#PeopleNotPrisons - Newcomers’ Action Guide

Families for Justice as Healing and the Building Up People Not Prisons Coalition mission is to end the incarceration of women and girls.

We are organizing to STOP spending on police and prisons and REINVEST that money in Black and Brown communities. We are led by incarcerated women, formerly incarcerated women, and women with incarcerated loved ones from these communities.

Anyone can jump in and get started on the current Week of Action, but we thought it would help for anyone new to this work to begin here.

Contact us for more information:






Fill out this survey if you take part in any actions


  1. Read up on our campaign, our previous targets, and more HERE
  2. Sign our petition to release women on clemency HERE
  3. Check out Get Free 15; a short but info-packed livestream hosted by FJAH and our community members every weekday at 11am on the Families for Justice as Healing Facebook page
  4. Contact Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston City Councilors and demand that they move funding and resources from the BPD to instead invest in communities 
  5. Contact Governor Baker. Ask him to meet with most impacted people, stop new jails + prisons, and shift spending from police and prisons to communities!
  6. Contact your state representative and senator and ask that support decarceration and shift spending from police and prisons to communities!
  7. Check out what’s happening this week and continue to take action to #FreeOurFamilies!

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and City Councilors Script



(617) 635-4500 (Mayor’s Office)


(617) 635-3040

Hello, my name is ____ and I am a resident of ______(city/neighborhood). I am calling/emailing you because what happens with the Boston City Budget is important to me. Please decrease the Boston Police Department budget and instead direct that money to Black and Brown communities. We have the opportunity right now to reshape our city and make Boston a place where all residents have what they need to live in health and safety.

Black Bostonians have the right to live without fear of police harassment, constant stops, unconstitutional searches, and the threat of police violence. The City Council needs to address systemic disinvestment in Black and Brown communities and stop investing in targeted criminalization and surveillance, especially in the wake of COVID-19.

As a first step, I am asking you to cut the BPD budget by at least 10% and create a Community Fund to be housed at a Black-led community organization and distributed through a Participatory Budgeting Process led by Black and Brown community members.

I am also asking you to:

Governor Charlie Baker Script



And CC: karyn.polito@state.ma.us, Maura.Healey@state.ma.us

(617) 725-4005

Sample script:

Dear Governor Baker,

I am reaching out because you have abandoned our incarcerated community and ignored Black and Brown communities who are most impacted by COVID19. I am writing to urge the Governor to take responsibility for the well-being of everyone in the Commonwealth, not just some.

Families for Justice as Healing sent a letter on March 16 signed by 35 organizations; a letter requesting clemency for women in Framingham on March 26; and a letter on April 7 signed by 176 public health and medicine experts. Families for Justice as Healing requested a meeting that the Governor has ignored. The Governor needs to meet with formerly incarcerated women and women with incarcerated loved ones - the community needs a response.

Governor Baker, use your power to:

        Thank you,

(Name, Location)

Your State Representative and Senator Script

You can look up your State Representative and Senator here and find their contact info here.

Dear Representative/Senator,

I am writing to make sure that our state takes the necessary steps to meet the needs of all residents during and after COVID19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed deep systemic inequities as well as policies and practices that have always been unhealthy.  In this moment of crisis, we have an opportunity to take immediate action that will protect all of us in the short-term, and improve our shared quality of life in the long-term.

I want to express my priorities to you as your constituent.


Thank you.


(Name, Location)

[1] Like they did in New York: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/15/nyregion/nypd-plainclothes-cops.html

[2]Like they did in Portland: https://theappeal.org/portland-is-saying-goodbye-to-its-controversial-gang-database-e88e6c05262c/ 

[3] Like they did in San Franciso: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/san-francisco-police-department-pulls-out-of-fbi-anti-terrorism-task-force/2017/03/10/62e05bcc-fd09-11e6-8f41-ea6ed597e4ca_story.html

[4] Related policy in San Francisco: https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2020/02/29/boudin-district-attorney-police-pretextual-stops-officers-denounce/

[5] Like they did in Minneapolis: https://www.startribune.com/mpls-school-board-ends-contract-with-police-for-school-resource-officers/570967942/