More than one in 100 adults in America are behind bars, according to a study by the Pew Charitable Trust. That’s more people in prison per-capita than any other country in the world. “O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” our national anthem’s first verse asks. Does the star-spangled banner wave over the land of the free? Perhaps a different kind of slavery has taken us unawares.
The truth is, most people who are in jail have done something to be there and none of us want dangerous criminals running around our streets. Perhaps that’s why it is so easy to look past the dark monster that is our prison system.
American’s from all parties- conservative, liberal and everything beyond and in-between- need to take an interest in this topic for two reasons. First, it is unjust that we have a system that perpetuates violence, at most, training first offenders how to be more deviant and, at least, does little to nothing to teach them how to change their behavior. Time out in a corner may work for a child, but many offenders have a more developed set of challenges. Secondly, such a massive prison system is a huge arm of the government that is rapidly growing, unchecked, seriously draining on our economy, and even a developing market for privately run prisons.
It doesn’t have to be like this. There are rehabilitation programs that are proven to work. It’s time we took notice for our own sake and for the sake of our fellow man.
That’s why the Insight Prison Project is Furman Pictures’ featured non-profit. The Insight Prison Project emphasis is small and narrow-sighted in comparison to the scale of what needs to be accomplished. Still, it is one of only a handful of projects dedicated to prisoner rehabilitation. Look into for yourself. See how big the problem really is and how hard it is to find someone doing something about. Start talking about it with friends and your government representatives. Take responsibility for making your neighborhood a better place.
To read more about why Furman Pictures features non profit organizations and how to get involved, visit furmanpictures.com/community.