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  • Kim Senklip Harvey

Prisons Are Not Designed for Public Safety.

When I say prisons are not for our safety it’s because the statistics clearly demonstrate that prisons exacerbate recidivism. If the state wanted to protect us - they would invest in systems that rehabilitated adults in custody and treat the trauma and illness which is at the heart of almost every adult in custody.

But the state has created a system that irrefutably weaponizes trauma - trauma to which they have often inflicted onto the people being ensnared. The state uses prisons to take advantage of marginalized peoples, induce them into the system, position them for more harm and perfecto - they are sucked into the prison trap. The prison system creates their own supply and demand chain. It’s a perfect business model.

Adults in custody have little to no money, metastasizing trauma, given impossible release conditionings and thus prisons function as designed by creating a cycle of adults going in and out of custody, displaced from kin, community and culture - everything that keeps a spirit safe and well.

“Prisons protect us from bad people” is state propaganda to ensure we never question the incarceration system. But in actuality, prisons create more environments of violence. More “crimes” in and against the public. If it was actually about our safety - they would be investing in restorative justice, rehabilitation, health and wellness centered programs. All which have astoundingly lower stats of recidivism (reoffending). Which ACTUALLY PROTECTS THE PUBLIC.

When I say prisons don’t work, it’s not because I think people with a history of harm and violence should roam free. It’s because I don’t want those people to put the public and themselves at more risk. My perspective is rooted in a wholistic restorative justice methodology because prisons don’t work for anyone but especially not the adults incarcerated. Just read one report on recidivism rates, listen to one Ear Hustle podcast, read one independent study. They all conclude that prisons position adults inside for more violence in and outside of the institutions.

Prisons have been erected to remove Indigenous, Black and POC peoples from our lands, communities and family to create inter-generational trauma so healing becomes so difficult, we don’t have the ability to respond to the states attacks. Which is why - healing and wellness - is the greatest act of working to achieve Indigenous sovereignty and Black liberation. Cause almost every state tool attacks our health and spirits so we don’t have the conscious ability to say - fucking enough.

90% of adults in custody will be released. Majority with zero rehabilitation but rather time spent entrenched in incarcerated violence - finishing sentences righteously pissed at the world. That’s the state of mind they head back into the community - that sound fucking safe to you? Prisons put the public at greater risk - that is the truth. The only people they benefit is the white supremacist oligarch profiting from them.

So when I say abolish prisons, it’s so all those funds and resources can be invested into programs - like Healing Lodges - so everyone can have the equitable opportunity at peace. Please stop believe prisons are for our safety - we're smarter than that. We need to consuming these lies from the state that are so obviously false. If you’re actually worried about personal and public safety than prisons are not what we need to be investing in.

Deep love to all the Indigenous, Black and poc peoples who've been positioned by the state to be captured into a system designed to harm them and their future Ancestors and love to the families battling the state to free their family members,


p.s if you're looking for resources to learn more, here is another blog I wrote with articles linked below.

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