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Sat Dec 6, 2014, 12:18 AM

Professors and Experts Argue for Prison System Reform

The panel featured various professors and experts on America’s criminal justice system.

Prof. Travis Gosa, Africana studies, discussed arguments for the need to both reform and abolish the criminal justice system and mass incarceration.

“I am only here to complete abolition of prisons as part of a complex of surveillance policing incarceration, which has been used to reestablished an apartheid nation,” he said.

Both Gosa and Prof. Paula Ioanide, race and ethnicity, Ithaca College, agreed that mass incarceration is a “new Jim Crow [law].”

“There is an infrastructure of ideas which continues to legitimize the incarceration of so many people,” Ioanide said.

She said she believes Americans are “taught to fear” under what she described as the new Jim Crow system."

This country equivocates justice with punishment,” Ioanide said. “That removing this person has actually solved this problem, but all it does is sicken the entire country. [I want a] shift in consciousness around notions of justice.”

Prof. Joe Margulies, government and law, also discussed the impact that students may have in reforming the prison system.

“Criminal justice reform has never been so prevalent,” Margulies said. “It is apparent that there is more energy surrounding these questions now. This is a moment where people can get involved.”

Margulies also encouraged students to use the resources that Cornell offers in order to make an effort to improve the prison system.

“You’ve gotta take the first step,” Marguilies said."


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Reply Professors and Experts Argue for Prison System Reform (Original post)
damnedifIknow Dec 2014 OP
Vattel Dec 2014 #1
davidpdx Dec 2014 #2

Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Sat Dec 6, 2014, 12:33 AM

1. The prison system and (even worse) local jails are an obscenity.


We need to incarcerate psychopaths. Beyond that, incarceration should be used sparingly. Prisoners should be safe and should be treated with dignity and good will. Solitary confinement accompanied by social isolation is cruel and should be abolished. If a prisoner cannot safely be placed in the general prison population then physical isolation can be appropriate. But that does not require the sort of social isolation that accompanies solitary confinement in our prison system. (In case no one has noticed, they have these gadgets called phones and this internet thing that permits communication even between those who are not in the same room.)

We need to do this and so much more to reform our criminal justice system.

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Response to damnedifIknow (Original post)

Sat Dec 6, 2014, 12:46 AM

2. I support prison reform

Too many people are locked up for too long and then when they get out they have little to no social or employment skills. It is a recipe for failure. I know people who have been able to turn their lives around, but it is a long tough road.

I consider my home state of Oregon fairly progressive, but in the past 20 years has become so regressive in the justice system it is sad.

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