Decarceration as healing can build on the themes that Michelle Alexander has written about in The New Jim Crow, and organized into three levels of action:
1) Reducing the level of criminalization in U.S. society by reducing the number of people under criminal justice supervision, as well as reforming the policies and practices that bring people into the system.
2) Addressing the lingering impact of centuries of racist ideology on the American psyche and associated white privilege. An opportunity to repair some of the damage done to communities disproportionately targeted by incarceration– we also need to think about some form of ‘reparations.’
3) Finally moving to a sustainable model of full employment for all those people currently caught up in the criminal justice system who have been essentially excluded from the mainstream economy. We must provide work for the unemployed and underemployed; meet the desperate need for human services in many poor communities; and provide a new basis for satisfaction, self-esteem, and meaning to many whose lives have been devoid of such opportunities.