When we talk about the problem of mass incarceration and its impacts, it’s not just an issue of how many people are incarcerated, but also who is being locked up. According to the Sentencing Project, people of color are more likely than white Americans to be arrested; once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted; and once convicted, they are more likely to face stiff sentences. Vermont’s own numbers reveal one of the worst racial disparities in the nation, as we incarcerate Black men at a higher rate than any other state.
For this discussion, the ACLU welcomes Mark Hughes from Justice for All, who will delve into the issue of systemic racism in Vermont’s criminal justice system, the legislative fights to address it and cultural narratives we need to combat in order to advance racial justice. This talk is part of Justice for All’s “40 Days of Fire,” a statewide community organizing initiative designed to electorize the fight against racial dog whistles and empower people to join the movement against overt and systemic racism in Vermont.