On April 20 the Mercyhurst University YAL chapter hosted an Incarceration Nation tabling session in our schools newly reopened student union. Mercyhurst is usually a pretty quiet school and there is only a limited amount of student activism.
However, that all changed last Monday. Incarceration Nation turned into our most successful activism event in our group’s two year history.
Not only did we manage to collect over 45 signatures and expand out email list by over a third, but we also were able to educate dozens of students about the need for criminal justice reform, the problems caused by the war on drugs, and the dangers of police militarization with resources from YAL, SFL, and the Cato Institute.
It was very encouraging to see students (who normally don’t pay much attention to these important issues) engage and learn more about them.
Many of them were horrified to learn that the United States makes up only 5% of the world’s population, but has over 25% of the world’s prisoners.
Hopefully our event served as a wake-up-call that will encourage people to not only look into these issues more, but to educate their friends and family about them as well.