The Children of Incarcerated People Vote, Too

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This story is published as part of StudentNations Vision 2020: Next Generation Election Stories, reports by young journalists that focus on the concerns of various young voters. In this project, in collaboration with Dr. Sherri Williams recruited young journalists from diverse backgrounds to come up with story ideas and share their peers’ concerns about the most important choices in our lives. We will continue to publish two stories each week through September.

W.When Quintez Brown was very young, his father was sentenced to prison.

Brown, now a first-generation student studying political science at the University of Louisville, said the lessons he learned from his father’s experience of incarceration influenced any political stance he adopts. “I have a feeling that a lot of people tend to dehumanize these populations,” he said. “I see him as a person, as a person who deserves a second chance. He says, “That’s not fair. The system is messed up. Somebody should do something about it.” But guess what? I’m the only person who really hears him. “

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 52 percent of state residents and 63 percent of federal residents are parents of dependent minors. An estimated 1.7 million children are cared for by incarcerated men and women, approximately 2.3 percent of the US population under the age of 18.

Detainees and their relatives live the reality of a frayed criminal justice system. Crucial to them is a presidential candidate who gives priority to criminal justice reform. You won’t see such a candidate in the 2020 elections, however. As November approaches, voters will have to choose between two candidates with controversial criminal justice records.

In 2018, Trump signed the First Step Act, which prioritizes re-entry efforts and introduces a new release account system that takes inmates’ “personal growth” into account when considering early releases for nonviolent offenders. Despite the bill’s bipartisan success, Trump’s earlier comments give criminal justice reformers like Brown a break. In a 2017 speech to a law enforcement group, Trump said that when dealing with gang members, it is okay not to protect their heads when they are put in a police car. “Please don’t be too nice,” he said.

Trump spent $ 85,000 in 1989 on full-page national newspaper ads calling for the death penalty for the “Central Park Five” of five black and Latin American teenagers accused of raping and beating a white woman. Thirteen years later, DNA evidence exonerated them. Still, even 10 years after modern science proved her innocence, Trump refused to admit he was wrong.

Additionally, during his tenure with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Trump helped prop up the private prison industry Revocation of an initiative by the Obama administration This should end the use of private contractors for the management of federal prisons and its administration Lawsuit against the state of California about his private prison ban.

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