On April 7 and 10 Young Americans for Liberty at the University of Delaware set up shop for Incarceration Nation. A two part tabling event meant to draw the student body’s attention to the country’s gross incarceration rates and its main contributor, the war on drugs.
UD YAL’s members built a makeshift set of prison bars the night before out of PVC pipes spray painted grey. At a kiosk in UD’s student center YAL members asked passers-by if they were criminals, if they had ever committed a crime, or if they knew of Incarceration Nation.
We would then get people to listen to some facts about the United State’s criminal justice system and take their picture behind the prison bars. At UD we found that this was not the best approach as students were reluctant to speak with people inquiring about there criminal activity. Who would have thought?
On the second day we brought flowers pots and put cosmic brownies in them. This time students came to us asking to take a “pot brownie.” Almost every time the student would then ask what this was for, we could then engage them more comfortably to discuss the harmful effects of mandatory minimums etc.
From these two days we got about thirty new people to sign up for our email list and plenty more to learn about Incarceration Nation. We also were able to reach out to our school newspaper and got an article promoting our group!