I found Michelle Alexander’s talk on racial inequality in the criminal justice system fascinating. Although slavery has been abolished in the United States, the criminal justice system is causing the same type of discrimination to be legal again. The statistics on the number of prisoners “quintupling” since the 1970’s is baffling. Additionally, although crime rates are low, there are more people becoming incarcerated. Alexander mentions how white youth are more likely to engage in drug use than African American youth, which does not reflect the numerous amount of African American people incarcerated. In my Psychology and Law class, we talked about equality vs. discretion. The principle of equality is that all individuals who committed the same crime will have the same punishment. Discretion, however, allows the people within the criminal justice system to look at the  different details of each case. Therefore causing individuals and to be punished in a variety of ways although committing the same crime. Discretion can be a leading cause of racial inequality in the criminal justice system.
Additionally, the TED format is a useful educational platform for social change. It is easily accessible and hundreds of innovative talks are able to reach thousands of people. I am looking forward to seeings how other media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc) are able to shape activism and how we can utilize these technologies to create social change.  

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One response »

  1. hannahginsberg says:

    I think it’s really interesting how you bring up the idea of equality versus discretion. I think a large issue with why people don’t understand whats going on in the justice system is because they believe that our justice system works solely on equality or at least they want to hope that it does. Yet, discretion is such a large issue because it assisting in essentially legalizing discrimination.

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