Currently under construction.
Many lawmakers said the need to reform policing is so dire that it will be a leading topic if the Legislature meets in an emergency session this year to address the state budget. Even if no special session is held in the coming months, police reform will remain at the top of legislators’ agenda when they convene for their scheduled 105-day session in January, key lawmakers said. “This is just one aspect of the question of race in our society — but it is the most acute and the most high-stakes issue, because it really is about life and death,” said state Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, who chairs the House Public Safety Committee, which deals with law enforcement. Read more here.
Creative Justice - A Program for youth most impacted by the school-to-prison-(to-deportation) pipeline.
CREATIVE JUSTICE USES ART AS A VEHICLE TO:
Prepare young people to be leaders in community and the workplace;
Amplify youth voice as a source of community transformation;
Promote teamwork, collaboration, and community engagement;
Help lift up the power of young people of color, youth from low-income families, and LGBTQA youth;
Increase youth and community understanding of the histories and conditions that create racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism and other forms of oppression;
and Enhance skills that help young people reflect on their social position, choices, and personal power so they can stay out of jail.
The NLA, founded 40 years ago by five men at the State Prison of Southern Michigan in Jackson, Michigan, is a pioneer in the movement for prison reform driven by people who are themselves in prison. There are nearly no records to take the full measure of such groups, but the NLA, despite the name, is largely confined to Michigan, and it’s on the leading edge of organizations like Veterans in Prison, Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, and the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee. Dukes discovered one of the NLA’s purposes at his first meeting: It’s a network for mutual support and growth in prisons, where the people who live their longest tend to have the fewest available opportunities.
Scholars, writers and activists have long considered this possibility. Many, including Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Angela Davis and Alex S. Vitale, have developed sophisticated theories about a life without both police and prisons, two institutions joined in a symbiotic relationship. But never in mainstream political debate has such a radical diminishment of police emerged as an achievable reality. Never, it seems, until now, in the final year of Donald Trump’s chaotic first term, when cities across the country are actively considering significant cuts to police department budgets and, in the case of Minneapolis, already working on dismantling its municipal police force. Read more here.
The number of prison inmates known to be infected has doubled during the past month to more than 65,000. Prison deaths tied to the coronavirus have also risen, by 73 percent since mid-May. By now, the five largest known clusters of the virus in the United States are not at nursing homes or meatpacking plants, but inside correction institutions, according to data The New York Times has been collecting about confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic reached American shores.Read more here.
A broad coalition is calling for justice for the Reynolds 6: Six men -- Liban Adem, Isaiah Thomas, Daniel Kibby, Abdizikar Mohammed, Anthony Sams, and Zemetrious McNeal -- who were kicked out of the Reynolds Work Training Release program by the Department of Corrections just days short of their release and sent back into prison. The coalition believes this was in retaliation for the loved ones of some of the men protesting the unsafe conditions in the Reynolds facility in light of COVID-19. You can learn more and help achieve justice for the “Reynolds 6” and reunite them with their families by taking the action listed here: tinyurl.com/
“Because of the public health and safety risk presented by this virus at a jail facility, we believe that further action is needed, above and beyond the measures taken to date,” reads an April 10 letter to city and county leaders in the criminal justice system from the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Columbia Legal Services, Disability Rights Washington, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle and the Northwest Community Bail Fund. Read more here.
The Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington on June 20, 2020 will not be postponed but will be transformed! We are going digital! We will hold the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people and people of conscience in this nation’s history. The COVID-19 global pandemic is exposing the already existing crisis of poverty in America, and we are going to bombard every member of Congress and the White House so that we raise up the demands of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. We will not be able to gather physically in Washington DC, but it is paramount that we have a forum where poor and low-wealth people can share their truths with a nation that needs its heart broken. If there was ever a time for a massive outcry, it’s right now. People are hungry for bold, visionary solutions, not just to this current crisis, but to systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. Poor and low-wealth people know the solutions we need. Stay tuned for more about how we are transforming our vision to adapt to the digital space. We may be isolated, but we remain united! Forward together, The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival
I remembered one line in particular that James Baldwin wrote in his letter to Angela Davis while she was jailed in 1970. I was in the last and final holding cell awaiting either bail or intake to the upper level of the jail, when his words returned to me: “One might have hoped that, by this hour, the very sight of chains on Black flesh, or the very sight of chains, would be so intolerable a sight for the American people, and so unbearable a memory, that they would themselves spontaneously rise up and strike off the manacles. But, no, they appear to glory in their chains; now, more than ever, they appear to measure their safety in chains and corpses.” At that moment, a row of Latino men in blue and red jumpsuits chained together at the wrists, waists and ankles were marched past the window of our large holding cell. In the very back of this chain–many who my cellmates recognized as fellow migrants who were detained while crossing–were two young Black men, either my age or even younger, chained as their ancestors had been before them. And I knew that Baldwin was right, that the prison and the jail must be burned to the ground and abolished, that we cannot continue to allow so many thousands of people to be swallowed by its labyrinth of hallways and cells, hidden away and lost from public view. My commitment to prison abolition was solidified then and there, watching those two young Black men and the migrant and citizen Latino men chained alongside them. Read more here.
