DEHUMANIZING PEOPLE PERPETUATES MASS INCARCERATION. Nearly 2 million people are incarcerated in our country’s jails and prisons, more per capita than any other country. The evidence is clear: mass incarceration does not bring us safety and instead causes real harm.
INCARCERATION HURTS COMMUNITIES, ESPECIALLY BLACK COMMUNITIES. People who have been incarcerated and their families have a lifetime of reduced earnings and a shortened life expectancy. Black people are 50% more likely to have a family member who has spent time in jail or prison.
WORDS MATTER. Dehumanizing labels are extremely common and they bias people against reform. They also make it harder to live and thrive after incarceration. One in three Americans has a criminal record–as many as have a college degree. When people are defined by their criminal record the negative consequences on employment and housing are profound.
We can all help build a safer, more successful country by choosing to put #PeopleFirst.
“When audiences read and hear words like 'felon' and 'inmate' they are more afraid of, less open to, less curious about, and less supportive of people with experiences like mine and the opportunities that would make me most safe and free.”
Founder and executive director of Voice of the Experienced (VOTE) and its sister organization, Voters Organized to Educate
Mother. Father. Aunt. Uncle. Brother. Sister. These are just some of the words that describe people impacted by our criminal justice system.Download
Read the report showing the harmful impact of dehumanizing labels commonly used by the media.Download