Why is the House Judiciary Committee attacking prisoners and their families?
On June 27th, the PA House Judiciary Committee voted to advance a package of six anti-prisoner bills designed to leverage additional financial penalties against incarcerated people and people facing criminal charges.
Decarcerate PA is a statewide organization working to end to mass incarceration in Pennsylvania. Our organization fights for investment in whole, healthy communities and believes that the current criminal justice system exacerbates the problems our communities face. Since 1980, the number of people incarcerated in PA has increased by over 43,000 due to decades of so-called "tough-on-crime" legislation, which disproportionately affects people of color and poor and working class communities.
Check out the latest issue of Decarcerate PA's newsletter! This season we're featuring articles about the #BlackLivesMatter movement, information about our upcoming 24-hour "speak in" to protest the Silencing Act, updates from the Coalition to Abolish Life Without Parole, an essay by David Lee, a spotlight on the Amistad Law Project, and a reportback on our 12 Days for Justice campaign.
This past holiday season marked the six-month anniversary of the historic Coal Township Dining Hall Boycott, when 1,300 prisoners at SCI Coal Township refused to go to the dining hall for a week to protest food cutbacks and denials of their basic human rights.
Amistad Law Project (ALP) is a West Philadelphia-based public interest law center founded in October 2014. The two attorneys who currently make up ALP are also committed activists and organizers. We are prison abolitionists who view the prison industrial complex as directly related to the massive divestment from our communities of the things that make them safe and strong.
On May 4th, Decarcerate PA and our allies will travel to the Capitol in Harrisburg for a 24-hour protest against the Revictimization Relief Act, a law designed to silence incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people.
Over the past six months, from Ferguson to Staten Island, Cleveland to Philadelphia, people have been coming together in meeting spaces, public forums and the streets to express their outrage at police abuse and killings of Black men and women all over the country.
Over the past year, Decarcerate PA has been working with other groups to build the newly formed Coalition to Abolish Death By Incarceration (CADBI). The Coalition was formed as a joint effort of Decarcerate PA, Fight for Lifers, and the Human Rights Coalition. This emerging effort has been laying the groundwork for a powerful public campaign to abolish Life Without Parole Sentencing in Pennsylvania. We have been working to develop a clear and democratic decision-making structure.