Defeating the Incarceration Stigma

Posted: July 4, 2013 in Ismael Cedeno

My goal is to get educated in public policy to develop the skills needed to persuade law makers to revise or get rid of bias laws.

Getting laws revised or taken away reduces the number of minorities getting hindered by unfair laws. Reform is needed in the American justice system due to the mass numbers of incarceration and Citizens with criminal records should not meet barriers towards getting their lives together because of bias laws. I want to challenge law makers in an attempt to create a balance with minorities and societal laws. What is needed in America is a stronger and more effective justice system because minorities suffer from crimes and unlawful acts that are not properly approached. As a just individual I believe creating the opportunity for minorities to not encounter bias laws while living in society will contribute towards reducing the incarceration stigma occurring in America today.

It is imperative for me to engage in this field of work because not many minority individuals are involved in reforming the justice system. In society minorities are known for getting involved in the negative side of the justice system which is contributing to the increasing incarceration numbers. There are millions of people incarcerated in this country, America leads the world in incarceration, and this issue has been widely ignored by some politicians and needs to be addressed by individuals such as myself with intentions of making change in society for minorities.

  1. Liam says:

    Thanks for your contribution, Ismael. I couldn’t agree more that reform is needed in the American justice system, and it would be great if you could help bring it about. I have avoided commenting on spelling or grammar, but this small point stuck out to me. You have often said “bias” when it would have been better to say “biased”. I only make this correction because, if you’re going to go into public policy (and especially public policy related to minorities in the criminal justice system), you’re going to have to get used to talking about bias in general, and biased people and biased laws in particular! Good luck in this worthy cause.

  2. Chris Lewis says:

    Dear Israel,

    I work at The Sentencing Project, a non-governmental organization devoted to research and advocacy for criminal justice reform. I am sure you would be interested in the policy work we do here. You can look at our website to learn about some of it if you want. Here is a link:

    You might be surprised to learn that I actually majored in philosophy in college, and am in the process of completing my philosophy Ph.D at Stanford (along with my J.D from Stanford Law School).

    Studying philosophy – especially moral and political philosophy – can be one of the best ways to eventually enter the field of public policy, along with studying economics, sociology, or political science.

    Crafting public policy demands that you be able understand what the costs and benefits of different policy options are. To do this, you need to understand statistics and social science. Economics, sociology, and political science, as well as anthropology, are all social sciences.

    But public policy work also needs to be sensitive to WHICH costs, and WHICH benefits we ought to care about, and how we ought to weigh them against each other. For example, how to we weigh the value of safety, or crime prevention, against the value of saving money?

    These are the kinds of questions you can only answer with philosophy. You are lucky to be starting out with a great philosophy professor, one who is especially knowledgeable about philosophical questions that arise in crime policy analysis, Professor Myisha Cherry.

    • scholars2013 says:

      Thanks. I really do appreciate the opportunity i have to take philosophy. I have heard of the sentencing project through my Boss Glenn Martin. You guys do good work, don’t worry I am right behind you in the field of battle.

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