Mass Incarceration “As American As Apple Pie”

“Mass incarceration is as American as apple pie.”

Photo: YouTube

In a new video from renowned organization and community TED, Vera President Nick Turner joins journalist and TED Current Affairs Curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers to discuss how we can transform the criminal legal system.

The term “criminal justice system” is a misnomer. Vera seeks to transform the “criminal legal system” because this system does not dispense justice. The criminal legal system that today targets poor people and communities of color has established roots in centuries of slavery and “Black Codes.”

As Nick explains, “Mass incarceration is as American as apple pie.”

Through elections and the democratic process, the United States has effectively voted for more jails and less dignity. But we can undo the system we’ve built. Watch Nick’s TED video to learn how your engagement can transform the criminal legal and immigration systems so they’re just for all.

In this 15-minute video, you’ll hear from Nick about:

  • how the roots of modern mass incarceration can be traced back to the 13th Amendment and “Black Codes,” to the “Southern strategy,” and to “tough on crime” movements of the 1970s and 1980s;
  • the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted reform, and what comes next;
  • why the recent phenomenon of celebrities like Kim Kardashian and John Legend taking an interest in criminal legal system reform isn’t just a trend;
  • and even more.

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