The Family Ties Podcast - True Crime Podcast Series

Mass Incarceration and the US Criminal Justice System - Part 1

August 12, 2020 Kelley Richey Season 1 Episode 12
The Family Ties Podcast - True Crime Podcast Series
Mass Incarceration and the US Criminal Justice System - Part 1
Show Notes Transcript

This week Kelley and Julia discuss how America grew to hold 22% of the entire world's prison population, despite only comprising 4% of the world's population. They track the imprisonment rates that rose 700% in the 90's, despite the fact that during the time prison rates were climbing, crime rates were falling. What are the cold hard facts about incarceration and how does the U.S. view the criminal justice system, and why are we not focused on more prisoner rehabilitation instead of mass, long-term incarceration and recidivism? These are questions that Julia and Kelley try to find the answers for in this packed episode.

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Julia Avery :

The Family Ties podcast is a fresh and new series created and curated by two sisters, myself,

Kelley Richey :

Julia Avery and my sister Kelly Richie. on opposite sides of the United States. We want to share our journey of staying connected through the weekly discussion of topics that both affect and inspire us. These topics range from arts and entertainment, inspirational women, and role models science, global issues, psychology, life experiences, pet peeves, etc. Distance may keep us apart, but the family ties creates the perfect backdrop to remain connected, challenged, and always learning

Julia Avery :

Hi, and welcome back to the family ties podcast. I'm Julia Avery. And this is my sister and co

Kelley Richey :

hosts. Kelly. How's it going? Some day I will have a very cool intro to be like it's your It's your girl cows but

Julia Avery :

it's so hard to come up with one of those like, good like a good catchphrase or something. It's so hard.

Kelley Richey :

All I can do is be like, ah, hi.

Unknown Speaker :

Like I'm caught off guard like Uh huh. Oh, hi. Yeah, I'm here.

Julia Avery :

It's us. Yeah, I am. Okay, well, what are we going to talk about today? So today we are going to get into mass incarceration in America. It's a problem. It's a bit of a problem. And there are so many facts surrounding incarceration in general, like all the problems, so it's going to probably be a two parter, where we're kind of be kind of walking through the problems and some of the statistics and data surrounding it. And then in the second episode, we're gonna probably kind of go into our thoughts on alternative solutions to some of the problems we've recognized and, and how incarceration isn't always the answer.

Kelley Richey :

Yeah. And also, we've learned a lot just by studying this, there were a few things in a segment of the research died that I did that was kind of talking about the myths of this topic. And I was like, Oh, my God, I've totally been suffering under this miseducation the whole time. So it'll be interesting to kind of break down and see what what's new. What's old news or whatever?

Julia Avery :

Yeah, there was some stuff I didn't know. So yeah,

Kelley Richey :

and then we're, you know, we'll just get as far as we can In this first episode, and then it might spill into the second. So yeah, we'll get into it. I know Julie and I did our own research but the my research all comes from the same website and it comes from this page that is called prison policy initiative. And it has so many great facts. I mean, these people really put a lot of research into this. It is super worth your while they have a lot of different publications, issues, data, all kinds of stuff and it's super great to look through So

Julia Avery :

real quick, Kelly before we get started, I mean what's going on with you this week? Like you know, for we just kind of like railroad it what's what's going on what's going on in your life? How are you?

Kelley Richey :

Oh, I'm doing great. Friday night, I had our neighbor Claire over and we had dinner, we fixed dinner and played games and we're making it a weekly thing now. And so on Friday, Friday after Skyler gets Here, Claire's fixing all of us dinner. So sorry, you can't come Julia, because you're coming the next day. But still

Julia Avery :

Yeah, I think it's Andres, the neighbor that the you were talking about in our loneliness, pandemic episode, right? Absolutely had somehow connected with your neighbor and found out. Whoa, I've been living next to this person who I actually have a ton in common with and had no idea.

Kelley Richey :

Yeah. So it was it was really nice. And I would like to invite another neighbor I met last week from across the street, this old man, I'd like to invite him over for dinner and just kind of he was super cool, super knowledgeable about politics. And we're kind of on the same page. Thank God. It's so few and far between to find people who think like me, so I was like, why don't you come over sometime?

Julia Avery :

I am never letting you go. Whoa.

Kelley Richey :

Oh, well, and then just kind of considering how we had talked about that in that episode. How Almost like that adopted grandparent type of thing. He's an older guy. And I told him, you know, if he ever needs anything to let us know, but almost adopting him like a become older mentor type of thing. We need to reach out to everybody of all ages in our communities.

Julia Avery :

Yeah, I agree. We tend to kind of get stuck in our own type honest and not enough of us really branch out amongst the age gaps. Unless it's within our own family, you know, where you get 10 times your own grandparent, which is still rare. But anonymous, do that. And I know, older people kind of thrive off of younger people's energy. Yeah, so it's true. I do more.

Kelley Richey :

What about you, Julie, what's happening in your world? You told me that you had some news that you weren't, you're being real shady about it. Like you weren't gonna tell me until until we were recording and I'm like, Whoa, that's what's going on there. What's up? Well, that

Julia Avery :

just because I wanted it to be Be like genuine, I'd get a genuine like, you know, we're talking about we're opening up but I didn't want to have to repeat it to the second time. Okay. All right then I right before we started recording I finally got a an actual phone call from one of these people I've been applying for jobs to Yeah, yeah. a live interview on Wednesday. Oh, where with who this one it's Globo mark and they it was just for like a customer service rep job. But I'm just so desperate to be employed this week. I have gotten hits on stuff and I'm like, Yeah, because I i've been applying and applying and applying and applying. Yes, our sponsor we've already hired this position is closed already and I'm like, Doc, target won't even take me. Well. Rules. What's annoying is so I they had this preferences section where you like click what your interests are for potential jobs there. And I clicked all the ones that were related to the actual job posting I was applying for right and they responded saying my preferences didn't align with any of their openings are you kidding me? So I'm gonna have to I'm just gonna keep reapplying sometimes all of the preferences and be like I want to do all of it just all of it whatever you got, please. Yeah, sometimes

Kelley Richey :

algorithms suck

Julia Avery :

and then Cheesecake Factory had that stupid psychology test where like, you have to like answer either completely agree or completely disagree for all these scenarios that they bring up or statements whether you completely agree with it or completely disagree. And you know, it's really not a lot of them, but they rephrase them so many different times to kind of see how I hate a guy system. See if your answer and there's so many different variables within their own statement where it's like it's not just a cut and dry. And I looked up on how to pass these tests, and they said you either have to do either completely agree or completely disagree. You can't do anything in between because there's either a wrong answer right answer. And you know, depending on the situation, I could either I could be neutral on it, because it depends on the person. It depends on the situation. And but I, I didn't pass that test. I know it they have not responded.

