Prison in America causes individual, community, and generational pain and deprivation. Built on a system of racist policies and practices that has disproportionately impacted people of color, mass incarceration has decimated communities and families. But the harsh conditions within prisons neither ensure safety behind the walls nor prevent crime and victimization in the community.
In this report, the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) reimagines the how, what, and why of incarceration and asserts a new governing principle on which to ground prison policy and practice: human dignity. Basing American corrections practice on human dignity acknowledges and responds to the role formal state punishment systems have played in creating and perpetuating inequality. Vera proposes three practice principles to give life to this tenet: (1) respect the intrinsic worth of each human being; (2) elevate and support personal relationships; and (3) respect a person's capacity to grow and change.
- Published by
- Vera Institute of Justice
- Funded by
- The Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust
- Issue areas
- Prison and Judicial Reform
- Document type
- North America / United States
- Copyright Vera Institute of Justice 2018. All rights reserved. An electronic version of this report is posted on Vera's website at http://www.vera.org/reimagining-prison-print-report.