Share the Wealth with Jenn Reyes Lay: Organizing to Abolish the Prison Industrial Complex
by Mark Chmiel
The United States leads the world in percentage of its population that it incarcerates, every 1 in 100 people is currently either incarcerated or on probation or parole, and the rates of incarceration have increased 300% over the last 30 years. The US incarcerates a higher percentage of its racial minorities than any other country in the world, and more African American men are incarcerated today than were enslaved before Emancipation. This unprecedented growth is not fueled by increased crime rates (crime has actually decreased while prison populations increase), but rather by the prison industrial complex (PIC) which has turned incarceration into a multimillion dollar business and growth industry, putting profits over people and human rights. This growth in incarcerations has failed to make communities safer and stronger and instead serves to break apart families and communities, a disproportionate number of which are racial minorities. The system, in order to maintain itself, has necessarily created a revolving door of repeat offenders due to legalized discrimination and lack of resources upon release.
In the face of such dire statistics and horrific stories of those who have been directly affected by the PIC, it can seem overwhelming to take action for change. However, not being able to change everything, is not an excuse for doing nothing. Everyone has a role to play in abolishing the prison industrial complex and building safer, connected communities where all can achieve their full potential. Jennifer Reyes Lay will be sharing about what she continues to learn about the prison industrial complex, the work she is involved in, and why she is passionate about abolishing the PIC. She is one of the founding members and leaders of the Coalition to Abolish the Prison Industrial Complex here in St. Louis and is committed to the work of dismantling racism in all its forms. We invite you to come learn, share, and get involved in the abolition movement of the 21st century.
This week’s STW is Sunday 15 June
And will be held at 1427 S. Ewing 63104.
Potluck begins at 6:00 pm.
Jenn begins sharing at 6:45.
The house is on the corner of Park Ave. and Ewing with the front facing Park Ave.
You can park on either Park Ave. or S. Ewing.
Feel free to call if you have any trouble: (314) 707-7313.