WEEK OF ACTION 

UPDATES

ACTIONS:

OVERVIEW

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.  

Massachusetts is trying to build a new women’s prison. We have blocked the process twice since January 2020. Building a new women’s prison will cause generations of irreparable harm. We can close Framingham AND create alternatives for every single incarcerated woman without even changing any laws! We need you with us - keep checking back to find out more ways you can work with us to stop the new women’s prison and support us as we create what different looks like!

The People Not Prisons Coalition meets every Saturday from 1-3pm. If you are interested in giving your time to end the incarceration of women and girls and would like more info about meetings please contact mhanora@justiceashealing.org.

 #FREEHER

#FREEOURFAMILIES

#CLEMENCYWORKS

COVID-19 Fact Sheets to mail to your incarcerated loved ones:  https://tinyurl.com/COVIDvaxMA

https://deeperthanwater.org/2021/01/13/covid-19-faqs/

Summary of our COVID-19 work here.

Contact us for more information:  

mhanora@justiceashealing.org 

@justicehealing

@pplnotprisons

https://www.facebook.com/familiesforjusticeashealing 

Call to Free Raymond Gaines!

Raymond Gaines is a beloved community member who was wrongfully convicted due to racist policing and misidentification over four decades ago. He is a father and grandfather who is serving life without parole for a murder he did not commit.

Raymond is in his sixties and suffers from severe health conditions which make his family and friends fear for how much time he has left and how he can continue to survive the terrible conditions inside Norfolk prison. Hear from Raymond on this video.

Raymond is an elder and absolutely no danger to our community. Addressing his case is essential: he endured significant racism by the Boston Police Department - including by an officer who would later be involved in a pattern of witness coaching and intimidation in order to wrongfully frame a Black man in the Chuck Stuart case.

We’re at a critical point of the process, here’s how you can support!

  1. Call the Suffolk County District Attorney (617) 619-4000 and ask to leave a message

"I'm a constituent concerned about this office's position in the case of Mr. Raymond Gaines. Raymond was wrongfully convicted 47 years ago and was the victim of racist profiling and misidentification. I'm asking the SCDAO to do the right thing and withdraw opposition to Raymond's motion to stay and to support post-conviction relief after almost 5 decades of punishment."

  1. Then tweet at @SCDAONews supporting Raymond’s release. Sample tweets:

47 years is long enough. @SCDAONews must do all they can to release Raymond Gaines #FreeRaymond

Stop protecting racist cops @SCDAONews and free Raymond Gaines #FreeRaymond

Send your state senator and representative new information on the bill to stop new prison construction

Directly affected women came together to write groundbreaking legislation to establish a moratorium (or pause button) on all jail and prison design and construction across Massachusetts. Watch the legislative briefing on this bill here, especially testimony from Stacey Borden and Andrea James starting just after 11 minutes.

The Moratorium Bill will:

The bill will not stop the state from routine maintenance or making needed essential repairs to jails and prisons but it will pause excessive spending on renovations when decarceration should be considered first.

As we continue to experience the economic fallout from the pandemic, pausing construction gives the Commonwealth a chance to focus spending on recovery and healing for the hardest hit communities.

We need Massachusetts representatives and senators to support this important legislation - will you help us get co-sponsors?

CALL AND EMAIL YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS

  1. Find your legislators here: https://malegislature.gov/search/findmylegislator
  2. See if they are listed as a “petitioner” for S.2030 or H.1905
  3. Call and email your State Rep to ask them to cosponsor or thank them for their support
  4. Call and email your State Senator to ask them to cosponsor or thank them for their support. Scripts for calls and emails are below.
  5. Watch the briefing on the bill and share it on social media.

Script to ask them to cosponsor: My name is ____ and I am calling as your constituent to ask you to cosponsor S.2030 and H.1905, “An Act to Establish a Moratorium on Prison and Jail Construction.” This bill will establish a five-year pause on designing building new prisons or jails and on renovating dormant prisons and jails. If you have already called say you’re reaching out with new information.

On March 31 the Criminal Justice Reform Caucus held a briefing on the prison moratorium bill. The Zoom room was full and over 70 people were watching the stream on Facebook to hear from formerly incarcerated women on why we need to pass the bill. Their statements made it clear that there is no such thing as a trauma-informed prison and we have better solutions than incarceration that we can use in Massachusetts. If you watched or attended you can say something that you learned or was important to you.

After years of steady declines in our state’s incarcerated population, this bill gives us the opportunity to refocus our priorities on alternatives to incarceration and fully implementing reforms passed by the legislature. As your constituent, I believe there is a strong moral, economic, and environmental imperative to support S.2030 and H.1905 and urge you to cosponsor this important bill. Please let me know when you have taken action on the bill.

Script to thank them for cosponsoring: My name is ____ and I am calling as your constituent to thank you for cosponsoring “An Act to Establish a Moratorium on Prison and Jail Construction.” It is important to me that we stop spending on building new prisons and jails so we can instead invest in what people actually need. We are at a turning point in Massachusetts, and your leadership on this issue will help create a better future for all of us.

Email template

Dear ____,

My name is ____ and I am writing as your constituent to ask you to cosponsor and support S.2030 and H.1905, “An Act to Establish a Moratorium on Prison and Jail Construction.” This bill will establish a five-year pause on designing building new prisons or jails and on renovating dormant prisons and jails.

On March 31 the Criminal Justice Reform Caucus held a briefing on the prison moratorium bill. The Zoom room was full and over 70 people were watching the stream on Facebook to hear from formerly incarcerated women on why we need to pass the bill. Their statements made it clear that there is no such thing as a trauma-informed prison and we have better solutions than incarceration that we can use in Massachusetts. If you watched or attended you can say something that you learned or was important to you.  You can find the recording of that briefing here.

After years of steady declines in our state’s incarcerated population, this bill gives us the opportunity to refocus our priorities on alternatives to incarceration and fully implementing reforms passed by the legislature. As your constituent, I believe there is a strong moral, economic, and environmental imperative to support S.2030 and HD.1905 and urge you to cosponsor this important bill. Please let me know when you have taken action on the bill.

HDR has not responded to our demand letter. We are not letting up.

1.    If you have already called HDR Project Manager Chad Reilly, please keep calling him to voice your concerns about the new prison - 617-357-7746

Sample Script: “Mr. Reilly this is my ___ time calling HDR about the new women’s prison design in MA. As the project manager you are in a position of power and responsibility. Do not proceed with the design of the new women’s prison in MA. This is an immoral project that will cause irreparable harm in our communities. Withdraw the from women’s prison project now. We don’t want this prison here.”

2.    Tag @HDR_Inc on Instagram and tweet at @HDR_Inc and @HDRarchitecture with your message about why they should withdraw

Samples

Don’t design a new women’s prison @HDR_Inc @HDRarchitecture - listen to formerly incarcerated women and pull out of the project NOW! Stop profiting off the suffering of communities! #NoNewWomensPrison #LifeAtHDR

 

Profiting from building prisons is profiting from trauma and harm. @HDR_Inc @HDRarchitecture - listen to formerly incarcerated women

and pull out of the project NOW! tinyurl.com/hdrletter #NoNewWomensPrison #LifeAtHDR

3.    Retweet others on the #NoNewWomensPrison hashtag