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[Image via Bauer Griffin Online.]
Have you watched this show yet?
Much like Jeremy Meeks and his piercing blue eyes, Netflix's hit original series Orange Is The New Black is SMOKING HOT right now!
Based off the real-life accounts of Piper Kerman, the show follows Piper (as portrayed by Taylor Schilling) and her journey through prison as she does time for her involvement in drug trafficking. Once inside the walls, we then meet a bouquet of characters, all with their own stories to blossom throughout the series.
Real-life Piper, having completed her sentence and still appalled by what she saw behind bars, now fights for justice reform as the series' characters play their own part in change.
Through these fictionalized accounts, viewers are beginning to learn more about America's justice system and how convicted criminals can't all be clumped in the same stereotypical boat.
**WARNING: NSFW LANGUAGE AHEAD**
1. They're HUMANS!
Shocker! Just because they're in prison doesn't mean they're monsters. Life can really throw some curveballs, and anyone can find themselves on a trajectory marked with bad choices. Even though everyone should be held accountable to their actions, the term 'cold-blooded criminal' isn't a label that should be freely stamped. They're not immune to pain, which brings us to our next point…
2. A lot of them have unfortunate and sometimes tragic histories that contributed to their poor decision-making.
Free will is REAL! We'd never condone someone for breaking the law just because their lives were rougher than others. BUT, that being said, criminals weren't always criminals. Life can be a real piece of work sometimes, and while everyone should overcome illegal urges, it's not exactly the easiest thing to do for some people. Harder circumstances can alter one's perceptions and place them in more difficult mindsets to overcome. Again, we're not saying this excuses crimes, but it definitely makes you wanna think again before writing them all off. Furthermore, it's important to discuss whether or not a notable % of inmates would have still gone down their paths if America's resources were stronger when it comes to mental health and education.
3. But that being said, not every criminal fits the stereotype. The privileged break the law too.
We repeat: STOP stereotyping!!
4. They're smarter than you think.
5. Their lives don't end once they're behind bars.
They have to find a way to survive, whether it be through acceptance..
…or cultivating their talents to find fulfillment…
…all the while fighting to keep their outside relationships in tact.
6. They really do want to improve themselves.
Does anyone ever imagine criminals thinking to themselves, "Oh man, succumbing to crime is GREAT! I want to do this forever!" We sure hope not. We mean, there probably is a small percentage of inmates who actually do enjoy the thrill of it, but we shouldn't generalize. Besides, that's why we should steer our justice system into actually reforming its residents instead of just punishing them. Mental health is a serious issue.
7. But the system they're in doesn't always support that.
Just because they get to leave the 'real world' and be placed under government watch doesn't mean they're not facing struggles regarding racism, sexism, and basic human rights. Also, doing the time isn't their only punishment. Rotten apples among the hired guards can sprinkle in bonus hardships by being real pieces of shiz.
Which is why we need to use this awareness and continue the discussion!
CLICK HERE to see how YOU can help reform the system!