By Rahsaan Thomas
Actor Michael K. Williams has joined the American Civil Liberties Union’s battle to curb mass incarceration.
“We’re at a critical moment in this country, and I’m excited to work with the ACLU to push for that change,” said Williams.
ACLU has started a campaign that it hopes will reduce incarceration in America by 50 percent.
“Over the last 40 years, this country has been locking up far too many people – mostly black and brown men – for far too long, and for things like mental illness and drug dependency. It’s just not working,” said Williams in a statement urging people to sign a pledge supporting ACLU’s “Campaign to End Mass Incarceration.”
Williams played Chalky White in the HBO show Boardwalk and Omar Little in The Wire on HBO. He grew up in a New York City housing project and has seen the criminal justice system devastate whole communities.
Mass incarceration bloats our prisons and wastes trillions of taxpayer money, Williams said.
It cuts people off from employment, housing, and family stability, which leads to a cycle of failure, he added.
“We need better solutions For example: shifting our country’s response to drug and alcohol addiction away from the criminal justice system and toward more effective, treatment-based solutions would be a great start,” said Williams.
“Change in our justice system is long overdue–and momentum is on our side. Will you join us and sign the pledge?” asked Williams.