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Reality


Our criminal justice system is oppressive, unjust, and broken.

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Reality


Our criminal justice system is oppressive, unjust, and broken.

For decades, we as a nation have created, excused, exacerbated, condoned, and glorified an overly punitive, profoundly racist, and classist criminal justice system. We've fed billions of dollars and millions of lives into a system that does little more than swallow whole the most marginalized among us -- then spit them back out, no better and much worse than they were before.

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Facts


Facts


  • 1 in 4 of us has a criminal record. 
  • 4 in 4 of us have a criminal history.
  • The United States claims approximately 5% of the world's population and 25% of its incarcerated individuals.
  • $80 billion per year is spent on "corrections" in America.
  • 2.2 million people are behind bars, a 500% increase over the past 4 decades.
  • Nearly 4 million people are on probation.
  • The lifetime likelihood of imprisonment for black men is 1 in 3. For white men it's 1 in 17. For white women it's 1 in 111.
  • 80% of the approximately 12 million people arrested each year are so poor as to qualify for public defense.
  • 1 in 14 children has a parent in prison or jail.
  • 1 in 9 black children has had an incarcerated parent.
  • An estimated 70-100 million people in America have a criminal record.
  • 23 million people live with the label of "felon."
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A New Narrative


A New Narrative


Over the past several decades, millions of Americans have been stopped, searched, cuffed, tased, not let up for air -- killed -- booked, held, indicted, tried, convicted, incarcerated, and branded with a criminal record for doing little more than what our current and most recent sitting presidents have openly admitted to doing. 

At the heart of this discrimination and these injustices lies an othering, a belief that "criminals" are necessarily and intrinsically different -- less deserving, less human -- than "the rest of us." It's a dichotomy relied upon by and reiterated time and again in the media, popular culture, and mainstream political rhetoric.

We are all criminals. We have all violated the law. Only the vast majority of us have not been caught. For those who are fortunate to have escaped without a criminal record, our criminal histories are private memories, rather than public record -- too often because of our race, our class, our gender, our age, or geography.

These injustices must end.