Social Justice demands an understanding of the attitudes, beliefs, systems, structures, and institutions that devalue the worth and dignity of any person.
Mass incarceration plays a significant role in that devaluation because it isolates prisoners in an alternate reality, eschews rehabilitation in favor of punishment, and operates as a major racist institution.
Prisons have achieved limited success with correcting antisocial behavior with mass incarceration. The nation’s consistently high recidivism rate also shows that many of its returning citizens are unprepared for reentry.
The effects of long-term incarceration on a returning citizen’s ability to manage reentry are not well known and information about the effects is rarely based upon research-supported data.
Major changes in the world outside prison walls are occurring at increasingly rapid rates and the impact of these changes increases dramatically as sentences lengthen.
The society to which former prisoners return includes structural threats that increase returning citizens’ risk of recidivism.