COMMUNITY LIFESTYLE INSTITUTE
Social Justice Blog
Social Justice Blog
|Posted on May 17, 2015 at 4:00 PM|
By Ishmael Amin
John Legend has initiated Free America, a new campaign to reform the U.S. prison system. In John Legend’s words, "We have a serious problem with incarceration in this country... It's destroying families, it's destroying communities and we're the most incarcerated country in the world... We as a society made some choices politically and legislatively, culturally to deal with poverty, deal with mental illness in a certain way and that way usually involves using incarceration.” Free America tour of America will bring awareness to this issue and a call to end mass incarceration, while promoting alternatives to incarceration. More over, John Legend lends his voice to the opportunities to end mass incarceration, save spending on the corrections system, and to reinvest those savings into smarter policies and legislation that will proactively reduce mass incarceration.
Free America tour includes states like Texas that implemented correction system reform in 2007 that reduced felonies to misdemeanors and the state has reaped billions of dollars in savings while seeing crime drop to rates last seen in the 1960s. [video] John Legend supports California’s has recently passed proposition 47 in November, 2014, “which calls for treating shoplifting, forgery, fraud, petty theft and possession of small amounts of drugs — including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines — as misdemeanors instead of felonies.”
Even small local government agencies have picked up the baton to end mass incarceration as well to reduce recidivism. For example, police in the small town of Gloucester, Massachusetts have chosen to “stop arresting addicts who choose to seek rehabilitation.” Orleans Parish Public Defender’s Office has recently initiated an alternative to incarceration coalition. https://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/alternatives-to-incarceration" target="_blank"> Alternatives to Incarceration listed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy is a call for a smarter corrections system. John Legend has spoken at the White House and lawmakers seem to be listening. He recently performed a Politico event where he spoke with the spirit of Bob Marley as he sang “Redemption Songs.”
Mr. John Legend’s stand on the issue of ending mass incarceration is a fiscally and socially responsible stance. As a society we must become smarter about how we chose to address undesirable behavior. The fabric of our society is dependent upon us making smarter decisions that will free America from the course of becoming a prison state versus that of an enlighten state. Our mission to increase awareness for mass incarceration and prevention of high percentages of recidivism began in 2011. Community Lifestyle Institute is excited to see that Mr. Legend has picked up the baton on a grand scale.
Categories: Reducing Recidivism