2020 is one for the records with a pandemic of monumental proportions, economic depression, and continuous racial injustice. Add to these three, a chaotic presidential election that so far has only accomplished to further separate the country into red and blue states. I dare say, people are more than happy to put this year into the rearview mirror.
Like the rest of the nation, I am unable or unwilling to tune-out the unrelenting news cycle of COVID-19 updates, social distancing, virtual learning, Anthony Fauci, unemployment numbers, police brutality, and election diatribe. It’s a toxic feed of noise generating mental health issues.
The choice between Biden and Trump was likened to lite beer and malt liquor. Neither are healthy for you, but one has the capacity to paralyze you. Both candidates mentioned criminal justice reform. Unfortunately, reform has become another political football tossed into the arena of promises that never pass the goalpost.
Every one has their own preferences and priorities, but for the two million human beings incarcerated in America, the opportunity to reunite with their family was and continues to remain our first choice and issue number one.
When we speak of prison reform, many include the impact of the crack epidemic in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which resulted in doubling the prison population to 2.2 million. Policies generated to respond to the epidemic, including keeping people incarcerated, has left the American taxpayer a $80 billion bill. On a good note, public sentiment has shifted away from zero tolerance. At the same time there has been antipathy toward anything that could be portrayed as being soft on crime from all sides.