social justice

Protests on Film: A talk with photojournalist & creator of Activist NYC, Cindy Trinh by Protest Magazine

Cindy Trinh is the woman behind the images of Activist NYC, she is a photojournalist with a special interest in social justice movements. We got the chance to speak to Cindy about the disparities of minority women in journalism and her experiences as a photojournalist.

We don’t get to hear the stories of marginalized people often and when we do it is most often through the lens of a white person. I want better representation of women of color and I think only other women of color can achieve that.

-Cindy Trinh

Activist NYC’s Instagram page is filled with moving, inspirational images of people organizing, demonstrating, and doing their part to fight off injustices.

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women, incarcerated part one by Simone Jones

disorderly communities

feature

When researchers compiled data on women incarcerated within the United States in 1970, they concluded there were 8,000 women being held in jails. Just one-quarter of counties within the United States housed women in its jails. When researching women incarcerated in 2014, it was concluded there were almost 110,000 women in jails. They can be found in the jails of counties throughout the United States. It’s understandably hard to form a mental picture of 110,000 women in jail. That is 110,000 different personalities, 110,000 different faces, many of them mothers, ill, and survivors of trauma. I’m imagining an entire city of women to help put this in perspective. More men are involved in the justice system than women, but the population of women in correctional facilities is growing at a faster rate than that of men. The quick growth is fueled by the focus on policing disadvantaged communities and implementing harsh punishment to those who commit low-level crimes, also referred to as broken windows policing.

Broken windows policing was introduced to the public in 1982 by criminologist George Kelling, who has since admitted the practice is being misused by police. He believes without proper training, depending solely on police officers to maintain order will cause a negative effect on our communities. The broken windows theory claims that all crime begins with disorder and the way to prevent major crimes, like rape and murder, is to crack down on the smaller, pettier crimes first. To law enforcers and city officials, things such as abandoned cars and buildings, groups of people gathered outside and graffiti can be seen as disorder.

Disorder is split into two categories, physical and behavioral, and, classifying an area as disorderly has everything to do with image. Physical disorder is visual cues that are stereotypically synonymous with crime, the cues are the abandoned cars, graffiti, and litter I mentioned earlier. A person looking to commit a crime will view these community characteristics as a sign that getting caught is unlikely. Law enforcement will view them as a sign to heavily police the area- if there is physical disorder than behavioral disorder will follow. 

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Unforgiving: Women and Mass Incarceration by Simone Jones

There are now over 110,000 women serving time throughout the US, with the majority being mothers, people of color, considered poor and living with mental and physical illnesses. They are also women who are navigating the world with trauma from experiences involving violence and abuse. Most of their crimes have been deemed low-level, having to do mostly with drug and property-related offenses, but they are still vulnerable to serving drastic sentences. The amount of time they are forced to live within prison walls is the same or comparable to that of a defendant accused of a more serious crime. The tools and regulations used to judge their cases are biased and ignore the needs and circumstances of women. The jail and prison practices were not created with women in mind; they are punished unfairly, sent away and routinely ignored in this time of alleged reform. Visit the Vera Institute's website to download the full report on women judged by the unforgiving system promoting mass incarceration.