Prison Reform

To educate and reform the conditions inside of prisons and establish a more effective penal system.

Photo of Nicole P.
1 2

Written by

Date You Started Your Project Started

09/21/2019

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Idea (hoping to get started in the future)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

According to a 2018 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), nearly 2.2 million adults were held in America's prisons and jails at the end of 2016. It has had a 500% increase over the last 40 years, making the United States the worlds leader in incarceration. It matters because it is affecting millions of people’s lives. People are losing their homes, their family, their jobs and something has to be done.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Prison reform solutions often focus on the federal government, but the vast majority of incarcerated people are held in facilities controlled by state and local governments, according to the Prison Policy Initiative. I would like to start by creating a platform, in which I will be able to educate and provide community-based resources for people to help in every state. We need to start by eliminating mandatory sentences and cutting lengthy sentences. In addition, shifting resources to community-based prevention and treatment for substance abuse. Mass incarceration has not touched all communities equally so I think it is important to examine and address the policies and practices, whether it is conscious or not, that contribute to racial inequity at every stage of the justice system and removing barriers that make it harder for individuals with criminal records to turn their lives around. Also, I want people to know that mass supervision is not a solution to mass incarceration. The rate of mass supervision has grown at the same rate as mass incarceration and it is important that everyone understands that this is not a solution to our problems.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

After having a loved one in jail, I noticed how much one mistake can impact a persons life. I noticed them lose their job, certain privileges, their family and themselves. After talking to others in the visitation room and doing more research, I realized that there are other hundreds of thousands of families and individuals dealing with the same anger and injustices I was noticing.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

I am stepping up to make a change for the ones that think their voice does not matter.

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

My goal is to educate and provide community-based resources so others that don’t know how to help but want to can help. I want people from different states to join and help make a difference in their state and local governments.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

I’d like to make a website and different social media pages to educate others while providing resources. I want to make it a community for everyone that wants to change the penal system. In addition, I don’t just want to talk about mass incarceration, I wanna discuss mass supervision. Mass supervision affects thousands of individuals as well and it is something that should be talked about more.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

I know I am making a difference when laws in many state’s are changing, when mandatory minimums are being eliminated and barriers for individuals with criminal records are being taken away.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

Hopefully, I can partner with individuals who are already making a difference. I’d like to help host events in my community to educate individuals on the injustices occurring in our communities and eventually, other communities.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Legal Services


10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media
  • T-Mobile page or contact

Evaluation results

3 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 33.3%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 66.7%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. - 0%

2. Changemaker Quality

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 33.3%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 66.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Creativity

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 33.3%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 66.7%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

4. Commitment

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 100%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 100%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 100%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

5. Connection

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 33.3%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 33.3%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 33.3%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer or No Connection - 0%

1 comment

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Photo of Anthony Price
Team

This is great Nicole! As for someone who has also had loved ones go through the criminal justice system and interning for prosecutors, I agree that we need to make reforms to the system that is more human and just. I'd love to hear more about the specifics of your project, in other words, what specifically will you do to provide community resources to those who need it the most?