Incarceration Nation was definitely a success for the chapter at Jackson College. Being a newly formed chapter, Incarceration Nation gave me the tools needed to recruit my first batch of new members. Through Incarceration Nation I was able to achieve a total of 30 sign-ups by myself over the course of a two day period.
With the help of my brother, we were able to get all the materials needed to build the mock jail cell door. Walking around campus carrying the Jail cell door definitely attracted the attention of others and I seized the opportunity to explain how our criminal justice system is affecting Americans as a society.
From this, I met someone who was a former drug addict and was proud to sign up to show his support to end the drug war. I met a new friend who told me a personal story. Her friend has suffered from drug addiction and is now incriminated for a non-violent crime.
While most of my responses were positive, I did come into the cross hairs of an adult woman who said that she was once a drug addict counselor and that prison was the only solution to those who are addicted to drugs. In the end all we could do was shake hands and agree to disagree and no more was said.
After the success of the Incarceration Nation event, our first meeting was dedicated to a friendly talk about the Drug war, giving the new recruits a chance to see what YAL stands for as well as give them an opportunity to voice out their opinions on the matter.
Overall I was proud I got a chance to meet my new friends through Incarceration Nation. Not only did it help my activism strategies, but it showed me that not everyone will agree with me and reminded me that all I can do is stand firm. Worst case scenario, agree to disagree. With these new members, I am confident we will be ready for the fall semester to increase our numbers and to become a prominent icon in our school, Jackson College.