Kelley Richey :

You may have maybe they're just, you know, not really hiring at the moment.

Julia Avery :

No, they are. Well, I mean, I've opened a I mean

Kelley Richey :

with COVID. I think they're going to have a an influx of people applying and be there. You know, they have a lot to sift through. So I think it's going to really

Julia Avery :

happily mentioned to reach out because they said if you pass you will be hearing back from us said no, no, no. To reach out, and I was like, Oh, thank you very much.

Kelley Richey :

Okay. Well, speaking of the world mapping fair, should we?

Unknown Speaker :

Yes. Okay, get into it.

Kelley Richey :

Guys, like I said, I found all of my information on prison policy. org and I have not just taken huge chunks from their press release, I have taken the whole thing because I find it extremely important to go through. The one I'm going to be quoting most from is called mass incarceration, the whole pie 2020. So it's going to be very up to date press release by Wendy Sawyer and Peter Wagner. So we're going to get into it and then we're going to kind of stop in between some of their points and kind of interject our own commentary. But I think to get the facts, we always want to go straight to the source. And these people do this for their living so they know way more than we do. Plus they taught me a lot. So let's dig right in. It begins by saying Can it really be true that most people in jail are being held before trial and how much of mass incarceration is a result of the war on drugs? These questions are harder to answer than you might think. Because our country's system of confinement are so fragmented. The various government agencies involved in the justice system collect a lot of critical data. But it is not designed to help policymakers or the public understand what's going on as public support for criminal justice reform continues to build. However, it is more important than ever, that we get the facts straight and understand the big picture. Amen, I say that big picture.

Julia Avery :

Yeah, so from some of the sites that I found, I found like three different sites that had good articles and had some really good information. So as far as kind of like some of the big picture facts and data go into it, I'll have links to the sources that are blog posts or episodes, blog posts, so you can go check these out for yourself once that's up on the site, despite making up close to 5% of the global population. The US Nearly 25% of the world's prison population that's a lot since 1970. Our incarcerated population has increased by 700% 2.3 million people in jail and prison today far outpacing population growth and crime which is very interesting to me. Yeah, how can that be?

Kelley Richey :

That doesn't make any sense don't those do

Julia Avery :

to go together? So So kind of going into like a couple racial facts it puts it in perspective to it says one out of every three black boys born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime as can one of every six Latino boys compared to one of every 17 white boys at the same time, women are the fastest growing incarcerated population in the United States. Do you think that it's due to violent crimes women not taking it anymore? Like what do you think? I mean, that's just me asking so it's no just it's not important, just opinion not factual. Right. Ah, thinking more like drugs? Okay. Yeah, I'd be curious. addictions, huge, and opioids are huge in in the states true. And I know like for myself, I feel like my gun This is all opinion based. So I'm not speaking scientifically here. But my opinion is that women have more addictive tendencies, which is why we tend to be in really bad relationships a lot of the time, like, once we get on something, we're very loyal and dedicated, whether it be to relationships or getting hooked on chemical dependencies, so it makes sense. So that's just my theory. I obviously need to do research on that. So another factoid is goes on to say that there are twice as many people sitting in local jails awaiting trial and presumed innocent than in the entire federal prison system. So you kind of brought that up real quick the idea of people awaiting trial are they being incarcerated as well and people that are presumed innocent because our system is supposed We built where you're innocent until proven guilty.

Kelley Richey :

And let me just interrupt you real fast by throwing out my movie recommendation from that topic. I will not even movie it would be a show called The night of on HBO. I found it amazing because you don't really know if the person in question is guilty or not. But regardless, before he even goes to trial, you know, he's in the prison system or actual jail system or whatever. And it is, I think it's more of a federal type prison, but just to see how he becomes a completely different person. And it's almost as if the prison system suddenly makes him into

Julia Avery :

it make them in the monster.

Kelley Richey :

Yeah, it makes him into a terrible version of himself, regardless of this guilt or innocence.

Julia Avery :

So we've talked about the power of influence on here before Yes, and being in a prison environment. 24 seven is definitely even on the strongest person, it will change you I know change me. I am not gonna lie. I'm very strong and who I am, but I'm I do pick up on other people's stuff. And it's whether it changed the way I'm triggered on certain subjects and more converses more controlled on the way I manage my emotions on things or whatever. So like influence is huge. And to have the idea of presenting people who are supposed to be supposedly innocent until it's actually been proven in trial are being incarcerated, you're going to make they're going to be influenced and more than likely, once they're released, there's a possibility that they are actually going to commit crime even if they were innocent going in. Yeah, that's a whole other conversation. So each year it says 650,000 when men and women nationwide returned from prison to their communities, they face nearly 50,000 federal, state and local legal restrictions that make it difficult to reintegrate back into society. I feel like that's a huge place that we go wrong because more important than people serving out their sentences is us facilitating rehabilitation. rehabilitation. Yeah, because it's not just about punishment there. Yeah, there are certain crimes like more of the violent crimes where there's something mentally wrong with them where you know, there's there's more of retribution to be done but for a majority of the crimes committed what we want to say, you know, they serve their time, but we want them to be better coming out so that they can benefit society. And really, we're crippling them

Kelley Richey :

says going to hear the dogs in the background. They're all playing and carousing.

Julia Avery :

You might hear Lux at some point because she's looking out the window with her ears perked up, which is an indicator there might be some barking coming up, alert, alert, alert. There's a dog Oh my God, I'm gonna flip my shit. Oh, yes. Anyway, so just letting you know last quick note on these facts says our prison system costs taxpayers $80 billion per year and that's us Market America. That's a lot of fucking money. It says money should be spent building up not further harming community. investment, not incarceration is how we improve safety. Okay, it goes on to say this is from another source. This is from my source from the tourism policy. Yeah, this report offers some much needed clarity by piecing together this country's disparate systems of confinement. The American criminal justice system holds almost 2.3 million people in 1833 state prisons 110 federal prisons, 1772 juvenile correctional facilities, 3134 local jails, 218 immigration detention facilities and 80 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals and prisons in the US territories. 2.3 million people that's a lot and a lot of correctional facilities. That's a lot and you know how much money just one of those takes to maintain and keep running exactly going. Damn, it says This report provides a detailed look at where why people are locked up in the US and dispel some modern myths to focus attention on the real drivers of mass incarceration, including exceedingly punitive responses to even the most minor offenses.

