WEEK OF ACTION
If you are new to the weeks of action, welcome! Follow this link to get started. We want to make sure everyone prioritizes these essential actions
If you take action let us know! Fill out this survey - https://tinyurl.com/MAActionReportback
If you get responses from anyone you contact, please let us know!
These weeks of action are led by Families for Justice as Healing and the Building Up People Not Prisons Coalition. The mission of Families for Justice as Healing is to end the incarceration of women and girls. Families for Justice as Healing is led by incarcerated women, formerly incarcerated women, and women with incarcerated loved ones. We are abolitionists - we organize to build up our communities as we work to end policing, courts, and incarceration.
WE ARE FIGHTING TO DEFUND POLICING AND PRISONS AND INVEST IN BLACK AND BROWN COMMUNITIES! Most impacted women have the vision and the solutions!
COVID19 CONTINUES TO BE A HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN OUR JAILS AND PRISONS. LET OUR PEOPLE GO! #FREEHER
Essential COVID-19 Reading: https://www.peoplenotprisons.org/covid-19-resources
Summary of our COVID-19 work here.
Contact us for more information:
Fill out this survey if you contact anyone so we can keep track - https://tinyurl.com/MAActionReportback
The legislative session was extended. Push the Senate and House to pass No Cost Calls ASAP!
Call, email, and tweet to push back against the Sheriffs who oppose the bill and show legislators you expect them to pass legislation to #KeepFamiliesConnected!
Senate President Karen Spilka (@KarenSpilka)
Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo (@SpeakerDeLeo)
Senator Mike Rush
Senator Michael Moore (@SenMikeMoore)
Your own State Representative (https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator)
Your own State Senator (https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator)
Hi, my name is ____________ and I’m contacting you because you’re stalling on passing No Cost Calls legislation. I know you’re getting pressure from Sheriffs who are threatening to cut programming if you pass S.2846. Did you know that Sheriffs only spend 4% of the state budget money you give them on programming, but 80% on guard pay and pensions? The MA legislature has already allowed spending on jails to increase by 15.7% in the past 5 years while the population declined over 20% - this includes a 17% increase in Sheriff staff salaries. Every year the Sheriffs spend millions more than you appropriate and us taxpayers have to cover that cost. Yet these same Sheriffs want kickbacks paid for by the poorest families in the Commonwealth. When is enough going to be enough? Spending on incarceration in Massachusetts is a crisis and it’s at the expense of Black and Brown families. We expect the legislature to hold Sheriffs accountable for their abuse of public resources starting with cutting them off from exploitative revenue sources. Please pass No Cost Calls legislation immediately.
Demand the Trial Court Waives Court Fees!
The COVID19 humanitarian crisis continues to claim lives and destabilize communities. People may be out of work, hours have been cut, unemployment benefits are being cut back, and people recently released from incarceration and on probation can’t find work.
Black and Brown communities are being hit hardest due to structural racism. As families are struggling to figure out how to pay for housing and food, many members of our communities are also faced with owing months of deferred fines and fees that are due on August 14. If they don’t pay, warrants could be issued for their arrest.
Families for Justice as Healing set up a mutual aid fund for people who owe fines and fees. We want to keep our people free. If you need support paying, we got your back. Please apply here: tinyurl.com/finesfund.
We are also organizing to demand that all of these fines and fees be waived and remitted. Please join us in this fight by emailing the Court leadership with the script below.
Chief Justice of the Trial Court Paula Carey
Chief Justice of the District Courts Paul C. Dawley
You can read more about the powers of the Trial Court here.
You can read the standing court order here.
“To the Honorable Court,
I am contacting you to urge the Court to issue an order waiving and remitting all court fines, fees, and costs, including probation supervision fees, for all people that accrued beginning in March until the Governor declares the final phase of reopening. Under District Court Standing Order 7-20, payment was deferred until the payment deadline of August 14. Now people owe months of back payments that put their liberty at stake, on top of struggling during a pandemic to afford basic needs like housing and food. To prevent the issue of mass warrants for people who cannot afford to pay these fines and fees and the further economic destabilization of marginalized families, the court should order the fees waived and remitted. Sanctioning people with fines and fees doesn’t produce community safety or well-being; such sanctions just disproportionately punish people for being poor. Please waive all fines and fees, and adopt court rules going forward that limit or eliminate fines and fees altogether.”
[Optional to add: Your personal experience, and why this issue is important you]
Defund the Boston Regional Intelligence Center
As part of our ongoing campaign to #DefundPolice, we demand that the Boston City Council reject over a million dollars in grants to the Boston Police Department to run the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC). BRIC is a fusion center where the BPD works with federal agencies like the FBI, ICE, the Department of Homeland Security, and private companies to surveil, track, and target predominantly Black and Brown people, including Muslim people and #BlackLivesMatter protestors. BPD runs the racist gang database out of the BRIC. Cameras from the street in Black and Brown neighborhoods feed into BRIC. BRIC shares information about residents with prosecutors and with the feds. BRIC fuels racist profiling and then stores and weaponizes that data against Black and Brown Boston residents.