Group rallies against incarceration

Group rallies against incarceration

Dear Editor,

On Aug. 22, a rally took place at the intersection of Eagle Crest Way (the turnoff to Clallam Bay Corrections Center) and Highway 112. About 20 people attended. The action happened as part of an international day of action against mass incarceration and prison slavery. Protestors held signs demanding “Care Not Cages,” “Decriminalize Poverty,” and “Race is Not a Crime!” They had a banner reading “FREE THEM ALL” and “BLACK LIVES MATTER,” and chanted “No cages/no prison/total abolition,” and “No justice/ no peace/ abolish DOC.”

They passed out fliers with these demands from the Defund Washington DOC campaign-

1) Decarcerate WA by 50 percent immediately.

2) Defund DOC by at least $300 million

3) Improve the Quality of Life for currently incarcerated individuals

4) #CareNotCages: Support Community Reentry & Reduce post-release surveillance

The flier’s also shared these ten points from CBCC’s chapter of the Black Prisoners Caucus-

1. An immediate move towards decarceration a redistribution of federal funds away from the prison industrial complex and into community-based programs that address core needs and reflect the redemption potential of all Washington State citizens with an emphasis on restoration and transformative justice. In conjunction, we demand an end to all solitary confinement units. ( We stand in solidarity with all our sisters and brothers who are pushing for the defunding and dismantling of Washington State police departments. Reform will not bring about lasting change. We must condemn and abolish all systems that stand as an extension of, support, and uphold the institution of slavery.)

2. An immediate end to prison slave labor. All imprisoned citizens, detained under Washington State jurisdiction will be paid a wage comparable to the current wage set by the legislature in their state, district, or territory.

3. An immediate end to the malicious prosecution, overcharging, and over sentencing of US citizens based on race.

4. An immediate end to racial profiling, police brutality, and the gang enhancement laws targeting Black and Brown people, including the Group Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS) used in Washington State prisons which denies prisoners the right to due process guaranteed by the US and Washington State Constitution.

5. An immediate end to the sexual harassment, coercion, and abuse of all women, LGBTQ, and men existing under correctional control.

6. The reinstatement of parole! No person shall be sentenced to “death by incarceration” or “life without the possibility of hope”. We demand Care not cages.

7. In the interest of fiscal accountability and transparency, where rehabilitative provisions and family services are concerned, select members of the community not employed by the Washington State Department of Corrections or any other criminal justice affiliate, shall sit on the board which decides the allocation of funds for WA DOC program needs. These community members will work in collaboration with imprisoned citizens.

8. Immediate reinstatement of Pell Grants for all imprisoned citizens regardless of race, gender, class, sentence structure or prison custody.

9. Recognition of voting rights for all imprisoned citizens in pre-trial confinement, state and federal prisons, work ethic camps, work releases, halfway houses and treatment centers and to be counted on the census according to their county home.

10. An immediate rescission of the 2010 bill which creates undue hardship and financial burden on family members of imprisoned citizens. This bill allows the state to tax all monies sent into the prison at a rate of 55% to 95% (Washington State imprisoned citizens receive from $45 to $5 from $100 sent to them by a loved one), for debts owed by the imprisoned love one, not the family member.

Tyler Morning