Join the Coalition to End Money Bond in Springfield at a Lobby Feb. 25th. They are asking for us to spread the word, needing your help to educate legislators about the Pretrial Fairness Act and the need for transformative bond reform.
From their website:
The Coalition to End Money Bond formed in May 2016 as a group of member organizations with the shared goal of stopping the large-scale jailing of people simply because they were unable to pay a monetary bond. In addition to ending the obvious unfairness of allowing access to money determine who is incarcerated and who is free pending trial, the Coalition is committed to reducing the overall number of people in Cook County Jail and under pretrial supervision as part of a larger fight against mass incarceration. The Coalition to End Money Bond is tackling bail reform and the abolition of money bond as part of its member organizations’ larger efforts to achieve racial and economic justice for all residents of Cook County.
Learn more here...
by Eli Hager
"Say you’re a teenager who has committed a serious crime, and a judge is about to sentence you to prison for a very long time.
How long a sentence would the judge have to hand down for it to feel essentially the same as being sent to prison for life?
States have been wrestling with this question over the past decade in the wake of multiple U.S. Supreme Court rulings that automatically sentencing juveniles to life in prison without the possibility of parole is unconstitutional, because kids have a unique ability to grow and change and therefore deserve a second chance down the road. That forced courts and legislatures to consider what number of years to hand down instead to the more than 2,000 current prisoners nationwide who were originally sentenced as juveniles to mandatory life without parole...."
Sometimes a book comes along and, after it is absorbed into the culture, we cannot see ourselves again in quite the same way. Ten years ago, Michelle Alexander, a lawyer and civil-rights advocate, published “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.” This was less than two years into Barack Obama’s first term as President, a moment when you heard a lot of euphoric talk about post-racialism and “how far we’ve come.” “The New Jim Crow” was hardly an immediate best-seller, but after a couple of years it took off and seemed to be at the center of discussion about criminal-justice reform and racism in America. The book considers not only the enormity and cruelty of the American prison system but also, as Alexander writes, the way the war on drugs and the justice system have been used as a “system of control” that shatters the lives of millions of Americans—particularly young black and Hispanic men.
As part of an hour-long examination of mass incarceration for The New Yorker Radio Hour, co-hosted this week by Kai Wright, of WNYC, I caught up with Michelle Alexander, who is now teaching at Union Theological Seminary, in New York. Read more
Join Restore Justice in Springfield on February 5 to advocate for policies that would alleviate costs and other burdens for people with incarcerated loved ones. We need your help asking lawmakers to support SB 2311, which would establish a statewide contact within the Illinois Department of Corrections for family members and other visitors of inmates. Currently, those with incarcerated loved ones must rely on staff at a particular facility to address visitation issues, including conflicts, concerns with staff behavior, or questions. We will also garner support for HB 3986. This measure would create more competition for vending machine contracts and, thus, reduce the costs of food in IDOC visiting rooms. Read more...
Texas has banished hundreds of prisoners to more than a decade of solitary confinement, an extreme form of a controversial punishment likened to torture. Many of these prisoners aren’t sure how—or, in some cases, if—they will ever get out.
The Drawing Center is pleased to announce its third Winter Term, an initiative that investigates drawing as a tool for addressing inequity and encouraging social change. Building upon themes presented in the exhibition The Pencil Is a Key: Drawings by Incarcerated Artists, The Drawing Center has partnered with the Chicago 400, a grassroots campaign of formerly incarcerated and convicted people experiencing homelessness in Chicago, and artist, policy advocate, and researcher Laurie Jo Reynolds. This iteration of Winter Term explores the intersection of drawing and criminal justice reform, specifically as it relates to fearbased policies, the unintended consequences of public registration laws, and the expansion of the carceral state. Read More and see fabulous art...
"Should Judges Have to Weigh the Price Tag of Sending Someone to Prison?"
Samantha Jones, Mother Jones
A handful of reformist DAs think so. But they’re meeting plenty of resistance.
There’s one trial that Buta Biberaj will never forget. Biberaj, a former defense attorney, remembers how Virginia jurors in 2017 requested 132 years of prison for a man who stole car tires. The jurors may have been unaware that taxpayers could pay more than $25,000 a year to keep someone incarcerated—so by proposing their sentence, they were also suggesting that society fork over $3 million...
Pritzker Wants to End Cash Bonds, Mandatory Minimum Prison Sentences
WGLT - By TIM SHELLEY • JAN 9, 2020
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a pair of ambitious criminal justice reform goals Thursday: the end of cash bonds and mandatory minimum sentences in Illinois. Pritzker says it's part of "prudently" reducing the state's 40,000 inmate prison population. He acknowledges it will likely take several years to implement, but says ending cash bonds is a priority. There's work to be done to try to find a solution for ending cash bail, but it will, in my opinion, during our administration, we will have made enormous strides," he said. "And I believe we will end cash bail during this adminstration."
Degradation, Neglect And Roaches: Inside Illinois’ Largest Women’s Prison
WBEZ News by Patrick Smith
January 2, 2020
The staff and inmates at Illinois’ largest women’s prison agree the facility is “falling apart,” “neglected” and “unsanitary.”
The deteriorating physical condition is one of the key findings of a new report from the independent prison watchdog John Howard Association on the Logan Correctional Center in central Illinois.
The newly released monitoring report notes that the Illinois Department of Corrections has eased overcrowding at Logan, which houses the vast majority of the state’s female prisoners, but also warns “there is still much to be improved.” Those needed improvements include more mental health practitioners, a more professional and respectful workforce and the overdue physical repairs.
Many families struggle to pay for phone calls with loved ones in U.S. prisons
NBC News by Lindsey Pipia
Dec 31, 2019
“You have 60 more seconds." "You have 30 more seconds.”
The female voice interrupted each time Maria Marshall talked on the phone with her son in prison.
But the chance to make contact for three or four minutes a day, a few days a week, came with a cost. Marshall spent $120 in just two weeks in July for her son to call her and other relatives and friends.
“My son is just trying to get through it,” Marshall said a few weeks before he was released. NBC News agreed not to publish his name, age or what he was convicted of because he is still in his teens. “He’s afraid. He’s scared. It’s a traumatic experience. Talking to familiar people and his family is making that experience less traumatic.”
What this is about
Learning asks us to change – so that the world might be a place for all are free to thrive