How We Got Started! The Human Rights Coalition had its first meeting on June 4, 2001 at the house of the mother of one of the men who helped conceive the idea of HRC.
The meeting was small and a mix of prisoners’ family members and former prisoners. Many of those who attended, felt powerless in the face of the prison administration and it’s institutionalized discrimination, abuse, and torture. Yet the lives and well being of their loved ones were at stake – something they could not turn their backs to.
At the end of the meeting, however, there was a consensus that a great deal of powerful energy is lying untapped, that if properly focused could change the status quo of the prison system. The source of untapped energy was the constituency of former prisoners and prisoners’ families in this country. Thus HRC was formed, to aid and support prisoners’ families in coping with the stress and hardships created by having a loved one incarcerated, as well as to challenge the punitive retributive nature of the penal system; and, to work to transform that to a model of rehabilitation and successful reintegration to society. See Our Vision.