Beyond Reform : Abolishing Prison System Essay

782 Words Apr 18th, 2016 4 Pages
Maya Schenwar, in her talk titled, “Beyond Reform: Abolishing Prison” speaks of the prison system, especially here in 21st century America, as something that is outdated and in need of abolishment. As opposed to mere reform of the prison system, for which there are many present day advocates, Maya Schenwar goes one step further in calling for a society that completely abolishes the prison apparatus as opposed to merely taking steps to improve the conditions of the prisoners, prisons and/or the overall legal system. Through the plight of the prisoner, subjected to deplorable conditions at the hand of the modern-day legal system, Maya Schenwar attempts to envision a society that is free of cages.
At the heart of her talk, lies her stance on the very nature of caging people being unjust: Locked up for five, ten, twenty years, and some even for a lifetime, in remote cornfields, away from society and civilization and moreover from their families. Further, it is only the most marginalized and oppressed of people that land up being put under cages, a fundamental flaw with the entire prison system to begin with. To put things into perspective, America, has the highest rate of incarceration throughout the world, with 25% of the world’s prison population being American, despite the fact that America as a country, accounts for less than 5% of the global population. These unprecedented rates of incarceration are indicative of the flaws that underlie the entire prison system, here in…

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