Kelley Richey :

And there are tons and tons of charts associated with this article with all the facts and the breakdown of numbers. So I recommend after we post it in our summary that you definitely visit and take a look at some of these charts and all the work they've put into breaking all this down.

Julia Avery :

Yeah, it would be counterintuitive for us to kind of like count them to read it to you and copy it into our blog post. Just go check it out. And it's super helpful like the visuals of just kind of really giving you the perspective it's definitely helpful. It says this. Every year over 600,000 people enter prison gates Wow. But people go to jail 10 point 6 million times each year whole Lee shit. Wow says jail churn is particularly high because most people in jails have not been convicted, some have just been arrested and will make bail within hours or days while many others are too poor to make bail and remain behind bars until their trial even if they're innocent. Only a small number about 160,000 on any given day that's a small number have been convicted and are generally serving misdemeanors sentences under a year at least one in four people who go to jail will be arrested again within the same year. Often those dealing with poverty, mental illness and substance use disorders whose problems only person with incarceration especially with that drug problem problems Yeah, so that brings up like a couple different thoughts to me. So when it comes to drug convictions, people who have been not dealing but rather users they need a rehabilitation center. Yeah, like jail isn't the way to go and drugs make their way into the prison system and imagine the the withdrawals that they're going through there and you The healthcare in the prison system is not adequate.

Kelley Richey :

We'll also point out the bail issue they say fails astronomically high, especially for knowingly for people of color specifically knowing that they're not going to make that bail. So in addition to if they are convicted, if they are in that small number of 160,000, on any given day that have been convicted, just think about the fact that those people they're going to also serve in addition to what they've already been serving as they twiddle their thumbs and wait for their day in court.

Julia Avery :

Yeah, so that was another thing. It reminded me of this documentary I saw on Netflix called the staircase. And it obviously like I think this is when we actually had our first really deep conversations about our concerns about incarceration in America was after I've watched this, and we started talking about this really quick premise, this older white male is consider his, you know, accused of murdering his wife. He claims it's an accident so the documentary kind of goes into his experience with his lawyers presenting the case and kind of the ins and outs. And, you know, you take what you want from it, whether he's guilty or not. But the the whole thing is he had enough money he had, he was wealthy. So he was able to bail himself out early on, he didn't have to serve jail time. And he was home with his lawyers prepping the case really getting adequately ready for, you know, stating his case versus having to be stuck in jail and just beaten down and whole idea is, yeah, you're innocent until proven guilty. If we assumed everyone was guilty, I feel like our current session rates would be even worse than they are now. But do we really want to be doing that he had made a comment about how he acknowledged his wealth and his privilege. And he was like, This blows my mind. He was like my experience with this. You know, even as a wealthy person who's able to get the best out of the situation. He's like, it just really goes to show how bad it is. For people who don't have this kind of money, and he was like, the system is so broken, and I feel awful about how this affects other people who are like myself, and he's, you know, he's saying he's innocent the whole time, whatever, anyway, so, but he's saying even people like myself who are innocent, you know, but I'm treated like I'm guilty. And he was saying, even from his perspective, that even being, you know, innocent and, and wealthy, it was still brutal and exhausting the whole process, and he was still treated as if he was guilty. And he was basically saying, you know, even from my perspective, I'm able to acknowledge, like, this system is so messed up, and it's awful for people who aren't in the same financial situation as me.

Kelley Richey :

So well, going back to the big picture. I mean, sometimes they break it down into race, but most of this is just prison system as a whole. So this big picture view allows us to focus on the most important drivers of mass incarceration and identify important but often ignored systems of confinement the detailed views bring these overlaps systems to light from immigration detention to civil commitment and youth confinement in particular, local jails often receive short shrift in larger discussions about criminal justice, but they plays a critical role as incarcerations front door and have a far greater impact than the daily population suggests. So they're referring to the pie chart that's included in the article, but they say that it's providing a comprehensive snapshot of our correctional system and so it does not capture the enormous churn. So like the in and out of correctional facilities like how quickly the the turnover is, nor the far larger universe of people whose lives are affected by the criminal justice system. So every year over 600,000 people enter prison gates that people go to jail 10 point 6 million times a year. So with a sense of this big picture, the next question is why? Why are there so many people locked up? How many are incarcerated for drug offenses are the profit motives of private companies driving incarcerate Whereas it really about public safety and keeping dangerous people off the streets. There are a plethora of modern myths about incarceration. Most have a kernel of truth, but these myths distract us from focusing on the most important drivers of incarceration. So here in a second, we'll go through these myths, and a couple of them I, at least a few of them, maybe three, I've been suffering under the delusion of, and I was like, Oh, Okay, I get it. Yeah. So I

Julia Avery :

found that I didn't realize what the details were on voting, for instance, you know, there there are certain states that limit the amount of votes vec can be made, and especially when you're talking about racial bias that affects the vote big time, because then you've got mostly whites who are probably more privileged in those areas, because they're mostly southern states. There are they're probably voting from a more privileged standpoint. And so you've got these people locked up for trivial misdemeanors who aren't allowed to vote. So I'll go into kind of the facts that I found, said most states don't let people in prison on parole or on probation vote, and 10 limit at least some felons from voting after they've completed their sentences. They've done their time.

Kelley Richey :

And that's the thing is, I think, even if they are in prison, they should be able to vote. I strongly, strongly believe that they will. I mean, if our prison system is really well, we already know that it's not about rehabilitation, but in a rehabilitative sort of way, you want to make them remind them that they are human, and that they should feel strongly about issues that affect them and their families. So it's just another way of dehumanizing them and also suppressing the vote,

Julia Avery :

especially considering how many of the crimes that are committed by the people that are in there are like misdemeanors, they're lower rate crimes, and maybe even people like that are just going through the system and getting billed for like minor stuff, but they're still in this process where some of these states for what Vote even though they haven't really committed a crime that should take away their human right to vote for the community. And it's not like people. You know, it's not like you shouldn't be afraid of what they're going to vote for because you don't have stuff on the ballot, like freedom to kill people or whatever, and having everybody in the prison. coin Yes, I vote for that in this thing, like, Oh my God, we got a president that agrees that we should kill and that's okay. But I don't know what people are afraid of when they're voting because it's not like there's something crazy on the ballot that's really going to sway sorry. So as a result of the limitation on people's abilities to vote in prison, it says more than 6.1 million Americans won't be legally allowed to vote due to their criminal records in 2016. Several states prohibited five to 11% of their electorate from voting. And since black Americans are likelier to go to prison, this had to do disproportionate impact on the African American electorate leaving more than 20% of black voters in Florida Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia legally banned from voting even after they're out of fucking prison. You kidding me surprising. That is suppression that is straight up voter suppression.

