I wanted to share something different with everyone and bring you into my world of the things that are important to me. I have been learning so much about the criminal justice system and mental health. My eyes are wide open to how much that still needs to change. There are positive changes happening in some states in the US but others are still so far behind. When it touches you in such a personal way, you get motivated even more to bring awareness and want to take steps to help change the system. Two things here in Arizona I would want to change are no solitary confinement for twenty-one years or younger. I personally believe this does so much damage even if it is a short period of time to a human being. There are studies that have shown just how damaging this is especially to someone who has a mental illness and so many people going through the criminal system. I would also want to get rid of ankle shackling here in Arizona. This has changed in other states but we are still so far behind. I feel if we start treating people humanely then maybe there is more hope that they will want to change. I also want to bring awareness to people who decide to become a US Marshall or police officer and how important it is to remember that the majority of who they are dealing with may have substance abuse and mental illness and to take this into consideration when using force that can easily cause physical damage or even death to someone that could possibly change their whole life in the future, especially if it is a first time offender or a non violent crime. So, prison reform has become so important to me and I want to do my part as often as I can. Here are a few photos from the Federal courthouse in downtown Phoenix when I was there this past week.
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We really need to look at things differently for this to actually change. ” I come as the advocate of helpless, forgotten, insane and idiotic men and women; of beings sunk to a condition from which the most unconcerned would start with real horror” -Dorothy Dix on prison reform. We have come so far since the 1800’s but I feel like Dorothy Dix would look down and say we need to keep going. She would be sad. Love, Catalina Cruz