Reimagining Prison Web Report

Vera Institute of Justice LogoThis report from the Vera Institute of Justice posits a reconsideration of the function of incarceration in the United States. This idea stems from research conducted in a small unit for young adults in a Connecticut maximum-security facility that was contrasted with prisons in Germany, where the conditions and operations of the prison system are defined by a commitment to uphold human dignity—a commitment born of that country’s coming to terms with the Holocaust. The report asserts that there is an obligation to acknowledge and atone for America’s history of dehumanization and racial oppression and to understand how it has shaped the current justice system. The report seeks to link these concepts and suggest a path forward that is as much about reconciliation as it is about criminal justice reform.