Race and Incarceration
Increasing attention has been given to the disproportionate numbers of minorities in American prisons, especially African American detainees. A growing number of Americans see this as a reflection of racial bias in the criminal justice system, both in arrest policies and prosecution/conviction practices. Everyone wants a criminal justice system that is fair and makes our communities safer. Is it possible to have a discussion that explores opportunities to have our criminal justice system improve its outcomes and that acknowledges a broader complexity around this question, rather than only trying to pin in on one thing or another?
Background Information:While you don’t need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic
Let's Get Started!
This Living Room Conversation flows through three rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.
Introductions: Getting Started/
Why Are We Here?
Round 1: Core Values
- What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
- What would your best friend say about who you are and what inspires you?
- What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country?
What are your thoughts on Race and Incarceration?
- Are there community and cultural differences that contribute to a higher incarceration rate among non-white people?
- Is the current system fair? What is the basis for your belief in the fairness or unfairness?
- What are the factors that contribute to your sense of safety in your surroundings?
- How often are you in neighborhoods with a diverse population?
Round 3: Reflection & Next Steps
- In one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation?
- What new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
- Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
- Name one important thing that was accomplished here.
- Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?