Watch Gabourey Sidibe In A Powerful New Video Series Advocating For Prison Reform


To know about the state of America's prison system is to want to change the state of America's prison system. Simply put, our nation's prison statistics are grim. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world; while the U.S only makes up 5 percent of the global population, we have 25 percent of its prison population. We spend billions of dollars keeping people behind bars, ensuring the ongoing stigmatization of an already marginalized group of people.

Our current state of affairs is a result of decades of damaging policy; per Mic, "there are more people behind bars today for a drug offense than there were in 1980 for all offenses combined." And while that has changed a little bit under President Obama—during his time in office, "the crime rate and incarceration rate both went down at the same time, for the first time in 40 years"—there is still much work to be done. 

Luckily, there are lots of different groups and organizations working toward achieving substantive prison reform, and even, like with activist group Black and Pink, trying to rehaul the system entirely. And yesterday, a video project called My Sentence, produced by Fictionless and directed by Shruti Ganguly, was launched which serves as a powerful statement about prison reform. In the series, people like Ludacris, Pusha T, Gabourey Sidibe, Monica, and Tim Robbins relay experiences of being in prison. Watch Sidibe's video in full below, and watch the rest of the series here on YouTube.

And for more information about the need for prison reform in the United States, visit:

FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums)

Can-Do Clemency

American Civil Liberties Union

The Innocence Project