For the latest episode of the Philly Breakdown for WPPM, we peered into the future — with stories on the future of community media (which is threatened at the moment), imagining a future of walkable cities, and more.
After meeting some of the organizers at Philadelphia’s Youth Art & Empowerment Project (YASP) recently, I had a specific question I wanted to ask for this episode — what would a future without prisons look like?
YASP is an organization working to end the practice of trying and incarcerating young people as adults. The non-profit provides art and leadership workshops with young people in prisons, and is working with other groups to end policies that affect the community they serve.
The group, which is led by young people who have had experience with the adult criminal justice system, has been pushing for an end to cash bail (which disproportionately affects those who can least afford to pay), and to end the practice of trying young people as adults.
Artwork from YASP members has also been on display at Philadelphia’s Asian Arts Initiative this summer as part of the organization’s Abolition Now! exhibit, which asks artists and activists to imagine a world without prisons.
So when I got a chance to sit down with several organizers from YASP, I asked them what that future would look like — and why it’s important to envision that future.
You can hear what they told me in the story about a future without prisons, which begins at about 3:30 in the Future episode of the Philly Breakdown: