Image by Lisa Kennedy from Pixabay
Two Average Joes (2AJs) has taken a look at the topics of True Crime and Prison Reform. The two subjects are part of a growing trend of “reality” in crime reporting. The unfortunate part of that tendency is that often both of these topics are not given the respect that they deserve. Both situations are glossed over and treated with a shock value that gets in the way of facts.
The Myth of True Crime Media
One of the most popular mediums is “True Crime.” It is everywhere and it cannot be ignored. As a matter of fact, it dominates television, streaming platforms and podcasts. Some of these programs are good and have been researched well while others are just the same old information rehashed over and over again.
That in of itself would not be an issue but often the information that is given is wrong. In the reviewing of the Charles Manson case, a reader can see how much of what they have been told about this case is not only erroneous but is purposely misleading. It takes a minor review to see that most of the information steams from one book and just repeated over and over again. The fact is America has a fascination with “Cut and Paste” history.
“Cut and Paste” history is where a person goes in and just regurgitates the some old facts without any independent research or thought. This has unfortunately permeated much of American history. Instead of doing any real investigating, the author just looks at what others have written and calls it fact and just cuts and paste the information into their article and then call this lazy work research.
It would be bad enough if this were just the work of amateur sleuths but this is often done with projects on national TV with million dollar budgets. Often, the amateur sleuth is better equipped to ask the hard questions than the major media outlets and that should not be surprising. It benefits the independent publisher or documentary maker to ask the tougher questions and look below the surface to find answers. The objective writer is looking for the truth not just a good story.
Facts should be the number one goal of anyone doing a true crime article, podcast or movie. Anything short of this goal is disingenuous and should be viewed with skepticism. We should all ask the question, is this a fact or did this person just cut and paste information?
The Importance of Prison Reform
As many people have probably noticed, the latest video from 2AJs was an interview with Kevin King that he gave to the Oakland County Bar Association. Kevin had been incarcerated within the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), for almost 41 years. The story about how Kevin was released from custody with a Life Without Parole Sentence hanging over his head is an incredible account and one every person should listen too. Kevin’s insights are incredible and eye opening.
Prison reform is neither a conservative or liberal idea. It is a concept that says a lot about Americans as people. No one is saying that prison should be an easy or fun place but the fact that we hide how horrible it is says a lot about our culture. The fact that there are many people who think that prison is a “fun’ place lets people know that we have many individuals who are disconnected from reality. Prison is a hellhole. Plan and simple. If jail is about vengeance, than America is succeeding. If prison is about paying for your crimes and rehabilitation, than the American prison system is a complete failure.
As a society, we have to ask what is the prison systems ultimate goal? What are we trying to accomplish with the multi-billion dollar system? Does the prison system exists to rehabilitate people or punishes them? Or is it a little of both? These are the questions that have to be asked.
Over the next few months, 2AJs will be looking into these questions and looking for straightforward answers. These are tough situations and some of the facts about prison and the brutality of the procedures will make people squirm. This is a good thing. The facts behind the American prison system should make people uncomfortable. They should make people rethink their positions. They should shake your core beliefs. The American Prison System incarcerates more people than any other country.
Top 10 Countries with the most people in prison (2023):
1. United States — 2,068,800
2. China — 1,690,000
3. Brazil — 811,707
4. India — 478,600
5. Russia — 471,490
6. Thailand — 309,282
7. Turkey — 291,198
8. Indonesia — 266,259
9. Mexico — 220,866
10. Iran — 189,000
Top 10 Countries with the highest rate of incarceration (2023):
1. United States — 629
2. Rwanda — 580
3. Turkmenistan — 576
4. El Salvador — 564
5. Cuba — 510
6. Palau — 478
7. British Virgin Islands (U.K. territory) — 477
8. Thailand — 445
9. Panama — 423
10. Saint Kitts and Nevis — 423
Anyone in today’s age should be concerned about the American Justice System. If you are not, than you are truly disconnected. Everyone in America should be paying close attention to what is happening around them. To be attentive is to be armed with knowledge. And, we all need to be aware of how important that is in today’s world.