Kelley Richey :

Absolutely. That's the whole point of it. So

Julia Avery :

quick look at some of the actual numbers of the type of crimes committed on this chart from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. It says for prisoners, about 1,306,223 prisoners violent crimes were at like 707,500 property crimes were at 244,629 drug crimes 203,894 public order 140,200 and around like other miscellaneous ones about 10,000 so violent crimes do you make a huge portion of it but property crime crimes drug crimes, the amount the thousands that fall under property, drug public order and other those those shouldn't be fair like incarceration is our answer for those. So I always, you know, knew that the South was really bad at mostly everything. But I didn't know specifically like, factually that they're the leader of mass incarceration in our country. So I found that out. I could have told you that in my sleep, Julie, I know but like I did not like I knew but like I didn't

Unknown Speaker :

really know.

Julia Avery :

That was a terrible accent. I have like suppressed Southern and country accents out of my I usually pick up on Yeah, I usually pick up on accents actually, especially if I'm around like when I was in Afghanistan and I working there and I was surrounded by like Albanians people from the bulk, Balkan islands, Balkan countries. Sorry fuck now. If they listen to this, they'd be like, ah, but no, like I would kind of like my accent would kind of change to a little bit without even realizing it. And I'd have to be conscious because I didn't want to make it seem like I was making fun of them. It's hard, but one of the things I don't do is country or southern. I'm really bad. I'm really bad at my Southern accent set

Kelley Richey :

a little too close to home, Julie, too soon, too soon. I mean, how many years has it been since we've been back to home Kentucky? I'd say for me, it's been almost four years and I ain't gonna fucking look back.

Julia Avery :

Oh,

Kelley Richey :

man. All right, moving on. Sorry. You have a lot of points to get through. Julia. I'm making it harder for you. Oh, okay. Stay focused, stay focused.

Julia Avery :

Yeah, sorry. I go down these rabbit trails. Sorry. So crime rates have been dropping for more than 20 years now. But most Americans seem to have no idea. This is one reason mass incarceration is so entrenched in the US. If Americans don't know crime is dropping, how can they support locking up your people? That's a great question because like even I wasn't aware of that that drop and crime. So like we I feel like we hit that up a little bit earlier. But it's like, yeah, it also goes on to say practically all crimes resulted in larger, longer prison sentences after the 1980s. One particularly harsh form of sentencing was the three strikes laws, which forced people to serve 25 years to live after they're convicted of any third felony. Lawmakers also passed truth in sentencing laws that require inmates to serve most of their prison sentences, typically 85% before qualifying for parole. So that's regardless of whether it's a misdemeanor or felony. I feel like because I didn't really specify, but so you've got crime rate that's been going down, but our incarceration rates have been going up. And that's been happening for the past 20 years. I didn't have any idea.

Kelley Richey :

Yeah, I mean, I think I thought the opposite can During our incarceration rates,

Julia Avery :

yeah. Before I learned that one of the conversations we had was kind of like, you know, if crimes growing up, what are solutions to combat that? That's other than incarceration since is obviously not the answer. But But now that we've done research and we found that for 20 years, the crime rate has actually gone down. Now we're back to the discussion of incarceration just not being the answer, period, you know, versus how are we keeping people from being meaning somebody crimes so another thing is, I didn't realize how powerful a prosecutors role was in this as well. So the prosecutors offices I found they want to like appeal to the general public as looking out for their safety and being kind of proactive and really hard hitting these cases. And so it turns out, prosecutors play a huge role in admitting people into prison incarceration. Yeah. So another thing is that I found was matter how many elderly people we actually have in the system. And when when you're talking about like back to the three strikes laws and the truth in sentencing laws where these people are stuck in there. Turns out we have a lot of elderly people that are finishing up their sentences on top of the new people that are being brought in and turned through the system. So when it comes to like reaching parole, and whether they're really safe for the public is, are we really afraid of what damage these elderly people can do? Or people that are over like seniors people over the age of 6065? And it turns out research suggests that in response to the question, how likely really is it that a 65 year old would rob a bank and kill someone the research suggests not very people tend to age out of crime, particularly after their 20s and 30s. So letting them out of prison 10 or 20 years down the line instead of 40 years. 50 years are never likely wouldn't pose a threat to public safety. So that's based on research, but then also you go into the financial aspect of how much it costs to keep them in there as they're continuing to age. It says not only has the imprisonment of the elderly driven up the incarceration rate, but it's actually made prison much more expensive because elderly people tend to require more health care. According to The Washington Post's the typical cost of a federal prisoner is about $27,500 a year, the older inmates cost nearly $59,000 each year. Dang. So another thing is, the data shows that there's no correlation between imprisonment rates and crime suggesting that states can bring down their prison populations without seriously risking public safety because public safety is the biggest thing, right? public safety, we're, we're not really even talking about just oh punishing these people. Usually when we're talking about bringing people to justice, it's because of harm has been brought to society and making sure that that doesn't Continue to happen. But often like with the numbers we've gone over already with how many of the crimes don't fall under violent crimes. Are we really concerned about public safety anymore? Or are we just taking advantage and treat you like making money off with this last point before I let you kind of take over your stuff Kelly is this number blew my mind. It said all levels of government but mostly state and local spent more than $80 billion on corrections expenditures in 2010. That's 10 years ago, but I doubt that's gone down. Now.

Kelley Richey :

I mean, perforation rate going up at the rate it is you can bet your bottom dollar that's more than that. $80

Unknown Speaker :

billion.

Kelley Richey :

All right. So all you good, taxpaying cheese. I was I was gonna say taxpaying Christian folk out there, but let me just call you all taxpayers and leave religion out of it. For my sake, more than you That's it. Oh, conversations. Yeah, that is, but um, yeah. So we just kind of scratched the surfaces of what the basic facts are the numbers, the incarceration rates, how much it costs us. So let's get into the myths surrounding mass incarceration that I think all of us have been praying to at least some of these. So, the over criminalization of drug use the use of private prisons and low paid or unpaid prison labor are among the most contentious issues in criminal justice today, because they inspire moral outrage, but they do not answer the question of why most people are incarcerated or how we can dramatically and safely reduce our use of confinement. Likewise, emotional responses to sexual and violent offenses often derail important conversations about the social, economic and moral costs of incarceration and lifelong punishment. Finally, simplistic solutions to reduce incarceration such as moving people from jails and prisons, to community supervision, ignore the fact that alternatives to incarceration off to lead incarceration anyway, focusing on the policy changes that can end mass incarceration and not just put a dent in it requires the public to put these issues into perspective. So Myth number one is releasing non violent drug offenders would end mass incarceration. That sounds like a nice myth that I thought I think I've been part of the Lia I've

Julia Avery :

definitely been guilty of thinking that at some point.

