Sunday, March 27, 2011

National Campaigns Organized by Formerly-Incarcerated People

by Manuel La Fontaine on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 8:20pm

Below is a list of national campaigns that formerly-incarcerated people are
currently engaged in throughout the country.

1) Full restoration of our civil and human rights. Affirm the right to speak in
our own voice on all matters pertinent to our existence and well-being, including on
Commissions and Boards in matters of reentry.

2) No new prisons, juvenile detention facilities or immigration detention prisons.

3) Ban the Box in public & private employment, housing, and benefits – Demand an
end to all discrimination based on past convictions.

4) Voting Rights for All – All people in prison (including county jails), people
on probation and on parole should have the right to register to vote and to vote.

5) Adopt and implement the Bill of Rights for Children of Incarcerated Parents.

6) Oppose out-of-state transfers of prisoners. These transfers destroy family and
community ties.

7) Demand that our families should be free from ransom by restitution fees and
extortion by phone call charges.

8) Demand humane and comprehensive medical and mental health care for all
prisoners. Support early release of older and disabled prisoners. No shackling of
pregnant women prisoners.

9) Support family members organizing for the release for prisoners with life
sentences. End Three Strikes sentencing structures.

10) Oppose gang databases and gang injunctions. Oppose collaborations between local
police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), known as 287g agreements, and
the Secure Communities program. These collaborations expand racial profiling against
immigrants and all people of color.

Our “Ban the Box” campaign calls for the elimination of the questions about past
convictions on initial employment applications as well as other changes in hiring
policy. This campaign targets and challenges the structural discrimination inherent
in requiring that people disclose past convictions on applications for employment,
housing, social services, insurance, college admission, and loans.

One of the priorities in our civil rights struggle is voter education and voter
registration so people on probation and off parole know they have the right to vote
in California. We are seeking community access to register people to vote throughout
the county jail system. We are continually confronting challenges that threaten the
right to vote, such as the national Republican effort to require government-issued
photo identification for all voters. Our eventual goal is for everyone living in
California to have the right to vote, including people in prison.

California law allows for the dismissal of certain criminal convictions and outlines
a process for applying for a certificate of rehabilitation or pardon. The
California Clean Slate campaign works with legal advocates, service providers, and
community activists to expand access to these services. We are also campaigning for
centralization of the process, and to expand the number of offenses eligible for

Police all over California and the nation are using “gang” injunctions as an excuse
for racial profiling and criminalization of young people of color. We oppose these
injunctions, which create a police state for whole neighborhoods and violate the
civil rights of individuals and communities. Increased use of “gang databases” means
that people are labeled and criminalized for their whole lives.

In California, one in 5 of our 186,000 prisoners is sentenced to life in prison;
nationally, 10% of people in prison are serving life-term sentences. The statewide
effort, “Voices of Hope,” will support Lifer families struggling for the release of
their loved ones on parole, and to reform the parole system in California.

This yearly event is supported 100% by donations and volunteers; in 2009 we
celebrated our tenth Community Giveback. Formerly-incarcerated people give bikes and
other toys to children whose parents are currently incarcerated. The event
demonstrates one of the ways formerly-incarcerated people give back to our

All of Us or None is a network of chapters and associated organizations, based in
California. We have 9 chapters in California: Sacramento, Bay Area/National, East
Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Long Beach/Compton, Orange County, San Bernardino, San
Diego, and Victorville. All of Us or None organizers have also been developing
chapters in Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, and North Carolina. Any organization is
welcome to join our network if they agree with our goals, action principles, and
want to participate in our campaigns. Contact us!: All of Us or None c/o Legal
Services for Prisoners with Children, 1540 Market Street #490, San Francisco, CA
94102. 415-255-7036 x337, // //

Deirdre Wilson
Program Coordinator
California Coalition for Women Prisoners
1540 Market Street #490
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone 415.255.7036 x:4 l Fax 415.552.3150 l

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