The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the entire world, 760 prisoners per 100,000 citizens (Time Magazine). Our criminal justice system often does not work to fix the issues within our society, and instead chooses to lock up offenders.
Eric Cadora and his team at the The Justice Mapping Center have decided to do something about it. They want to break the cycle of crime and influence legislators to address the root causes of crimes, instead of simply throwing the offenders in jail.
The Justice Mapping Center takes census and incarceration data and creates maps of the information. The purpose of their maps is to show trends of crimes rates in neighborhoods that are not always obvious to legislators and inspire a shift in governmental cities. The millions of dollars spent on incarceration could instead be redirected towards improving the communities, effectively changing the lives of families across the nation.
Cadora and the JMC have worked all around the country to spread awareness and try to influence policy-making He and his team want policy makers to think: “why were we spending $6 million a year to remove and return a whole range of people, for technical violations, when we could be investing some of those dollars in the social and economic well-being of those places” (NPR).
The work of Cadora and the JMC have already opened up the eyes of many Americans who did not see the issues with our criminal justice system. We, the Justice League, strive to continue Cadora’s mission and create a map of the Boston area to demonstrate the trends of incarceration around the city.