In her bestselling book The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander likened the U.S. criminal justice system to the Jim Crow caste system of the U.S. South, in which a class of Americans are subject to a basic political, economic, and judicial system of legalized discrimination. Her powerful analysis inspired a new look at the impact of the mass incarceration of African-American men and people of color on communities of color, causing many lawmakers, sociologists, and activists to conclude that “mass incarceration in the United States…is a stunningly comprehensive and well-disguised system of social control.” Now, there is a growing consensus that something must be done to bring balance to our criminal justice system.
- Please contact your Senator today to urge them to SUPPORT S. 2123, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015:
- Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 1-800-270-0309 and ask for your Senator.
- When you are connected to your member’s office these are things that you might say: I want Senator ___________ to know that it is now time to reform our criminal justice system by ending mass incarceration. Please support reducing the mandatory minimum terms for nonviolent defendants convicted of drug offenses and programs that encourage early release for good behavior. Please support the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015.
- Participate in the Grassroots Faith Organizing Call on 2 December at 3pm (eastern) with Senator Durbin. We will gear everyone up for a national call-in day (that will take place on 3 December) to support the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. On Thursday, December 3rd in conjunction with the Call-in Day, we will participate with civil rights and criminal justice advocacy groups on a lobby day in support of SRCA. Contact Bill Medford (faith organizer) for the call in information.
Come to Washington, DC on 3 December and Lobby Congress. Organizers hope to have 50 people. The ACLU and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights are helping to fund travel for those from target states. They will also set up the visits with Members of Congress and book the travel and hotel stay. Contact Bill Medford (faith organizer) to express your interest.
- Text of S. 2123, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, or the one page summary.
- Remarks by President Barack Obama to the NAACP on Mass Incarceration
- Bureau of Justice Statistics, Correctional Populations in the United States, 2013
- Polices for Ending Mass Incarceration
- Interfaith Letter Supporting the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act