PHILADELPHIA PA (April 18, 2018) Today, in response to Mayor Kenney's announcement that the city will close the House of Correction in the next three years, the #No215Jail Coalition released the following statement:
The House of Correction - informally known as ‘the Creek’ - has incarcerated our community members in dismal and inhumane conditions for well over a century. In a city that over-polices, over-charges, and over-incarcerates Black, Brown, immigrant, and poor people, Mayor Kenney's announcement that our city will close House of Correction is a major step towards building the justice that keeps our families and communities safer.
He and the partners who made this announcement today have our sincere thanks and congratulations. But closing the House of Correction is only a step - and #No215Jail and Philadelphia communities will fight for far more:
- HOC - once the last person inside is released - can never reopen and must be demolished.
- Our city must accompany its closure with the continued drop in the populations of the other prisons and jails in the City of Philadelphia; so we never need to build new jails or prisons.
- We must not exchange pretrial incarceration at HOC for pressured guilty pleas, which lead to tens of thousands of our neighbors on probation and parole, and to violations of probation and parole that put our people back in jail.
- We must not exchange sentences at the House of Correction for electronic monitoring that replaces jail with e-carceration and turns our neighborhoods into open-air prisons.
- We need to expand District Attorney Krasner and the MacArthur partners' efforts to reduce our pretrial population to encompass thousands more people by ending all use of cash bail and ending the automatic lodging of probation and parole detainers, and taking pretrial incarceration off the table for the vast majority of people accused of crimes.
- And we need our city to reinvest resources into our communities who have been torn apart by mass incarceration for too long. Instead of prisons, we need to invest in what we know keeps us safe and free: non-punitive, community-based holistic supportive services.
#No215Jail stopped the City of Philadelphia from buying land for a new jail, and we are proud to have organized to decarcerate in our city and beyond. We will keep working and fighting for the restorative and transformative justice that keeps our communities safe, that heals survivors and people who have committed harm, and that makes it possible for everyone in our beloved city to lead just and dignified lives.
The #No215Jail Coalition is fighting to end the use of cash bail in the City of Philadelphia. The #No215Jail Coalition is made up of organizations including the Youth Art &
Self-empowerment Project, Decarcerate PA, Frontline Dads, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, The Center for Returning Citizens, Philadelphia Student Union, X-Offenders for Community Empowerment, the Human Rights Coalition, Philadelphians
Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild (POWER), the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund and the Media Mobilizing Project.
The #No215Jail Coalition is an active member of the Coalition for a Just District Attorney.