A year of unspeakable tragedy has fueled nationwide demands for an overhaul of U.S. criminal justice institutions. As communities grapple with the devastating consequences of a historic global pandemic, police violence, mass incarceration disproportionately impacting Black and Brown people, and a crumbling economy, these demands for a fundamental rethinking of our justice system have gained urgency across much of America.
People serving long prison terms, which has been a primary driver of this country’s half-century long incarceration boom, is one critical issue that is drawing increasing attention from advocates and policymakers in many states. The catastrophic impact of COVID-19 has been concentrated in prisons and communities of color, which has escalated calls for more aggressive use of parole and other release strategies. Moreover, demands for a public safety strategy grounded in strengthening communities and improving the health and well-being of neighbors have kickstarted conversations about more effective ways to prevent violence and address serious crime without resorting to incarceration and the attendant trauma on individuals and families.
Please join the Justice Policy Institute, Brave New Films, and the Open Society Foundations on September 14, 2020, from 12:00pm to 1:30pm EST for a discussion about building the decarceration movement’s ability to end long prison terms and strengthen health and safety in communities. The online event will feature two panels and the world premiere of the short film “The Trouble with Long Prison Terms” from Brave New Films, which outlines the importance of centering the elimination of long prison terms in any decarceration strategy.