The shocking murder of nine African-American people by a young white man in a Charleston, South Carolina church last week has focused the country on the sad fact that racial hatred leading to deadly violence is alive in our country.
Incarceration in the U.S. has gone beyond a system
of rehabilitation, retribution or even deterrence. It
has become mass incarceration—a set of practices
designed to exert control over entire swaths of the population.
Ending mass incarceration means working to close the front door of prisons, preventing nonviolent offenders from being incarcerated in the first place. It also means opening doors for people after release.
Ferguson, MO, a small suburb outside of St. Louis, has been the recent spotlight of national media attention. The brutal killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager by Ferguson police, sparked a wave of community uproar.
This statement on behalf of the Friends Committee on National Legislation was submitted for the hearing:
"Reassessing Solitary Confinement II: The Human Rights, Fiscal and Public Safety Consequences" to the United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights
From the earliest days of their formation as the Religious Society of Friends, Quakers were imprisoned as they followed their evangelist leadings. Their crimes were blasphemy, public speaking, refusal to swear oaths, and disturbing the peace, among other distressing behaviors.
The judicial system divides responsibilities for prosecution and incarceration between the local, state, and federal levels. Advocacy and changes at each level are critical for ending mass incarceration.
FCNL's multi-issue advocacy connects Quaker testimonies with legislation in the U.S. Congress and the administration.
FCNL has moved to telework!
The FCNL offices are temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. We are lobbying online and by phone for the world we seek. Your engagement with Congress at this time is essential! Join us and become a monthly donor.