Kelley Richey :

So it's true that police prosecutors and judges continue to punish people harshly for nothing more than drug possession. drug offenses still account for the incarceration of almost half a million people, and nonviolent drug convictions remains a defining feature of the federal prison system. So please still make over 1 million drug possession arrests each year 1 million guys, many of which lead to prison sentences. drug arrests continue to give residents of over policed communities criminal records, hurting their employment prospects and increasing the likelihood of longer sentences for any future offenses. Nevertheless, four out of five people in prison or jail are locked For something other than a drug offense, either a more serious offense or an even less serious one to end mass incarceration, we will have to change how our society and our justice system responds to crimes more serious than drug possession. We must also stop incarcerating people for behaviors that are even more benign. So

Julia Avery :

the second myth is that private prisons are the corrupt heart of mass incarceration. Yeah. I mean, I partly thought that is that as

Kelley Richey :

well, I mean, the whole private prison industrial complex thing has been something I've been railing against for, you know,

Julia Avery :

years now. I mean, it's not to say that it's not exactly it's not an issue. But second math is at the heart of mass incarceration says In fact, less than 9% of all incarcerated people are held in private prisons, the vast majority are in publicly owned prisons and jails. Some states have more people in private prisons than others, of course, and the industry has lobbied to maintain high levels of incarceration but private prisons are essentially a parasite on a massive publicly on system, but not the root of it. Nevertheless a range of private industries and even some public agencies continue to profit from mass incarceration. Many city and county jails rent space to other agencies including state prison systems, the US Marshal service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement ice private companies are frequently granted contracts to operate prison food and health services. Often so bad they resulted major lawsuits and prison in jail telecom and commissary functions have spawned multibillion dollar private industries by privatizing services like phone calls medical care and commissary. prisons and jails are unloading the cost of incarceration on to incarcerated people and their families, trimming their budgets and an unconscionable social cost

Kelley Richey :

that gets me like I saw I think it may have been john oliver i A while back maybe the first time around, he was talking about prisons. I don't remember don't quote me on it, but Just talking about how not only do these people have to be in prison that you are exploiting them, like they're the money that people send them to live or buy toothbrushes and other goods and things. It's like you are stealing from them at every point possible, like you're stealing their humanity, you're making it to where they cannot win periods, even for basics. It's not even for luxury items in the commissary for basics. And so you're not only punishing the inmate, but you're punishing their family. So the third myth is that prisons are factories behind fences that exist to provide companies with a huge slave labor force. So this is true and not true. Simply put, private companies using prison labor are not what stands in the way of ending mass incarceration, nor are they the source of most present jobs. Sorry, that was only about 5000 people in prison less than 1% are employed by private companies through the federal ECP program which requires them To pay at least minimum wage before deductions, a larger portion work for state owned correctional industries, which pay much less. But this still only represents about 6% of people incarcerated in state prisons. I wonder like, how they decide who gets to be employed? Well, I mean, I think they all have kind of mandatory duties and things that they do. It's just a different levels, like how much how much time are you working? Are you being reimbursed for it?

Julia Avery :

Well, they're saying only about 5000 people are employed by these private companies.

Kelley Richey :

How does it mean that they aren't put in made to do tasks as part of their restitution,

Julia Avery :

right, but I'm saying what is their decision making process for how what how do they decide on the 5000 that are going to get paid at least a minimum wage, like the 5000 that are on favoritism? Like how do you know how are they coming up with that number?

Kelley Richey :

I don't know. But prisons do rely on the labor and Have people for food service laundry and other operations and they pay incarcerated workers unconscionably low wages. 2017 study found that on average incarcerated people earn between 86 cents and $3 and 45 cents per day for the most common prison jobs. And at least five states those jobs pay nothing at all. So that may be sort of answers what you were asking. I think it really depends on state by state, and if they are going to register. I mean, I think they're working these people regardless, it's just whether or not they are recording that or reporting. It is work. And you know, they don't necessarily have to pay people.

Julia Avery :

Yeah, and you know, some of the basics that are provided in the commissary, they seem like they're decent rates, but considering the money that these people are making from these tasks,

Kelley Richey :

it's I mean, just to talk to their families, they're like, you know, these people who process my call these call systems or call centers are making it to work. They're they're charging a arm and a leg, but we have to pay that arm and a leg or else we don't get to talk. And so families are just kind of blackmailed into this price gouging system because they want to talk to loved ones and these people are exploiting friends and families need to connect. But forcing people to work for low or no pay and no benefits allows prisons to shift to the cost of incarceration to incarcerated people. This is what we were talking about with the commissary thing as well. It's like you are making them pay out the nose. Not only are they serving their sentence, you are stealing from them. So hiding the true cost of running prisons for most Americans is what basically is happening. So they're saving dollars by putting these people to work in the prison system and oftentimes not paying them and when they are paying them little to nothing. The fourth myth is people in prison for violent or sexual crimes are too dangerous to be released. Now this is where I kind of have been like not very forgiving of people who commit violent or sexual crimes against other women and children, but Our whole goal of our prison system should be to rehabilitate, but they say particularly harmful is the myth that people who commit violent or sexual crimes are incapable of rehabilitation and this warrant many decades or even a lifetime of punishment as lawmakers in the public increasingly agree that the past policies have led to unnecessary incarceration, it's time to consider policy changes that go beyond the low hanging fruit of non non non people convicted of non violent, non serious or non sexual offenses. If we were serious about ending mass incarceration, we will have to change our response to more serious and violent crime in addition to that, so I think what they're also saying there is we want to throw the book at them when there's any kind of violence or sexual abuse in there. But sometimes these people need some serious counseling. Sometimes, you know, their prison sentences don't need to be decades long. You know, they should serve time but the ultimate goal that we should have as a society is to teach them how to be Be healthy, non violent members of the community what we're doing is we just want to lock everybody up and forget they exist. But you know, in other countries like, which I'll talk about in the next episode like Denmark, you have them closing down prisons and their their crime rate is not increasing because of that. So just kind of rethinking how our emotions are, you know, adding to the just cracking down on these people. Like we have to start viewing it in a different light. But recidivism data do not support the belief that people who commit violent crimes ought to be locked away for decades for the sake of public safety. That's kind of what we were just talking about. people convicted of violent sexual offences are actually among the least likely to be rearrested. I did not know that and those convicted of rape or sexual assault have rearrest rates 20% lower than all other offense categories combined. That's that's something that took me a second to wrap my head around. More broadly, people convicted of any violent offense are less likely to be re arrested in the years after release, then those convicted of property, drug or public order offenses. One reason is age, like you talked about age is one of the main predictors of violence, the risk for violence peaks in adolescence or early adulthood and then declines with age. Get we incarcerate people long after their risk has declined. So this really ties really well into the age factor you brought up earlier. Despite this evidence, people convicted of violent offenses up and face decades of incarceration, and those convicted of sexual offences can be committed to indefinite confinement or stigmatized by sex offender registries long after completing their sentences. So that's a whole other conversation. I kind of love how teen court that we were involved in would wipe your record after you completed this. And I think there should be other things that show up on your record, like not just good behavior, but things that you've actively done to better yourself. Well, I mean, again, for me, it really depends on the crime as well because it's not one size fits all, absolutely not for any of these, and we've been treating it as it as if it is by just locking people up. But you know, when it comes to some of those different specifics, the different crime specifics, I feel like that would be a totally different conversation for me because when it comes to sexual offenses, that's a very specific kind of violent crime and with mental illness, it really comes from mental illness and mental illness isn't something you can just easily fix. And just as a victim of sexual assault before I I'm very wary of the idea of people not having who associated with them, so others aren't aware in order to keep their own children safe or whatever. I do agree with that. But as far as like sex offender registries, it really like you said, it depends on the crime and it depends on their rehabilitation efforts. And I think all those things should be taken into consideration and kind of a really If you're going to put all that down on their record then include the the good things that they're doing as well. But that's a different topic for

