GVSU YAL & the Incarceration Nation

Last Monday –– also a top holiday for many around the nation (to the dread of drug warriors everywhere) — the Grand Valley State University YAL chapter took to our student center to inform fellow students (and the occasional tour group) about disturbing details of the current criminal justice system and, by extension, the War on Drugs.

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Resources

The vast majority of people said that they weren’t criminals when we asked them.  Some walked over with bewildered faces. Once they had a chance to look at what we actually meant by ‘criminal’ a big smile crept across their faces and they said something like, “Oh! I guess I am!”.

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Some thought it was interesting that the addition of criminal law centuries ago in England was in large part for gaining revenue. Today, the ‘Land of the Free’ which holds 4-5% of the world’s population, also holds approximately 25% of the world’s prison population. That’s a 1:5 ratio. Many of these incarcerated human beings are in for non-violent ‘crimes’ like drug offenses, many of which still carry mandatory minimum sentences.

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We managed to get about a page and a half of names and info before we supposedly stumbled into a little mishap with a member of the administration in regards to our location. Luckily we were concluding our event anyway.

Let us go into the summer as free individuals with confidence about interacting with police, whenever necessary, so that we don’t become an addition to the incarcerated in this nation.

Let us proceed as ever freer individuals.

Let us continue to spread the word in the effort to free our fellow non-violent brothers and sisters.

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