It’s a week before finals. Tension is rising as students clamor to gather all possible information necessary for their exams. As the desire for knowledge increases, so does desire for.. reform?
After an extensive period of waiting, the University of South Alabama’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter finally received confirmation as a Student Government Association recognized student organization. The completion of the journey through the red tape safari was celebrated with the chapter’s first official meeting on criminal justice – Incarceration Nation.
Humble but determined, we set up our display in the school’s student center, a normally chaotic venue. The awkward chills in the midst of spring weather didn’t stop students from passing our table with minds ready to absorb our information. Some were shocked when told about the alarming incarceration rates in the country they reside in. Others were aware of the crisis, dismissing the title, ‘Land of the Free’.
We reassembled later that evening for our meeting. Although there was a greasy and tasty incentive, pizza, only a small group of participants came for the discussion. And discussion, there was! After giving the attendees a debrief on YAL’s philosophy and long-term objectives, we dove deeper into the subject of criminal justice reform. A few of the students learned about the damage the top down structure of America’s justice system where sentences are exaggerated on ill-formed policy, destroying the lives of many non-violent criminals. Some students even shared their own stories, and continued to explain how these policies have caused the demise of their own relatives.
Throughout our discussion we took the occasional detour to discuss the effects of other destructive statist policies,
and explained how they tie in with the static progress on relieving the federal prisons of their inflated population. After all, the more you observe the entirety of the spectrum, the closer you come to realizing it is all connected.
As the meeting concluded, some of the students asked questions about possible future endeavors with YAL’s national and state conventions; several more showed interest in participating in campus activism next semester. I shared some prominent libertarian literature with those who were interested. Now the spark ignites the flame, and it can only grow from here.