In recent years, prison reform has become a hot-button issue in our society. The political environment further highlights it every two to four years with calls for reform of the criminal justice system.
Yet, in reality it becomes more of ‘de-ja vu’ in practicality. Specially for those who are incarcerated.
The United States of America holds 20% of the world’s prisoners, but accounts for only 5% of the world’s population. And it imprisons one third (1/3) of the women prisoners on the planet.
In sum, roughly, about ten (10) million human beings enter American jails on an annual basis.
But this phenomenon of mass incarceration is relatively new to the American society. To be more accurate, the rates of imprisonment exploded between 1990s to 2010s, while the crime rate fell sharply. So, the question arises, why the continued expansion of prison population?
The answer is simple. “The Prison Inc.” is one of the most lucrative industry in the United States of America. There are jobs and ‘parasite’ like sub-industries that are attached to this behemoth of commerce. So, the steady rise in ‘modern day slavery’ is not only required, but necessary.
The tragedy of it all is that it is done with the public’s blessing. And that is directly related to misinformation and sensationalism of crime by our political class and media at large.
The solution is information.
Because knowledge is power. And that is perhaps the only tool that might very well change the course of history in this country. A history of repression, racism, and inequality.
Because no matter what politics you may have, or what statistical data bank you cash your moral cash in, the undeniable reality shall, and will, remain that the overwhelming majority incarcerated in our prisons is either black, brown, or are of other dark shades.
Thus, our Mission is simple, to highlight the plight of the incarcerated and that of their loved ones’. Who, in reality are incarcerated as well, frozen in time and space. Watching the wheel of time turn ever so slowly.
In these times, when you hear about Criminal Justice Reform from every angle, including the politicians, victims, prosecutors, police, judges, prison officials, guards, and other pundits, you will find NO voices of the one’s behind bars or of their loved ones. As if their voices don’t count.
Our effort is to present a platform for such oppressed, and silenced, CAPTIVE VOICES.
Therefore, we encourage the visitors of this website to share their thoughts and feelings. Specially those who have someone behind the walls.
Tell us, and share with the world, how it feels to have someone locked up. So that maybe, someone in the glittery marbled halls of power may pay heed.Paragraph
And surely, there is strength in unity. So let us speak together for real change and a liberating formula for all.
Creator: Eddie MaQbool
(On Behalf Of My Brother TariQ MaQbool, incarcerated at NJSP, Trenton, New Jersey)