It’s time for criminal justice reform

I will never forget when I heard the words “Mom, I’ve been arrested!” It forever changed my life.

In August 2012, I learned that my one and only daughter had been arrested. She was ultimately sentenced to 10 years in prison. I learned rather quickly how negative and callus society’s view of incarceration was. I decided I wanted to learn what it was like behind bars, so I agreed to participate in Season 2 of “60 Days In” on A&E. This experience allowed me to gain more insight into prison life. It opened my eyes to the issues surrounding mass incarceration in America.

Mass incarceration is something we should all care about. Did you know that in the United States we spend about $80 billion on incarceration each year? And, if you combine the number of people in prison and jail with those on parole or probation supervision, it equates to 1 in every 31 adults or 3.2% of the population that’s under some form of correctional control. Blacks are incarcerated for drug offenses at a rate 10 times greater than that of whites, despite the fact that blacks and whites use drugs at roughly the same rates. None of this is acceptable.

We shouldn’t be turning a deaf ear to the issues surrounding mass incarceration. If we want safer communities and a better future based on lessons from our past, then we need to think deeply about fairness in our society and how to fix a broken system. It’s time to take a stand against mass incarceration!

I believe in raising the standards. This belief is reflected in my leadership and personal achievements over the past 24 years. I’ve worked with a range of acclaimed companies all over the U.S. It’s my goal to inspire greatness and coach people toward the change that’s needed and wanted in their lives. My mission is to put a human face on the prison family and criminal justice system. There are real people with personal stores behind every incarceration.

I would love to discuss this topic in depth with your audience. Please reach out to me if you have questions or would like to book me to speak. Let’s partner in the fight for criminal justice reform.

[Monalisa Johnson is a licensed and ordained minister of the gospel and a certified life coach as well as a mother and entrepreneur. In no way is anything that she writes, speaks or shares considered medical advice or clinical therapy. Consider all that you receive to be life coaching and guidance.]

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