The IFTF Blog
From #10YF2014: The End of Prisons
Featured in The Washington Post: "We need an audacious plan to innovate America’s prison system"
The 2014 Ten-Year Forecast Annual Retreat explored the landscape of change over the next decade by inviting attendees to contemplate ten projects that—if successfully undertaken today—could change the paradigm in their fields in the next ten years. These bold projects are already taking shape in the dark underside of the internet, in the foundations of our global cities, in the no-man’s land of our prisons, and in the microbes of our bodies and our planet. They are rapidly recoloring our world.
During this retreat on May 1-2, 2014, I explored the future of the prison system, thinking ten years out:
I had the opportunity to pose some important questions:
- What if we had the opportunity to totally dismantle our current prison and crime control infrastructure to more effectively improve public safety and create fewer victims?
- What if this was really an opportunity to revitalize some of our most disadvantaged and resource poor communities in the US?
A modern wave of prison reform is upon us. We are seeing a large move towards lowering our prison population, the largest per capita population in the world.
- We’ve seen a sizable push from conservative politicians to lower our prison population, noting the unmanageable fiscal structure we currently face.
- We’ve seen Nobel laureates denounce our war on drugs as ineffective.
- We’ve even seen the Obama administration gear up for a massive wave clemencies to address the disproportionate prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.
- We’ve even heard Obama comment on the dangerous racial bias within our prison system—a system that has more black American’s locked up today than were slaves in 1850—and announce a new program to counteract the disproportional disadvantages put on young men of color in the US.
We know our system is broken. We know it is changing. So how do we usher in this change successfully and sustainably? Trauma informed care, restorative justice, and entrepreneurship training get us most of the way there. Look out for additional blog posts on how these efforts will create a future without prisons.
This post is from our 2014 Ten-Year Forecast, which explores 10 bold projects that have the potential to change the world over the next 10 years. In the coming weeks, look for more about the projects and the futures they would make.
Curious about the Ten-Year Forecast Program?