I just finished watching a video by Van Jones who is a political activist, author and commentator and I had to share it immediately! The topic of the video is around the issue of criminalisation and how it is currently affecting communities in the United States. US incarcerates more people than any other country and the number of people currently incarcerated is the largest that it has ever been in the history of the world. While it’s not mentioned explicitly in the video, the amount of incarceration disproportionately affects people from minority communities, particularly black males. The reason why I’m so interested in the topic is because my 4th LSE100 module this year was crime and punishment where we studied the question of whether punishment is the answer to crime?
There are various important questions and debates that were raised in that module and in this video such as:
- What is the effectiveness of incarceration as a method of dealing with crime in comparison with other methods such as rehab for example?
- Is punishment an effective way of deterring people from crime?
- Examining the influence on money and profit on the criminal justice system
- Impact of wealth and race on the criminal justice system. All evidence points to a justice system that is no longer fair and gives allowance to wealthy people in societies who are in most cases white (white privilege is so apparent!). You only need to read the recent Stanford rape case to understand what I mean.
I’m really looking forward to reading Van Jones’ books, The Green Collar Economy and Rebuild the Dream and writing more extensively on this topic. The reviews of the books will be on the blog as well.
If you’re interested in reading further on this issue, Ta Nehisi Coates has a brilliant article on the Atlantic titled ‘The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration.’
Also watch the short video below which I watched during the LSE100 module on mass incarceration.