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What Is a Crime? Who Is a Criminal?

Do prisons make you feel safe?

What others said

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Donald J. Trump

I don't know about you, but I like walls. Big, strong walls. Join me and make America's prisons great again. America won't be safe until we transform the entire country into a prison by building a wall to keep the rest of the world out. I know lots of wall builders, the greatest bricklayers, really great guys, it's gonna be great, and I'll make Mexico pay for it.

10:10 AM | April 15, 2016

Elsa Lilja

Prisons are imagined/presented a dark place, something to be kept away from "general population" as if the people incarcerated cannot be considered to hold the civility of "general" people. That suggest that certain people are considered an inevitable threat that must be kept locked away from others, and discards any ideas about what may have lead them there. Prisons will not make me feel safe until the pathways that lead people there are adequately addressed. With insufficient reintegration, I don't believe prisons invite any incentive to address or prevent what leads people to commit crimes. Deterrence is both historically and contemporaries insufficient incentive.

10:10 AM | April 15, 2016

Jerry Blassingame

Prisons are not designed to make communities safe. Prisons are designed to punish people. Incarceration is for people who get caught. Getting to know my neighbors make me feel safe.

10:10 AM | April 15, 2016

Justin Clark

While there are those in our society whose crimes may justify incarceration, there are scores of men and women, often poor and of color, who are disproportionally incarcerated for little more than minor drug offenses, petty crimes, and even simple misunderstandings. When we incarcerate these individuals, we crate a system that makes more criminals, hardens our law enforcement, and destroys communities. This must change.

10:10 AM | April 15, 2016

Rina Desai

Our current model is not rehabilitative, does not promote social re-integration, and due to things like solitary confinement compounds the mental health issues many people have before going in. Additionally, only addressing the root causes of crime - economic inequality, inadequate mental health, gender inequality, and the valuation of greed over love and nature - would make me feel safe.

10:10 AM | April 15, 2016


Because I grew up thinking that prisons incarcerate those who are dangerous to society. Just a few months ago when I began working on HAL, I started to challenge that narrative and I am working on reunderstanding how prisons operate in society. While they make me feel safe, I am gradually learning that prisons do not, in fact, make me any safer than without them.

10:10 AM | April 15, 2016

Darren Mack

I don't see prisons like I see law enforcement daily that to some extent makes me feel safe in public. With many states that have much less prisons than NY, I believe we could have a state with less prisons.

10:10 AM | April 15, 2016

Bob Saccamanno

Reminds me of totalitarian regimes

10:10 AM | April 15, 2016


Prisons are dangerous places, and they harm people, both inside and outside their physical boundaries. Some of those people inside are my friends, and the prison system is hurting them. We have so many prisons, and as a trans person I still don't feel safe in society. Prisons don't protect me.

10:10 AM | April 15, 2016

Jocelyn Simonson

Prisons make me feel sad and angry. The state could help me feel safe by giving better/more resources to communities it has historically ignored.

10:10 AM | April 15, 2016