– fight for increased rehabilitation and a human rights approach to crime
A tiny percentage of people in jails and prisons are there for violent crimes (less than 5%). Most people are there for nonviolent crimes—for drug offenses and other minor misdemeanors. When we focus on the actual crime, rather than the time in jail or prison, we can see that most people can be released. We must push for rehabilitation and human rights approaches to crime. We must think about how we can incorporate the wisdom of people who have been incarcerated into our communities. Rather than focusing on punishment, we should focus on rehabilitation and the empowerment of victims. We can limit our use of prisons and jails to only those who commit violent crimes. We must move away from mass incarceration and prison-centered communities which are complicit in the mass system of incarceration. This can happen if we make good choices and think about our individual and community well being. Prison is not a good way to deal with serious crime, particularly drug offenses where people are most likely to be repeat offenders . Our criminal justice system and our laws must change in order to be humane.
We must protest the criminalization of our communities and everyone who is incarcerated. We must protest the excessive fines, fees and bail-bonds, which rob people of their ability to pay for basic necessities. We must protest the criminalization of mental illness. We must protest the privatization of prisons and jails, which leads to human rights abuses. We must protest the housing, health care and other issues confronting people in jails and prisons. We must protest the use of solitary confinement for people of color, the elderly and other vulnerable populations. We must protest against mass incarceration and the continued racist criminalization of our communities.We must resist the drug war, which fuels racial profiling and police violence against our communities. We must protest gerrymandering, which has marginalized our political voice. We must protest the militarization of the police and their continued targeting of our communities. We must protest the prison industrial complex, which destroys families and communities. We must protest the mass incarceration of trans people, who are targeted by transphobic policies, such as anti-trans bathroom bills and discrimination in prison rape.
“What we say is: No to Crime; No to Prisons; A Whole Newfuturefor All.”
(see also http://www.apbsurvival.org/
(full article online here: https://itsgoingdown.org/call-protest-criminalization-mass-incarceration/)
– support prisoners’ families and those who have been incarcerated
Friends, families and supporters of those who are incarcerated are often forgotten by the criminal justice system. We must support people outside and inside of jails and prisons. We must be there for them when they get out. Some may need housing, food, child care, education or other necessities. We must be there to support them in transitioning back into their communities. We must help them get good jobs and provide transportation, if necessary. We must also learn about the conditions inside jails and prisons and support families who have members incarcerated there. We must also support those who are fighting to close jails and prisons and transform them into community centers.
– protest with your wallet and spend less on prisons
Prison privatization, high fines, fees and other criminalization costs have dramatically increased since 1980. We must reduce spending on imprisonment. We need smaller and better prisons. We need jails that are focused on rehabilitation and prevention, rather than punishment. Jail policies should include spending money on treatment, education, social services and other alternatives to imprisonment. We need to reform the bail system to focus on rehabilitation and ensure that people awaiting trial can get out of jail when they are not a risk. This would allow people to get jobs, school and medical treatment. We also need to ensure that we have alternatives to incarceration for people who do not commit serious crimes. These include drug treatment and education programs, parole boards and community service options for such workers as those who clean the streets, mop floors and cook meals. We can begin by ending the war on drugs. We need to legalize cannabis and put an end to the policies that have destroyed millions of lives. We can reduce prison populations, improve the criminal justice system and save billions of dollars by legalizing drugs.
BY RON PIVOVAR [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Article summary information:
“we must reject the idea that every time a law is broken” : ” – protest with your wallet and spend less on prisons”