Peace & Police

PEACE & POLICE is a nonviolent campaign for social change, aimed at restoring trust and respect between our communities and our police. This campaign is the work of students at Virginia Union University who are majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Many of us will eventually have careers in the field of law enforcement and policing and we want the relationship between the police and our communities to be strong. This Peace & Police campaign is where we offer our thoughts and ideas about how to make this relationship the best it can be.
JOIN THE CAMPAIGN

MAKE YOURSELF HEARD

Apr 17, 2016 | by admin

Make yourself heard. So easily said, yet so hard to accomplish. I believe that this is the very first step to addressing the bigger issue at hand, which is incarceration rates and the excessive abuse of police powers. We must make ourselves heard so our police officers and our criminal justice system will take the time to shine light on what can be done differently to uplift our people.

Make yourself heard. So easily said, yet so hard to accomplish. I believe that this is the very first step to addressing the bigger issue at hand, which is incarceration rates and the excessive abuse of police powers.

The system is designed to keep “bad” people off the streets so “good” civilians feel at peace, but what is the definition of a “bad” civilian? It is usually the person who does not follow the rules. This sounds like the norm, but lately police have been labeling everyone as “bad people”. There have been countless stories where officers acted off their intuition and innocent or harmless people end up in prison. I am very aware of the position that an officer must uphold and the responsibility that comes along with that, but what baffles me is how quickly their morals and values go out the window and how their judgment can lead them into exceeding the power they have over individuals.

Imprisoning any and everyone will never be the answer! When I say “any and everyone” I mean the people who are arrested and sit in jail for minor offenses such as possessing marijuana. I am not saying that it is okay to have marijuana given the fact that it is still illegal in most states, but I am saying that it is very unnecessary to arrest repetitively. It has been said that American Law Enforcement officers have arrested one person for marijuana every 45 seconds in 2014. Now, I question, if this truly necessary?  Is it necessary to incarcerate so many people with no means to better these people?

Incarceration  rates will continue to rise and law enforcement will continue abusing their powers and doing the things we so vainly hate because we keep quiet. As I stated before making yourself head is very essential in our corrupt system. I truly believe that if  people spent less time wishing a beloved one was out of jail and actually started taking an active approach to the problem, results would come.

Everyone has a voice and for that voice to be heard we must pull people from their comfort zone and believing that the system will not change. I am a firm believer in the change that shall come once people choose to educate themselves of the issue(s). Voicing opinions to those who have a say in what goes on within our system is also a way to be heard, but overall, to be heard and taken seriously you must be able to be open and willing, which in my opinion law enforcement often lacks in.

Our system is so focused on punishment, they turn a blind eye to other possibilities and the varieties of help they could be administering for those same “bad” people. I was grateful enough to be introduced to the Restorative Justice community and the circle process, which allows for each party to be equally heard and respected without being judged. The idea along with the process I feel is a great alternative opposed to imprisonment. This technique is not as familiar as it should be because individuals lack awareness of the purpose of this model, and because individuals want change but refuse to be a part of that change. Police officers and our criminal justice system would flourish beautifully if they too, took the time to shine light on what could be done differently to uplift our people.

 

 

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/09/28/pot-arrests-up-1-every-45-seconds-last-year