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.