Criminal justice reform can be a tough topic to broach. Politicians often don't want to appear soft on crime, but at the same time, America's prison system in an international anomaly: The U.S. has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, and as a result, America only represents about 5 percent of the global population but has about 25 percent of the world's prison population. Exacerbating the issue is that these already high numbers are disproportionately composed of poor and minority prisoners. Critics argue that the current system is just as much a crime against Americans as the offenses committed by individuals — a potentially counterintuitive concept that can be difficult to wrap your head around. But Ben & Jerry's believe they have a way to make the idea more palatable: discuss it over some ice cream.
Justice ReMix'd is the latest pint available from Vermont's always politically-active ice cream mavens. The flavor is billed as “cinnamon and chocolate ice creams with gobs of cinnamon bun dough and spicy fudge brownies,” but this offering is meant to engage your head just as much as your taste buds. It's been released in partnership with the Advancement Project National Office to “spotlight structural racism in a broken criminal legal system.”
“Our country needs to invest in services that build up communities rather than those that tear them down,” Advancement Project National Office Executive Director Judith Browne Dianis explains. “That means ending a wealth-based pre-trial detention system that locks people up because they are poor, Black or Brown. It means dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, divesting from criminalizing students and investing in the creation of high-quality education and services. It's time to reimagine safety and justice.”
Ice cream lovers can support the cause by buying pints of Justice ReMix'd at grocery stores and Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops nationwide, but the brand will also be taking a grassroots approach by “deploying its Scoop Truck in various states to spark conversations, activate community members, and give away ice cream.” Over the summer, the truck already stopped in St. Louis and Miami, giving out thousands of scoops and supporting local organizations like the Close the Workhouse Coalition and the Power U Center for Social Change. If you want to learn more, you can start by heading over to Ben & Jerry's website.
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