The United States imprisons more people than any other country.
In 1970, the prison population in the U.S. consisted of 357,292 people incarcerated. By 2014, the prison population in the U.S. consisted of 2,306,200 people incarcerated—a population increase of 545%, according to The Sentencing Project.
How did the United States develop this system of mass incarceration? The groundbreaking documentary film 13th has an answer: Go back in history to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which states that slavery nor involuntary servitude except as punishment for crime shall exist in the United States. The Netflix documentary by Ava DuVernay proposes that this key phrase established a constitutional and historical precedent to criminalize mass majorities of people to produce the system of mass incarceration that is seen today.
So, how can you help change this systemic issue for the better?
Well, on March 25th, 2017, Claremont Lincoln University held its signature Exchange event, titled, “Barred for Life, Mass Incarceration and Rehabilitation: Recommendations for Policymakers.” Subject matter experts, activists, advocates, formerly incarcerated people, academics, students, faculty, and alumni all gathered for an intensive daylong symposium on the reality of mass incarceration. We at Claremont Lincoln University have combined all the recommendations that culminated from the Exchange into an overarching actionable guide: Dismantling Mass Incarceration: An Actionable Guide to Dismantling the Systemic Issue of Mass Incarceration in the United States.
This actionable resource guide on mass incarceration will present an overarching solution that involves three distinct approaches that anyone can take. The guide will cover:
- The myths and facts about mass incarceration
- A three-part solution that’s based in local, organized action
- How to advocate for awareness of this issue (with resources)
- How to support local legislation for criminal justice reform step-by-step
- How to organize locally for action (with a list of organizations)
This resource guide will provide actionable steps you can take to dismantle mass incarceration. With an organized, local effort of passionate individuals who want positive social change, we truly believe that, block by block, we can all dismantle mass incarceration together. So download our free actionable guide, Dismantling Mass Incarceration: An Actionable Guide to Dismantling the Systemic Issue of Mass Incarceration in the United States, and take action to create positive social change.