If the job of the criminal justice system is to reduce and implement sensible means in the elimination of the cycle of crime, it has failed the people of this great country. The answer cannot and will never be as simple as some would have you believe: lock them up and throw away the keys. Those who held that belief failed to consider the backlash in terms of the spiral or decline that such policy would have on communities and the nation as a whole.
It saddens me that this beloved country of ours would house the largest prison population on the planet. So it is clear that people of good will have to play a proactive role in addressing and righting the grave injustice. The United States can not continue to claim to be the moral conscience of the world and, at the same time, throw away over 2 million other citizens' lives. And about 600 per 100,000 people, the United States incarcerates a higher percentage of its population in the country. Incarcerating so many people is not good for budgets or for building communities that can grow by engaging with those who have learned from their mistakes.
Many, if not, most of these men and women do not deserve or warrant being locked up for two, three, and four decades of their lives. Some of these men and woman are serving lengthy sentences for committing nonviolent offenses or are juveniles tried as an adult. Not only are the lives of these men and women destroyed, but also the lives of their children, family, and loved ones.
I'm not saying if someone commits a crime that they should not be held accountable. My problem is the length of the time given out in many cases for victimless crimes and non-homicidal juvenile offenders. I'm very sympathetic towards the victims of crime. I cannot and will never forget them.
However, in doing so, does that means we have become a society where forgiveness is only a fleeting thought? On the contrary, I believe everyone deserves a second chance, and with that comes forgiveness. In the words of Marcus Garvey, The Andrew serve to ourself is we're taking no further than yourself, but the end you serve to all for all an economy will take you into eternity.
And with that, I want to thank all the intelligent, powerful, strong loyal women in the world, because without women in the world, like my wife, none of this is possible. And also thank you to everybody that don't get validation or recognition for the things that they do for criminal justice reform. This Torie Chisholm, and thank you for all the love and support.
These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.