This week Theresa Sullivan and Hannah Zellman (pictured above) rep their innovative prison entry organization work the Institute for Community Justice. They talk struggles of coming out of prison with HIV, mentoring prisoners to become community organizers and activists, Prison Health news. fighting to ban the box, and much more...
Decarcerate PA has been gathering information on where Pennsylvania's gubernatorial candidates stand on issues related to mass incarceration. Our purpose is not to endorse a specific candidate, but to provide informations to voters and to push all the candidates to take a stand against the policies and practices that drive mass imprisonment in this state. There is a large and growing movement in PA to stop prison expansion and repeal the so-called "tough on crime" policies that have led to a prison population that tops 51,000 and a corrections budget of more than $2 billion.
This week we had Brendan (from Youth of Philadelphia Organizing for Power) and Marianna from Boat People SOS talking about their efforts organizing in Vietnamese community, their work with PCAPS, chasing Corbett out of Philly, personal family experiences of seeing the effects of immigration policies, Philadelphia's recent victory against ICE holds, why juvi sucks and a Voices from the Inside segment from DPA/HRC insider Shakaboona.
Thomas Dichter is on this week's Decarcerate PA radio! He's been a militant in our ranks from early on and has come on the show to talk about the historic roots of mass incarceration. Thomas gets into the failures of the first penitentiaries, connecting the dots between movements, quantifying dehumanization and the transition from slavery to the current system of racist mass incarceration and the reimagination of freedom. HRC's Shakaboona chimes in via Prison Radio for our Voices from the Inisde segment.
March 12th at 10:30am, Philadelphia City Council will hold a public hearing on the impact of the collaboration between the Philadelphia Police Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The toxic relationship between local police and federal deportation agents has resulted in the unjust deportation of hundreds of people out of Philadelphia. Come to the public hearing, sponsored by City Council's Public Safety Committee, to demand that Philadelphia stop complying with all ICE hold requests and show your support for an end to mass deportation in Philadelphia.
It's been 2 years since the murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, an incident that exposed deep racism both in still alive on the streets as well as our justice system. The "not guilty" verdict was a slap in the face to thousands of young black men just like Trayvon who would in any similar circumstance have faced inevitable long sentences or a death penalty and in response thousands took to the streets to demand justice, but also as an urgent affirmation of the value of black life.
For this show we have Khadijah Costley White, an anti-racist community organizer teaching at Rutger University and Sarah Giskin from People Utilizing Real Power who are both involved in organizing events to remember "Trayvon and all the young people harmed by police officers, security guards, and vigilantes and fueled by a system of racially coded violence against people of color."
On February 12th, members of Decarcerate PA and our allies gathered at the State Capitol for a "People's Hearing on Prison Expansion." The protest coincided with the House Appropriations Hearing for the Department of Corrections, who, according to Corbett's budget proposal, will receive an additional $78 million in the 2014-2015 budget.
If you couldn't make it to the People's Hearing, listen to the recap on Decarcerate PA radio. We featured some of the speeches and interviews of people that attended. Listen to the voices of the testifiers in Harrisburg.
Special thanks to Philadelphia Student Union, Youth United for Change, BPSOS Delaware Valley, G-LAW, the Human Rights Coalition, Fight For Lifers West, the CHARLES Foundation, The Center for Returning Citizens, The Youth Art & Self-empowerment Project, Why Not Prosper, Larry Stephenson and Eddie Ramirez for your powerful testimony.