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Prison Abolition

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Prison Abolition
Jessi Lee Jackson and Erica Meiners, authors of Feeling Like a Failure: Teaching/Learning Abolition Through the Good the Bad and the Innocent, analyze the prison system in the United States and necessitate the abolition of these organizations due to their ineffectiveness in society. The authors critique the technique of the police force alleging these institutions to either being racist, sexist, classist, or a combination of either and disproportionately scrutinize these victims causing a majority of them to end up in the prison system. The authors’ informative article continues to examine the prerequisite of abolition of these prison system and presents detailed information on the proper way of living without the need of the prison systems and promote more effective alternatives to the situation. Some of these alternatives includes ensuring the communities have viable jobs that are not dehumanizing and placing a higher set of standards on the education and health care systems to become more accountable for the uneducated and mentally ill respectively since these classifications make up a majority of the incarcerated. It also challenges individuals to find ways to communicate effectively with each other rather than relying on the police force. It highlights the importance of including this information on abolition into the education curriculum for the outcome of producing a more stable and beneficial society. According to the Critical Resistance, abolition is “the creation of genuinely safe, healthy communities that respond to harm without relying on prisons and punishment”. This abolition movement to eliminate prison systems is a valid argument that arises everyday. The majority of the population of inmates who are in prison are incarcerated for a reason, like murder and rape as two prime examples. But, many prisoners in the systems have been imprisoned for crimes so minuet there seems to be no reason to even be involved in the prison system at all. With the growing number of inmates each year and the overcrowding of state prisons, we arise a question if we should be spending more money of facilities to help these people or should we keep them in jail which in essence promotes the bad behavior.
The act of recidivism makes the point clear; recidivism is often correlated with psychopathic behavior, which in essence is the inability to learn from ones mistakes. Many people in the prison system have this psychopathic behavior in their blood, and, in regards to the article, it makes sense for the government to spend more money on facilities that could improve the actions embedded in criminals minds already. This is why the authors put blame on the health-care and education systems in the country. With not enough resources to fully improve the lives of the mentally ill and uneducated, these people are essentially being thrown out into the streets and therefore commit harmful crimes due to their instability to be a part of a functioning society. In the article, it states, “…shifts resources and energy from meaningful and sustainable antiviolence work…. [it] needs to be centered, not around identifying and caging bad people, but in responding to and preventing violence.” This statement makes logical sense, and the authors succeed in their point of narrowing down the problems and making a valid solution.
An interesting point in the article is the fact that people are not just labeled as good or bad people, but they are actually vigorously trained to feel like good or bad people and act in a way that reflects the way they have been believed to be. This is why the prison systems need to find a balance between prison systems and investing more money in the actual well-being of the people which would in turn help the overpopulation of the prison system. The authors succeed in their attempt to inform the audience of the dilemma we face with the overpopulation of the prison system and successfully persuade the viewers of the positive outcome abolition of prisons can have in society. Prison abolition has some valid arguments, however, the complete overall abolition of the prison systems is unnecessary. Minor crimes such as the numerous theft and drug crimes in society do not require imprisonment. Institutions that will help the individuals rather than mask their crimes by throwing them in jail, which in essence teaches the prisoners nothing would be more appropriate. In the article, the authors succeed in teaching the society that more money needs to be focused on institutions that would help these troubled individuals, which could result in the possibility of crime rate decreasing.

Works Cited

Jackson, Jessi Lee, and Erica R. Meiners. "Feeling Like a Failure: Teaching/Learning Abolition Through the Good the Bad and the Innocent." Radical Teacher 88 (2010): 20-30. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 28 Jan. 2011.

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