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- Instead of addressing the roots of drug addiction, mental illness, and poverty, we’ve come to accept policing and incarceration as catch-all solutions. It’s time for a change.
- We’ve come to accept policing and incarceration as catch-all solutions.
- Related: A Former Police Chief: Put Down the Big Stick
Liza Bayless, Yes! Magazine
Yes! Magazine Editor's Note: This article is the second part of a series of conversations with contributors to the demands of the Movement for Black Lives. Part One was on reparations.
Oct 11, 2016 | In July 2015, more than 2,000 members of The Movement for Black Lives—a group composed of more than 50 racial justice organizations—convened in Cleveland to recognize the violence committed against Black people in this country and around the world. At the assembly, participants decided the Movement needed to form a coalition that articulated concrete ways to build a more equitable society. Six legislative platforms emerged that covered issues like economic justice, reparations, political empowerment, and divestment from policing and incarceration. In their Invest-Divest platform, the authors called instead for investment in programming, like restorative justice initiatives, that would decrease incarceration and strengthen communities.
According to the Brookings Institution, White Americans are equally likely to use and more likely to deal drugs, while African Americans are more likely to be arrested, convicted, and sentenced harshly. For U.S. residents born in 2001, the Bureau of Justice Statistics predicts that 1 in 111 White women will go to prison in her lifetime, while 1 in 18 Black women will. For White men, the likelihood is 1 in 17; for Black men, 1 in 3.
Liza Bayles is an editorial intern at YES! Liza wrote this article for YES!.
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A Former Police Chief: Put Down the Big Stick, David C. Couper, the Progressive
There is a long and difficult road ahead of us. We know what it is because we have heard it before for so many years. The 1968 Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence (Kerner Commission) identified the problem: we are becoming two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal. It’s the same today.