February 15th marks two months in which the family of Brandon Tate-Brown has gone without receiving any clear explanation of what happened on December 15th, when the 26-year-old Philadelphia resident was shot in the back of the head by a Philadelphia police officer during a traffic stop in the Mayfair section of Northeast Philly. The PPD claim that it was a “justifiable homicide” yet have failed to produce a shred of evidence to back up their claim.
On January 19th, thousands will converge on the streets of Philadelphia to demand a living wage, a fully funded democratically controlled school system, and an end to police brutality. The systems that perpetuate racist police violence are the same systems that funnel poor people of color--and young black people in particular--into Pennsylvania’s prisons and jails. That’s why Decarcerate PA has endorsed the MLK D.A.R.E.
This holiday season marks 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. At the end of the boycott, prisoners released a list of 22 demands.
On November 4, people across the state went to the polls to elect Pennsylvania's next Governor. Incumbent Republican Governor Tom Corbett was defeated by Democratic candidate Tom Wolf. Corbett’s defeat was a referendum on his failed policies.
In the summer issue of our newsletter, we let you know about a package of anti-prisoner bills that had recently passed through the House Judiciary committee. The worst of these bills (HB2386) was introduced by Montgomery County Representative Todd Stephens and proposed taking 25 percent of a prisoner’s wages and 75 percent of all deposits into personal accounts to be deducted for any fees, costs, and restitution that person owes.
On August 28th, people concerned about the fate of individuals sentenced to Life Without Parole gathered at the Capitol in Harrisburg and held a Rally to Restore Meaningful Commutation. The event was largely organized by Let’s Get Free: the Women and Trans Prisoner Defense Committee, and supported by Decarcerate PA, New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice, Human Rights Coalition, and Fight for Lifers West, among other organizations.