A tribute to Nelson Mandela by the Elders and "Thirty years ago, a 71-year-old Nelson Mandela walked out of the then-Victor Verster prison, an hour’s drive away from Cape Town. He had entered prison as a young fighter and emerged as an elder statesman, more open to negotiation, but still willing to go toe to toe when needed. Clutching his hand was Mama Winnie Mandela, who, with countless others, kept the spotlight on him during those decades in prison. Their hands, raised proudly in the air, signified a victory. But when he stepped out, a battle won, there was still a war to be won. Ostensibly a free man, Madiba was not truly free. He remained under the governance of a racist terror machine masquerading as a legitimate government. It was through intense negotiation and, both supported and led by those who put everything on the line, that a form of democracy was made possible. There were real gains in freedom through this democracy. That democracy, our democracy, was not perfect and, like all democracies, will remain imperfect. But it is the possibility and the potential of real democracy that we should hold on to. That we should fight for. The possibility of the unimaginable. " Read more here. More information can be found here as well.
The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program began in Seattle in 2011 and brought together law enforcement and public defense attorneys to find alternatives to repeatedly arresting drug users, sex workers and other low-level offenders. Unlike other criminal justice diversion programs, LEAD works directly with the Seattle Police Department to offer case management in lieu of arrest. The program also accepts client-referrals from the community. After LEAD saw years of modest growth, the Seattle City Council approved an additional $3.5 million for the program last fall — more than double what the city had spent the year before. With studies showing positive results, the program has appealed to the council’s progressive inclinations toward criminal justice reform, while also offering the case that it is, above all, a crime reduction program. In particular, looking at clients with outstanding warrants, one study found a nearly 60% decrease in rearrests after six months. Read more here.
States are passing laws abolishing private prisons and businesses are cutting ties with the facilities. And private prison companies are planning for a future in which their core service is illegal.
Increasingly, these criticisms of private, for-profit facilities have been reflected in policy and spending. Fueled in part by opposition from their constituents, lawmakers of states like California and Nevada have banned private prisons from operating. Businesses are also increasingly cutting ties with the industry following pushback from their customers.Read more here.
For The Wild is an anthology of the Anthropocene; focused on land based protection, co-liberation and intersectional storytelling rooted in a paradigm shift from human supremacy towards deep ecology. This is a series of radio programs interviewing a number of activists and leaders on a variety of justice issues, most particular those of indigenous communities and the struggles to protect the Earth and its human and nature communities.
It is quiet right now in the Legislature, which makes it the perfect time to reach out to our Representatives and Senators and let them know what is important to us.See leg.wa.gov site for their contact information. I am suggesting three issues that may resonate with JUUstice Washington members. This list is one guy’s best guess of those few priorities that have-
- had some traction in the 2000 - 2019 legislatures;
- been or currently are priorities for our justice allies, and
- have precedent in other states or jurisdictions.
- Clean Fuel Standards - 2019 House Bill 1110 - Passed the House, Active in the Senate
- Mitigation measures to preserve the Southern Resident Orcas - Supported by the Governor and an active issue in 2019
- Eliminate Cash Bail in Washington State - Cash Bail imprisons the poor, who cannot post bail from family resources.
Legislative Advocacy Action Team
Patrick O'Connor, Director of Thurston County Public Defense, will discuss new developments in the Thurston County justice system. These include bail reform as a part of a new risk-assessment tool for pretrial release; the First Look project that evaluates diversion potential for new arrestees; ICE arrests and the Keep Washington Working Act; and planning for an LFO Reconsideration Day. When: Monday, Nov. 18th, 7:00pm Where: Olympia UU Congregation, Olympia WA Sponsored by Justice not Jails.