Raymond Martinez: Once I joined the gang, the homies became my family. The acceptance I received from them and the bonds we formed made me willing to do just about anything for them.
The prison population in the United States is larger than any other country. The growth of our prison system is unmatched.
Cathy Cockrell: In interviews and speaking engagements, formerly incarcerated students speak of struggles to “keep it real” in all aspects of their lives, to fend off “imposter syndrome” and stigma on campus and cope with the trauma of incarceration.
Kathy Kelly: The Bureau of Prisons contacted me today, assigning me a prison number and a new address: for the next 90 days, beginning tomorrow, I’ll live at FMC Lexington, in the satellite prison camp for women, adjacent to Lexington’s federal medical center for men.
Diane Lefer: Today, approximately 2.7 million American children are separated from a parent because of arrest and lockup in prison or jail. Do we simply accept that these kids will be collateral damage in our culture of mass incarceration?
Frank McAlpin: Our collective movement for racial and social justice cannot let this moment pass by. We must harness the momentum of Prop 47 to push for continued reforms in the criminal justice system not just here in California but across the nation.
Jessica Goodheart: There is still a more difficult conversation to be had about race and the unfinished business of the civil rights movement that will not likely make it into the sound bites.
Bruce Reilly: My ride was for the visitation to keep communities together, but my sweat on the free side of the wall is always for those left behind.
Tina Dupuy: If you added up all of the per-capita incarceration rates of every other English-speaking country, they’d still have a lower rate than the U.S. We lock up more than Russia. Way more than China. We lead the world in warehousing humans.
Alex Friedmann: While people might question the notion of a privatized police force that benefits financially when people are arrested, allowing companies to profit when people are imprisoned has become an accepted norm
Amy Patton: Founder and organizer of the festival, Susan Burton said the film festival screened documentaries that exposed “grave defects in the American criminal justice system.”
Jessica Farris: Californians have a historic opportunity to bring about needed and long-overdue criminal justice reform by voting Yes on Proposition 47.
Sarah Rothbard: The way Americans talk about prisons has shifted. The nation’s policies have yet to catch up.
Jonathan Simon: We may disagree on who belongs and who does not belong in prison, or on how long prison sentences should be, or what goals those sentences should be meted out to accomplish.