*** Originally posted on June 18, 2017 *** BIG THANKS!!!!! To all who helped make this Juneteenth Parade a success. XOXOXO to everyone who donated food and to the volunteers who held the Ancient Heads and flags and banners and to the singers and the drummers (WOW)! Keeping in mind that every battle is an important battle, the HUMAN RIGHTS COALITION (HRC) welcomes anyone who is interested in taking on the fight to end torture and abuse in our prisons, because any one of our loved ones could find themselves in solitary confinement at any point in time simply because a guard woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Juneteenth Parade (June 18, 2017) Celebrated the End of Slavery, and brought awareness to modern day slavery in the form of mass incarceration. Human Rights Coalition (HRC), Sponsor Coalition to Abolish Death By Incarceration (CADBI), Co-Sponsor Individuals in solitary are not just confined in isolation, they are prevented from accessing medical care, basic amenities, and face brutal abuse from prison guards. Below, an individual currently incarcerated in the Restricted Housing Unit (RHU) at SCI Mahanoy describes how their health problems, which they got as a 9/11 rescue worker, were ignored and worsened once they were confined in the RHU. “I am a 50 year old inmate at Mahanoy prison. My rights, if you want to call them rights, do not exist. I was placed in RHU and given no blankets, sheets, soap, pillow, towel, mattress, nothing, not even clean clothing or showers for the month of Feb and March of this year. A CO [Correctional Officer] assaulted me. On this day I was seen by medical in the AM for breathing difficulty due to my C.O.P.D. which is a direct result of being at ground zero in New York on 9/11 as a rescue worker. On this day a CO refused to let me go and to get my 4:30 treatment. He entered my cell for no reason and assaulted me over this treatment. On the video it shows him choking my neck with his hands. This has to stop.” ————— “Prisoners, their families, and organizations that work with prisoners must participate in this campaign to abolish control units and expose their abuses.” This quote is from Brother Robert X Holbrook. He is currently incarcerated at SCI Greene, held in solitary in the Special Management Unit. To learn more about the case of Robert Holbrook and juvenile lifers in PA, read this story: http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2016/07/26/juvenile-prison “The previous method employed by the prison system to break prisoners was to break “bones.” They relied on brute force and unrestrained violence. The method was flawed in that it usually only strengthened prisoner’s resistance and made them stronger. The prison system therefore directed its resources to develop a method of confinement that would destroy a prisoner’s mind and his will to resist. Given control units’ track record in driving men crazy, it is not surprising that the majority of prisoners sent into it are either politically conscious prisoners, prison lawyers, or rebellious young prisoners. It is this class of prisoners that occupies the control units in the prison systems across the United States. Prisoners, their families, and organizations that work with prisoners must participate in this campaign to abolish control units and expose their abuses.” Share these stories. #SolidarityNotSolitary #YouAreNotAlone RESOURCES: Christian Science Monitor, “Forced to WOrk? 60,000 Undocumented Immigrants May Sue Detention Center,” March 1, 2017 CIVIC: End Isolation, Immigration Detention Map & Statistics, accessed March 3, 2017 Los Angeles Times, “This industry stands to benefit from Trump’s crackdown on the border,” February 14, 2017 Menocal et al vs. GEO Group Inc.
*** Originally posted October, 2016 *** There are over 5000 people serving Life Without Parole sentences in Pennsylvania. In PA, ‘life’ means your entire life, which is why many instead call it Death By Incarceration. This harsh sentencing does not improve public safety and disproportionately impacts poor people and people of color. We believe that denying people the right to transformation and redemption is an affront to everyone’s humanity. Join the Coalition to Abolish Death By Incarceration (CADBI) and our allies from across the state as we converge at the state capitol to ask our legislators to end Death By Incarceration in Pennsylvania. Transportation will be provided from Philadelphia, and possibly other areas as well. More details will be announced soon, so check out http://decarceratepa.info/dayofaction, call 267-606-0324 or email CADBIphilly@gmail.com to find out how to sign up and get involved!
*** Originally posted May 2016 *** Sponsored by: Coalition to Abolish Death By Incarceration (CADBI) Photos By: Sandra Hill This Friday in the down pour of rain that didn’t let up the entire day, in honor of Mother’s Day, the Coalition to Abolish Death By Incarceration (CADBI) held a powerful rally and press conference calling on the state of Pennsylvania to make compassion, redemption, and healing in our communities possible by recognizing the US Supreme Court mandate to provide fair and meaningful re-sentencing to the more than 500 children sentenced to die in prison here in PA. The rally shed light on this inhumane policy, and demanded immediate steps be taken to reunify our families and heal our communities. As CADBI member Patricia Vickers, whose son is serving a life sentence he received when he was 17, observed: “Pennsylvania sentences more young people to die in prison than any other state in the country,” said “We are holding this action the Friday before Mother’s Day to highlight how these sentences tear families apart. No mother should have to endure their child living an entire life behind bars.” Now, on Mother’s Day, we hope that you will take a moment to watch this short video of the event and to share it with others. In the words of Kempis “Ghani” Songster, who was sentenced to life in prison for a crime he committed when he was 15: “Only when all of us, our whole community families and friends of victims, families and friends of the condemned, and those who are themselves condemned take responsibility for solving our community’s problems will the healing begin.” You can also see photos of the rally here, and check out news coverage in the Metro, Newsworks, and Billy Penn. Huge thanks to everyone who helped make this rally happen. And to all the incarcerated mothers who have raised children from behind bars, to all the mothers who have stood by their children serving death by incarceration sentences, to all mothers and all people on both sides of the prison walls who have never given up the fight for freedom, justice and compassion, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! Don’t Just Sit There, Do Something! Mother’s Day Rally To Restore Families and Communities and Bring our Loved Ones Home Friday, May 6, 2016 12-2 p.m. City Hall (Broad & JFK), Philadelphia, Pa BE THERE!