Scott, Allison

Freshman, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Major: Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies

Honors Course: HON 110: Discover Chicago

Faculty: Michael Edwards, Department of Philosophy

Abstract: The incarceration and criminal justice systems in the United States, and specifically in Chicago, are centered on the criminalization of poverty and must be reformed, if not entirely reimagined. An examination of our historical and current incarceration systems illustrates the ineffectiveness of such systems and additionally reveals the weaponization of our justice system as a tool of marginalization and discrimination. Reforms of the criminal justice process pre-incarceration and within prisons are imperative, emphasizing rehabilitation rather than punishment. Additionally, instead of maintaining harmful and unnecessary punitive justice systems, we must focus on investing in and supporting our communities.

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