We see what we want to see, and our reality is usually framed by what we see. So we can say that we have the power to control our reality as humans. If everyone that lived in the same society and environment has their different version of reality what then is the true meaning of reality? The only way for us as members of the same community, to have a somewhat similar, although not perfectly identical reality is by sharing with one another what we ‘see’.
According to the New York Times article U.S prison population dwarfs that of other nations, America is home to less than five percent of the world’s population but about one quarter of the world’s prisoners are in America. So this raises so many baffling questions to me. What makes America the number one achiever on this very shameful list? Do we have our own special definition for crime, or is it that our law enforcement agencies are the most hardworking; sniffing out every single crime that would rather go unnoticed in other nation states? Are we a population of natural born criminals, or do we live in a society that pushes people to into tight corners where one of their very few chances of survival is through illegal means? Do we have a society that places and uphold ridiculous standards that as inherently imperfect beings, very many are bound to fall below and are punished for it?
It is not surprising that of this huge population of prisoners in the United States; about seventy percent of them are people of color. The harsh reality is that the system under which the country operates has been intelligently designed to withstand the influences of modern day ethical principles and continues to promote oppression of the less privileged. We are supposed to accept responsibility for our actions, therefore bearing the consequences of our actions. But are we supposed to suffer for things we most times cannot control too, such as what race we are born as, or what state we happen to be residents of? It is not any coincidence that the poorest states in the country are the states with the largest incarceration rates. So it is safe to assume that the economic status of the state could be responsible for high crime rates that result in so many people being incarcerated. A resident of a state like Louisiana is born with a 0.85 percent chance of being incarcerated which is already ridiculously high but only to watch his chances more than double just because he is not Caucasian. What did this person do to deserve being born with this ill fate? Nothing!
Since I have had the opportunity to commence volunteering at the St Stephens Human Services center, my eyes have been opened to see a new reality. I have been given the opportunity to witness firsthand experiences on an aspect of this issue; therefore I can no longer dwell in the cutthroat bliss of ignorance. I have watched people with previous criminal records try actively to lead better lives. They come in everyday trying to get help with drafting resumes, looking for jobs, trying to gain knowledge and improve their skills to help them but the system is set up in a way that it is almost impossible for them to find jobs to provide for themselves or their families. This would serve as a plausible explanation for the fact that about forty percent of…