Julia Avery :

next time. But I was thinking, even if like they're released early, have more parole officers than anything.

Kelley Richey :

Yeah, absolutely. I kinda need people checking in on them. Oh, we'll get into all this. So while some of the Justice system's responses has response has more to do with the retribution than public safety more incarceration is not what most Victims of Crime one national survey data show that most victims want violence prevention, social investment in alternatives to incarceration that address the root cause of crime. So that's more of what we're talking about. Not more investment in carceral systems that cause more harm. So this fifth and final myth we'll talk about is expanding community supervision is the best way to reduce incarceration community supervision, which includes probation parole, patrias supervision or pre trial Wow, that was a fun one. pre trial, pretrial is often seen as a lenient punishment, or as an ideal alternative to incarceration while but while remaining in the community is certainly preferable to being locked up, the conditions imposed on those under supervision are often so restrictive that they set people up to fail. So the long supervision terms numerous and burdensome requirements and constant surveillance, especially with electronic monitoring result in frequent failures, often for minor infractions like breaking curfew or failing to pay unaffordable supervision fees. In 2016. At least 160,000 people were incarcerated for such technical violations of probation or parole that is not for any new crime probation in particular, leads to unnecessary incarceration until it is reformed to support and reward success rather than detect mistakes that is not a reliable alternative. And let's make a note to talk about that again. Next time. I'm going to say about this as another movie recommendation. I recommend it highly, highly, like all the time but blind spotting kind of talking about the last three days of probation in this this man's life and the efforts that he has the just insurmountable, like, it seems like insurmountable efforts to to not end up back in jail. So watch it Do yourself a favor, Julia, what's next next step is

Julia Avery :

the high cost of low level offenses. Most justice involved people in the US are not accused of serious crimes more often, they are charged with misdemeanors or non criminal violations. Yet even low level offenses like technical violations of probation and parole can lead to incarceration and other serious consequences rather than investing in community driven safety initiatives. Cities and counties are still pouring vast amounts of public resources into the processing and punishment of these minor offenses, probation and parole violations and holds lead to unnecessary incarceration. So to that it is often overlooked in discussions about mass incarceration. Are the various holds that keep people behind bars for administrative reasons. A common example is when people on probation or parole are jailed for violating their supervision, either for a new crime or technical violation, kind of like you. You said there's like a lot of people that really just kind of written up and in trouble for those technical violations is as if a parole or probation officer suspects that someone has violated supervision conditions they can file a detainer or otherwise called hold rendering that person in eligible for release on bail for people struggling to rebuild their lives after conviction or incarceration returning to jail for a minor infraction can be profoundly the stabilizing the national data did not exist to say exactly how many people are in jail because of probation, or parole violations or detainers. But initial evidence shows that these account for over one third of some jail populations

Kelley Richey :

that's insane what Ah, I just never knew I never even knew that that was like that big of a thing. But it

Julia Avery :

makes sense. And I knew somebody that was under house arrest but like they could still go to work because they still have to pay for stuff they you know, by by being under house arrest doesn't mean that somebody's still taking care of their food and bills and stuff. So they still have to make money and I worked with them at a restaurant and so they still had to like you know, they would give them their hours and location and they get to leave and drive just to work and then just from work back to home but even just hearing their side of it like the the perspective of it was making it hard for them to feel like normal people and then it just, it kind of makes you spiral. Because what other people tell you your worth, you kind of hit that you know you adapt to it because watch blind spotting. All right, so real quick, I'll finish this off and says this problem is not limited to local jails either in 2019 so very recently, the Council of State governments found that one in four people in state prisons are incarcerated as a result of supervision violations.

Kelley Richey :

That's insane. So the massive misdemeanor system in the US is another important but overlooked country contributor to over criminalization and mass incarceration for behaviors as benign as jaywalking or sitting on a sidewalk. An estimated 13 million misdemeanor charges sweep droves of Americans into the criminal justice system each year. And that's excluding civil violations and speeding these low level offenses account for over 25% of the daily jail population nationally and much more in some states and counties. That's stupid. Wow. misdemeanor charges may sound like small potatoes but they carry serious financial, personal and social costs, especially for defendants but also for broader society which finances the processing These court cases and all of the unnecessary incarceration that comes with them. And then there are the moral costs. People charged with misdemeanors are often not appointed counsel, and are pressured to plead guilty and accept a probation sentence to avoid jail time. So this means that innocent people routinely plead guilty and are the burdened than burdened with many collateral consequences that come with a criminal record.

Julia Avery :

So each thing, the amount of money, it costs, to have a lawyer and to fight to prove your innocence is crazy. It's astronomical.

