‘I know the term ‘prison abolition’ is breaking some people’s brains. The right is already freaking out…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez, D-NY, argued he U.S. needs to have a conversation about the way prisons have contributed to an ongoing “American apartheid,” and suggested it might be time to get rid of them altogether.
Mass incarceration is our American reality. It is a system whose logic evolved from the same lineage as Jim Crow, American apartheid, & slavery.
To end it, we have to change.
That means we need to have a real conversation about decarceration & prison abolition in this country. https://t.co/9E9NTAmBNi
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 7, 2019.
Ocasio-Cortez, who has been an outspoken critic of private prisons, said the country needs to find “just alternatives to incarcerations.”
“I know the term ‘prison abolition’ is breaking some people’s brains. The right is already freaking out,” she claimed.
She went on to assert that the societal risk inherent in letting dangerous criminals roam free didn’t justify the incarceration of “millions.”
It appeared to be yet another example of fuzzy math from the former Bronx bartender, a frequent recipient of fact-checks for her exaggerated claims and statistical figures.
According to the most recent available data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the total population of U.S. prisoners was approximately 1.5 million.
However, Ocasio–Cortez stopped short of proposing any solutions to the valid concerns she raised.
Lastly, people tend to say “what do you do with all the violent people?” as a defense for incarcerating millions.
Our lawmaking process means we come to solutions together, &either way we should work to an end where our prison system is dramatically smaller than it is today.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 7, 2019
Ocasio–Cortez went on to argue that the U.S. justice system treats prisons as “de facto mental hospitals, homeless shelters, & detox centers.”
Instead of incarceration, the priority should be rehabilitation, she argued.
“If we invested meaningfully, what do you think would happen to crime?” she asked.
Liberty Headlines’ Ben Sellers contributed to this report.