
50% of those who leave end up returning.
Well over a million fathers are in prison. Many can also tell you that their own fathers were also in prison or they are still there. You might even find the third generation also calls the cell walls home. This is not just a shame. This is an epidemic. The definition of insanity and not simply a run of bad luck for the minorities in our country. Deeper thinking is required.
So what? Now what?
Teaching the inmates a trade is a magnificent start, but how can we make this the norm? What will it take for us to realize that we must then help them get an actual job in their trade area? Setting up our criminals for failure sets us all up for failure.
This is an issue that requires us to look at the big picture of cost. The definition of cost is not a simple one.
What can WE do?
Work hard and count your blessings.
Demand change and reform.
Play your part in breaking the cycle. The little pieces matter.
Visit VICE for much more information to become aware and informed. You can even sit on your couch while you read.