Kelley Richey :

It's not just like getting a ticket for something or getting like a warning that it's like your whole life can be affected by something that could just be warned off. You know, to me, usually, if

Julia Avery :

you're innocent, and the terms of their case is just very, you might fit the description and be the scapegoat and their priority. Most the time to me, maybe it's a minute Maybe is that my opinion is that their priority is just to finish cases they want to, they want to wrap it up. And they want to have somebody that's pled guilty and finish it and have it tucked away. And so they don't have to think about it again out of the way rather than their priority being that they've got the right person in jail. And so with that in mind, I feel like it sets up the system to where even innocent people who just don't have the money to keep fighting their innocence are forced either into way of getting a better opportunity, you know, you have to weigh the pros and cons like is it you know, do I sit here and throw my life away by pleading my innocence and paying this lawyer and dealing with the consequences of people treating me like I'm guilty and me possibly losing my job because the whole system doesn't work that you're innocent till proven guilty and you treated like you're guilty, or do I just plead guilty and just get this fucking thing. With that, and then with that, I wonder how many people that are actually guilty out there that we have not brought to justice because of how flawed our system is. That has forced a lot of innocent people and having to take plea deals

Kelley Richey :

to kind of continue in that line. defendants can end up in jail even if their offense is not punishable with jail time. Why? If a defendant fails to appear in court or to pay fines and fees, like you were talking about, the judge can issue a bench warrant for their arrest directing law enforcement to jail them in order to bring them to court. So to me, I just see the system that just is wanting to just ching ching ching it's like this money making machine it is not about justice. It's about how can we it's like the air flights, or flights. It's like flight companies, you know, like Allegiant or whatever. What's the really, really cheap one where your seat is so tiny, you can barely fit in it and they charge you for water. It's like they charge you for every little thing. Just about Selling and upselling. So regardless of if you should be serving jail time, you may because you may not be able to afford to pay. So while there is currently no national estimate of the number of active bench warrants, their use is widespread and in some places incredibly common. So in Monroe County, New York, for example, over 3000 people have an active bench warrant at any time, more than three times the number of people in the county jails, but bench warrants are often unnecessary. Most people who miss court are not trying to avoid the law more often they forget or confused by the court process or have a schedule conflict once a bench warrant is issued. However, defendants frequently end up living as low level fugitives quitting their jobs becoming transient and or avoiding public life even hospitals to avoid having to go to jail all because they're poor. Yeah, the crime here is being poor in a bad neighborhood with a just a shit set

Julia Avery :

of luck. That hits me so hard. I am just kind of done for a second and I knew that and I've read this. But just hearing it out loud again, it's just like, whoo. All right, another section is going into like offense categories not being not meaning really what you think they mean. It says to understand the main drivers of incarceration, the public needs to see how many people are incarcerated for different offense types, but the reported offense data oversimplifies how people interact with the criminal justice system in two important ways. One, it reports only one offense category per person and two, it reflects the outcome of the legal process obscuring important details of actual events. First, when a person is in prison for multiple offenses, only the most serious offense is reported. So for example, there are people in prison for violent offenses who are also convicted of drug offenses, but they're included only in the violent category in the data. This makes it hard to grasp the complexity of criminal events such as the role drugs may have played in violence. Word property offenses, we must also consider that almost all convictions are the result of plea bargains, where defendants plead guilty to a lesser offense possibly in a different category, or one they did not actually commit. Secondly, many of these categories grouped together people convicted of a wide range of offenses for violent offenses, especially these labels can distort procession perceptions of individual violent offenders and exaggerate the scale of dangerous violent crime. For example, murder is an extremely serious offense. The death category groups together the small number of serial killers with people who committed acts that are unlikely for reasons of circumstance or advanced age to ever happen again, it also includes offenses that the average person may not consider to be murdered at all. In particular, the felony murder rule says that if someone dies during the commission of a felony everyone involved can be as guilty of murder as the person who pulled the trigger. Wow. Acting as lookout during a break in where someone was someone when someone was accidentally killed. is indeed a serious offense. But many may be surprised that this can actually be concerted murder in the US

Kelley Richey :

didn't know that. Wow. So basically guys watch yourself. So here's the smaller slices of the big, big picture pie. It's about youth immigration and involuntary commitment. So looking more closely at incarceration by offense type also exposes some disturbing facts about the 52,000 youth in confinement in the US, too many are there for a more most serious offense that is not even a crime. For example, there are over 6600 Youth behind bars for technical violations of their probation rather than for a new offense. An additional 1700 youths are locked up for status offenses, which are behaviors that are not law violations for adults, such as running away truancy in encourage ability and their idea of encourage ability is a little short definition is not able to be corrected, improved or reformed. She's an incorrigible flirt is an example so that they could just decide it's like who's deciding this so nearly one in 10 Youth health for criminal or delinquent offense is locked in an adult jail or prison and most of the others are held in juvenile facilities that look and operate a lot like prisons and jails. Turning to the people who are locked up criminally and civilly for immigration related reasons, we find that 11,100 people are in federal prisons for crimes, convictions of immigration offenses and 13,600. More are held pretrial by the US Marshal. The vast majority people incarcerated for criminal immigration offenses are accused of illegal entry or illegal reentry. In other words for no more serious offenses and crossing the border without permission you I mean, we're also now locking up children so we have hit rock bottom another 39,000 people are civilly detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ice not for any crime, but simply they're undocumented immigrant status. Ice detainees are physically confined in federally run or privately run immigration detention facilities or in local jails under contract with ice an additional 3600 unaccompanied children are held in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, awaiting placement with parents, family members or friends. While these children are not held for any criminal delinquent offenses, most are held in shelters, or even juvenile placement facilities under detention like conditions

Julia Avery :

for under concentration camp like conditions

Kelley Richey :

or in cages with no point no soap and no no way to get a bath and oftentimes being sexually mistreated.

