Thank you for the kind words, and you gave me a lot to think about. A few other folks have made recommendations about getting the work into facilities and I hope that between all of them things will start to work out. I’ve gotten some support institutionally, and I think that having a few different distribution channels is key.
As for those big questions, I definitely see this project as a way of dealing with the effects of incarceration, rather than stemming the tide. The tide NEEDS to be dealt with, but we also need to deal with millions of people disenfranchised from society in extreme ways.
I think we need some sort of consequence. I’ve never heard even the most radical abolitionist argue that there should be no consequence (which you didn’t imply; just giving context). But we also have to look at WHOSE law, WHERE are they applied, and how. What is the purpose of our current legal system? What does it do, who decides, and why? That speaks to some very serious problems with reforms. The reality is that aspects (if not all) of our legal system is built to enforce private property, meaning those without it are going to be second-class (or worse) citizens.
I also hear so often: “Well when does my sentence end?” The court says she deserves 5 years. Then she does them, but she’s not free. She’s on state supervision, difficult to employ, out of touch with her family, buried under societal stigma. If someone does their time, but it takes that same amount of time just to get back to “normal”, that system is unfair, particularly when you factor in the lack of reintegration resources.