It’s no secret that the United States has too many people locked up in prison, a staggering 2.3 million, which is more than the combined prison populations of Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany and 32 other European nations. One of the biggest obstacles to changing the system is that the prison system employees a lot of people. In New York State, as in many states, it’s lead to an uncomfortable dichotomy: rural areas that support prisons because they employee so many prison guards and urban areas that oppose them because they imprison so many young minorities.
That’s where Milk Not Jails comes in. Their aim to reform the prison and agricultural systems so that rural and urban areas can have a more harmonious relationship. The idea is that the dairy industry, which makes up 80 percent of New York State’s agricultural industry, is the key to strengthening the rural economy, not prisons. If we can ween rural areas away from depending on prisons for jobs and change federal agricultural policy so that less farmers have to shut down their business because they are actually losing money on the milk they sell, perhaps we change the rural-urban dynamic that tends to grow political divisions in our country.
You can donate to the cause by donating to their Kickstarter campaign, which currently has raised $6,399 out of its $22,000 goal.
Photo: C.G.P. Grey, Flickr, CC