Julia Avery :

Oh, that makes me sick to my stomach. That's concentration camps just short of gas chambers adding to the universe of people who are confined because of justice system involvement. 22,000 people are involuntarily detained or committed to state psychiatric hospitals and civil commitment centers. Many of these people are not even convicted and some are held indefinitely. 9000 rb evaluated pre trial or treated for in competency to stand trial 6000 have been found not guilty by reason of insanity who are guilty but mentally ill. Another 6000 are people convicted of sexual crimes who are in voluntarily committed or detained after their prison sentences are complete where that should have been the rehabilitations stage. While these facilities aren't typically run by departments of correction, they are in reality, much like prisons. That's another conversation beyond the whole pie community supervision poverty and race and gender disparities. Once we've wrapped our minds around the whole pie of mass incarceration, we should zoom out and note that people who are incarcerated are only a fraction of those impacted by the criminal justice system. There are another 840,000 people on parole and a staggering 3.6 million people on probation. many millions more have completed their sentences but are still living with a criminal record. A stigmatizing label that comes with collateral consequences such as barriers to employment and housing, Buck,

Kelley Richey :

duck. So this has been pretty depressing. But we are about to wrap up, Julie and I both have a point left to make. But we're going to continue to this discussion in our part two. So in lieu of kind of wrapping up, we're gonna continue to quote from these lovely people who have done so much research beyond identifying how many people are impacted by the criminal justice system, we should also focus on who is most impacted and who is left behind by policy change. Poverty, for example, plays a central role in mass incarceration. So we have to you know, we've talked about this so many times throughout this but really let that sink in you guys poverty being the the crime of being poor people in prison in jail are disproportionate so people in prison in jail are disproportionately poor compared to the overall US population. So the criminal justice system punishes poverty, beginning with the high price of money bail, the median felony bail bond amount, which is $10,000. So that's the equivalent of eight months income for the Typical detained defendant, so how I can't even save making as much as I make so that's insane. As a result, people with low incomes are more likely to face the harms of pretrial detention. Poverty is not only a predictor of incarceration is also frequently the outcome as a criminal record and time spent in prison destroys wealth creates debt and decimates job opportunities. So it's like there is no climbing out of this hole. The hole will only be dug deeper for you.

Julia Avery :

Yes, and that blows my mind like after seeing that filthy rich docu series about Epstein Mm hmm. How many how much crime isn't accounted for based upon how many wealthy people that get away with this stuff and so then you've got those people if you've got money, you can be guilty you're away with that shovel Hunter, you're untouchable and you're you're able to figure out ways to bend the law to your well but then the system's created so that they can get away

Kelley Richey :

guilty or not or put in Really nice luxury prisons which aren't even prisons right like send me to one of those fucking places Are you fucking kidding me right and

Julia Avery :

then on the opposite side you've got people who are it's a crime to be poor and then because of that crime being poor once they get out they're still going to be poor and more likely be caught for crime again because of the just the vicious cycle that catches people and it's it's slavery by another

Kelley Richey :

name.

Julia Avery :

Yeah, something's got to be done about that.

Kelley Richey :

So it's no surprise then that people of color who face much greater rates of poverty are dramatically over represented in the nation's prisons and jails. These racial disparities are particularly Stark for black Americans who make up 40% of the incarcerated population, despite representing only 13% of us residents. Oh my god. So the same is true for women whose incarceration rates have for decades risen faster than men and who are opt in behind bars because of financial obstacles such as inability to pay bail, as policymakers continue to push for reforms that reduce incarceration. They should Avoid changes that will widen disparities, as has happened with juvenile confinement and with women in state prisons. So it's like we're not giving anybody any opportunities to, to make a better life. No, they are relegated like so they're just like adjust your expectations. Now there is no moving past this and winning at life.

Julia Avery :

Exactly. They're just discarded goods.

Kelley Richey :

So Julie gets to finish this out

Julia Avery :

here. So now that we're equipped for the full picture of how many people are locked up in the United States where and why our nation has a better foundation for the long overdue conversation about criminal justice reform. For example, the data makes it clear that ending the war on drugs well not alone, and mass incarceration, though the federal government and some states have taken an important step by reducing the number of people incarcerated for drug offenses. Looking at the whole pie also opens up other conversations about where we should focus our energies like our state official. And prosecutors willing to rethink not just long sentences for drug offenses but the reflexive simplistic policymaking that has served to increase the incarceration for violent offenses as well. Do policymakers and the public have the stamina to confront the second largest slice of the pie the thousands of locally administered jails will state county and city governments Be brave enough to end money bail without imposing unnecessary conditions in order to bring down pre trial detention rates? Will local leaders Be brave enough to redirect public spending to smarter investments like community based drug treatment and job training? What is the role of federal government and ending mass incarceration? The federal prison system is just a small slice of the total pie but the federal government can certainly use its financial and ideological power to incentivize and illuminate better paths forward at the same time. How can elected sheriffs district attorneys and judges who all control larger shares of the correctional pie slow the flow People into the criminal justice system given that the companies with the greatest impact on incarcerated people are not private prison operators, but service providers that contract with public facilities, will states respond to public pressure to end contracts at squeezing money from people behind bars? And finally, can we implement reforms that both reduce the number of people incarcerated in the US and the well known racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system?

Kelley Richey :

Yeah, I find that all those things were kind of new to me. Not all of them. But like, I thought I kind of had a good grasp of the whole topic, but I actually do not. So I think it's important that they

Julia Avery :

I learned to love new stuff,

Kelley Richey :

remember and learn about these things. So that's just a kind of we stay brief. But that is a very brief just overlook of the system and we want to learn more, I want to do some more digging into what we can actually do to fix this. But I think even if we aren't, we kind of keep going back. The thing that we always say, you know, people don't care about things unless it directly affects them. So if you or your friends or family members have not been affected by this, you're most likely not going to really have like a dog in the fight on this, but I think we all should care, we should all be invested. And I mean, it is our duty as citizens to make sure that change happens. It's not just our lawmakers, we hire them to work for us. And when they're not working for us, we have to work for ourselves. Exactly.

Julia Avery :

And as seen with the Black Lives Matter movement, public when the public is upset and makes a point to make change. That's only then is when you start to see some slight movements. So if we don't really invest and speak out and have movements about this, then how much change are we gonna make? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker :

I mean,

Kelley Richey :

so tune in guys for the next part because we will talk about this change. Yes. Thank you guys for hanging in there. Hopefully, you guys learned something new as well. And be sure to Leave comments and and check out our site.

Julia Avery :

You know, and I'm interested in hearing if any of you have experience with the criminal justice system, yeah, during your experience, whether it was has happened to you directly, or I mean, you know, if you served your time, you know, you're not going to come to us and we're not going to like lambaste you, we're not gonna judge you. But we are curious of experiences, personal experiences, and kind of like, if it didn't happen directly to you, what did it happen to a family member? what, how, you know, were you involved with whether it be family or friend that was locked up? And how was that how did that impact you? What was your experience with the system so, so we kind of could stake take that a step further from just our internet research and also have some real experiences to kind of attest to as well gonna be interesting so you can reach out to us we've got our website, WWE, the family ties, podcast calm, it's got our platforms for all of our social media accounts and you can also reach us at our email, you can submit an email to us And everything you need is on our website and we'd love to hear back from you. Yeah, sure. Yeah, family.

Kelley Richey :

Join the family guys. Oh, nice. Yeah, on that note, goodbye, everybody. Goodbye. Bye