Last Wednesday, members of CSUF’s YAL chapter took over the Humanities quad space to spread awareness about the brokenness of the United States prison system. By asking students if they’d ever jaywalked, babysat without a license, or run a lemonade stand, YAL members brought attention to the issues at hand.
After inquiring about the average every day law break, students would stand in front of the to-scale height scale and take their mug shot with the hashtag #FixTheSystem. In addition, we provided students with bookmarks consisting of facts about the US prison system, including facts like: The Chinese Government has less incarcerated (not per capita) than the United States Government.
During the event, many conversations arose about personal experiences with the broken system. We spoke to a woman about her experience being completely rejected from the job market because of prison time she spent when she was just 18 years old. As an older student returning to school to study psychology, she would never be able to become a psychiatrist because she was a felon, no matter how much she gave back to society.
She told us about the terrible cycle of criminals and the severe rejection they receive from the community. Her story was more than enough to prove that people deserve a second chance and that anyone should have the opportunity to give back to society.