Criminal Justice and Prison Reform
Our criminal justice system must keep all communities safe, foster prevention and rehabilitation, and ensure fair and equal justice. But in too many places, and in too many ways, our system is falling short of that mandate and with devastating consequences. The United States is saddled with an outdated, unfair, and bloated criminal justice system that drains resources and disrupts communities.
People of color, particularly Native American, black, and Latino people, have felt the impact of discrimination within the criminal justice system. Many immigrants experience mandatory detention, racial profiling, and due process violations because of laws and policies that violate their human rights—and the principles of equal justice, fair treatment, and proportionality under our criminal justice system. The good news is that we as a nation are at a unique moment in which there is strong public, bipartisan support for criminal justice reform. Prison reform is the attempt to improve conditions inside prisons, improve the effectiveness of a penal system, or implement alternatives to incarceration. It also focuses on ensuring the reinstatement of those whose lives are impacted by crimes.
How can we help prison reform?
- Make our voice heard. Help end mass incarceration by letting our representatives know that we stand for responsible criminal justice policies
- Donate. Support The Sentencing Project with a tax-deductible contribution and help us work for a fair and effective criminal justice system....
- Join local efforts.
Advocacy is a means of influencing your community and elected officials to embrace issues you care about. With over two million Americans incarcerated and an ever growing number of people being released back to our communities, advocating for the reform of the criminal justice system is more important than ever. When you advocate for criminal justice reform, be sure you have a compelling argument, facts to back it, relatable background, and a human connection. Prisoner advocates listen to the needs of inmates and their families and work with officials and politicians to resolve practical and legislative problems in prison systems. Advocates might promote education and rehabilitation programs for inmates, lobby for prison reform and provide inmates with information and resources. This position also might include studying past and current issues to develop prisoner rights defense strategies. This job can be stressful, especially since there might be more work than an advocate can realistically handle. Prisoner advocates need excellent oral and written communication skills, along with empathy and problem-solving abilities. Volunteers can receive in-depth experience working with inmates and their families. Aspiring advocates might visit prisons, participate in fundraising, interview and correspond with prisoners and provide information to the public.
Overall, Prisons in America are flawed in many ways. One flaw that plagues our system of punishment is racial bias...Our prison system has many problems and is in desperate need of reform. Some of these problems include inhumane living conditions, racial bias, and increased risk of reincarceration.