Here's Why The U.S. Criminal Justice System Needs To Be Reformed

Cierra Bailey
California cops accused of brutally beating a mentally ill inmate to death are now in jail, adding to a long list of reasons why the criminal justice system needs a face-lift.

Three California correctional deputies have been jailed under suspicion of murder, conspiracy and assault after a mentally ill inmate died last week.

A prisoner named Michael Tyree was serving a five-day petty theft sentence in protective custody and died late August from blunt force trauma and internal bleeding after being beaten by Jereh Lubrin, Matthew Farris and Rafael Rodriguez of the Santa Clara County sheriff’s office.

"But the arrest is just the first step in holding these officers accountable. The DA's office carries the responsibility now, and we hope their office pursues justice, and are not deterred by the fact that these people wear a badge,” police critic Raj Jaedev reportedly said.

“The community will be watching closely. I suspect the nation will as well. I believe the safety of all the inmates currently incarcerated is also an immediate concern as the court proceedings continue," he added.

The officers are currently being held in custody without bail, but murder charges are likely in their futures.

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Amid the multitude of police brutality stories making recent headlines, photography editor Pete Brook has curated a photo project that exposes the brutal realities in American prisons as part of an exhibition called, “Prison Obscura.”

"No society in the history of mankind has incarcerated so many of its citizens than the U.S. today, now," Brook reportedly said in a recent interview with The Huffington Post. 

"We need to disassemble the notion that prisoners are different. They are us and prisons are ours. It might not seem like prisons are part of our society, but they are. So we need to be conscientious consumers of images."

The project aims to humanize prisoners and show through images that they are not castaways, rather they are just as much a part of our society as those roaming freely.

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"The prison crisis is symptomatic of a society that isn’t helping out its most marginalized, economically disadvantaged communities," Brook said.

"Prisons are the result of fear, vengeance and division, they are not of common-understanding, community or unity. I want audiences to understand that prisons are the result of decisions, policies and laws. It is a system that has been man-made. It can be unmade by us. If so, we’ll all be better off." 

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The "Prison Obscura" exhibit is set to run from Sept. 10-24 at the University of Michigan.