Yara Shahidi On Criminal Justice Reform

2.3 million people are currently incarcerated in America right now, in addition to those who are also on probation or parole.

America is called “the land of opportunity.” But for the 2.3 million in the prison system, it likely doesn’t feel that way. The country is famously “tough on crime,” and that means mandatory minimum sentencing, aggressive and disproportionate law enforcement and racial profiling.

As a result, people of color, who account for only 37% of the population, make up 67% of America’s prison population. But voting for candidates that care about the justice system can help fix this problem.

“You can change the system if you support the people who believe what you believe, who believe in change,” explained actress and young voter advocate Yara Shahidi. “If you think your tax money is better spent on prevention, treatment and rehab programs rather than locking up nonviolent drug offenders, your vote can say that.”

Shahidi and NowThis’ Eighteen x 18 campaign are encouraging young voters to support the national causes they care about by getting out and voting in the upcoming midterm elections — as well as future elections. There are so many issues that need our attention, and voting is one of the most effective means of advocating for what you care about — be it the justice system or something else.