Criminal Justice Reform Movement Pitch (Team 1)

The movement that I think my group should support is the movement towards criminal justice reform. Personally, I think that this issue is one of a few issues at the root of the current racial divide in America. Also, contained under the large scope of issues that make up the need for criminal justice reform are issues like drug reform, educational reform, and voting reform.

In my opinion, the need for criminal justice reform is very urgent. For example, the war on drugs has contributed to skyrocketing incarceration rates in recent years. For example, in 1980, the number of people in state prisons for drug offenses was 19,000. In 2010, that number rose to 242,000 inmates. This is absurd to me. The idea that US citizens are paying tax money to keep such a large number of nonviolent offenders incarcerated should be enough to introduce reform to the criminal justice system. Furthermore, those in lower social classes with lower income tend to be incarcerated at higher rates compared to those in higher social classes. Also, there is a correlation between lack of education and incarceration, as seen in this photo:

These statistics can be attributed to a failing educational system, especially in inner city areas where poverty and crime are more abundant.

Additionally, people of color are much more likely to face prison time in their life compared to white people. According to the Washington DC Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men will face prison time in their life, whereas only one in 17 white men will face prison time in their life. To me, this is a direct failure of the criminal justice system, as certain judicial processes such as plea bargaining as well as documented discrimination against people of color among certain members of law enforcement have undoubtedly contributed to this. Many other factors can be linked to this as well. More statistics can be seen in this graphic:

Overall I believe this movement is what my group should support as it concerns one of our nation’s most pressing issues, and it affects a great number of people in many different ways.


5 thoughts on “Criminal Justice Reform Movement Pitch (Team 1)

  1. Matt, I think that you’ve done a great job with your pitch by supporting your arguments with a lot of data. To be quite honest, I don’t know much about the criminal justice system, but reading that between 1980 and 2010 the number of people in state prisons for drug offenses rose from 19,000 to 242,000 inmates is mind boggling to me. I like how you connected the criminal justice reform to other issues like the drug reform, educational reform, and voting reform. I also think that our current criminal justice system contributes to the racial divide that our country faces. Overall, great start!


  2. This argument is very strongly worded. I think the interconnected nature of criminal justice reform with educational injustice and classism makes the movement even more important to support. It may be a little complicated to support this movement on a college campus because it is so broad and since it has little effect on the students here at the University of Delaware. The statistics changed my mind though. Seeing how much the incarceration rate has grown shows how important this movement is to support right now. If you could make this movement appeal to college students and show why it is important to support as a young person, you could be very successful!


  3. As a Criminal Justice major, I agree with you one hundred percent that our criminal justice system needs to be fixed; and I believe, not many would disagree with that claim either. Our incarceration rates, especially for non-violent offenders, as you said, are to an absurd extent. These high incarceration rates, costs the tax payers a great deal more than what they should be paying. This country needs to fix this issue along with the discrimination that can be found within the system. Certain ethic groups are overrepresented in our criminal justice system, because of the discrimination they face throughout the criminal justice process. Evidence to show the need for change in our criminal justice system is there. And so a movement for reform is all that is left to be done. Overall, this is a strong movement and would be difficult to argue against it.


  4. I strongly agree with your stance on the need for improving the criminal justice system in the US today. I was truly surprised by some of the statistics that you incorporated in your pitch and they speak greatly to how large the issue persists. The high incarceration rates for those who do not rightfully belong in such circumstances is truly detrimental to the current state of society, as shown by the large number of nonviolent offenders who remain in jail. Furthermore, I agree with your stance that the current criminal justice system does aid in the view of race. Their are countless instances in which those of non-white descent find themselves in less than fair situations, adding to the poor perceptions of different races. There are many aspects that support this movement, and I feel that it will prove beneficial to spread awareness on this issue.


  5. I’m so glad that you brought up the topic of the criminal justice system in the United States. I actually just wrote a paper in my American Politics class about this topic and it really caught my interest. I really like how you supported your pitch with a lot of statistics. Another one you could possibly consider using is that the U.S. makes up only 5% of the world’s population, yet it has almost 25% of the world’s total prison population. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. I also really liked how you connected prison reform with wider issues like drug reform, education reform, and voting reform. I think you can raise a lot of awareness at UD about this topic, and I think people will be very interested. Overall, really nice job!


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