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Justice & Advocacy

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Criminal Justice Reform in the Prison System

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

March 11, 2019 (Monday, 11:45am-1:30pm)
“Criminal Justice, the Color of Money”
How the criminal justice system discriminately favors those with financial resources. Guest speakers include PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro, President Judge of Lehigh County, Ed Reibman, and Northampton County Judge Craig Dally. This is a “Kick Off” luncheon for Criminal Justice Reform in the Prison System to promote our subsequent 3 part forum series on: Bail Reform, Incarceration and Re-entry.
REGISTER HERE ($25 includes lunch). Organized by Easton NAACP and CACLV.

Wells Fargo & Co – illegal and unethical practices

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

Here’s what you should know if you do business with Wells Fargo & Co.

Cancel Governor Wolf’s new dehumanizing prison policies

Friday, October 19th, 2018

  Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) policies instituted in September in response to the drug crisis in prisons have violated prisoners’ rights, restricted access to educational materials, and delayed people’s correspondence with loved ones on the outside.
  On October 19, partly in response to public feedback, the DOC announced changes to some of the offensive policies listed in this on-line petition to Governor Wolf and described in news reports (below). A summary of recent DOC policy changes is posted here, and there is additional information linked to the DOC homepage: www.cor.pa.gov. (more…)

Healing Communities Training – Lehigh Valley

Monday, April 30th, 2018

Healing Communities

June 23, 2018 (Saturday, 9:00am–4:00pm) – at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethlehem, PA

There are many ways groups and congregations can engage in creative prison and restorative justice ministry, not only inside prison but in churches and communities, too. With scores of inmates being released and returning as citizens every day, the need is urgent for churches to reach out to them–and also to victims–to offer help, hope and restorative healing. A valuable ministry that has seen success nationally is now coming to Pennsylvania to help churches respond to this need. (more…)

End Mass Incarceration – Lehigh Valley

Friday, April 6th, 2018

POWER Northeast – End Mass Incarceration Lehigh Valley working group
meets 2nd and 4th Thursdays each month, 6-8pm at 916 W. Turner St., Allentown. For more details and other events related to Mass Incarceration, see justice.ppjr.org .

Lehigh Valley – End Mass Incarceration

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018
February 8, 2018 (Thursday, 7:00pm) Bethlehem, PA
The Lehigh Valley working group to end mass incarceration is invited to attend the next Lehigh Valley ACLU meeting which will begin with a preview of the ACLU-PA Smart Justice campaign. The meeting will be at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 424 Center St., Bethlehem PA, in the main fellowship hall on the ground floor. Enter the building from the Wall Street side entrance. (more…)

Resources – April 2016

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

Prison Justice Resources

  • Saturday, May 21, 2016 (10am-12n) Letter-writing to people in prison, and Sheila Clever will speak again on the “Pipeline to Prison Learning Tour” at First Presbyterian Church, Allentown.
  • The Fair Housing Act – Finding a place to live can be difficult for people with arrest records. Now it may be easier for convicted felons to rent a home under the protection of the Fair Housing Act which is being interpreted to include discrimination against returning citizens. See this NPR story for details.

Anti-Racism Resources

  • The 30-min. video excerpt, “RACE – THE POWER OF AN ILLUSION: The Genesis of Discriminatory Housing Policies” is available on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/133506632
  • Critical Cultural Competency Workshop – June 11, 2016 (9am-5pm) at Grace Episcopal Church, 108 N. 5th St. For details, contact Kara Bender, 412-513-9648, kara@crossroadsantiracism.org.
    Kara Bender is a national organizer/trainer with Crossroads Anti-Racism Organizing & Training (see crossroadsantiracism.org )

Pennsylvania Legislative Redistricting

  • Changing the redistricting process in Pennsylvania requires a Constitutional Amendment. Companion bills SB-484 and HB-1835 would create an impartial, independent citizens redistricting commission with rules ensuring fairness and transparency.
    Fair Districts PA has a petition asking our legislators to pass these constitutional amendments to restore accountable government that is of, by and for the people. (See www.fairdistrictspa.com )

Ecumenical Advocacy Days: “Lift Every Voice! – Racism, Class & Power”

  • April 15-18, 2016 (Fri. evening – Mon.) Washington, DC area

    Legislative ask (2-part):

    • Supporting the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 (S. 1659/H.R. 2867) as a substantial legislative step to restoring and strengthening the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and
    • Defeating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement that deepens inequality and prioritizes corporate interests over both God’s creation and people, especially vulnerable communities in the U.S. and abroad.

    For details, see www.advocacydays.org

The Heart of Justice: follow-up events

Saturday, January 17th, 2015


Feb. 17, 2015 (Tuesday, 7:30pm)
Legislative Prison Justice Committee meeting

— a new Lehigh Valley group that is working on Pennsylvania and U.S. legislative issues related to prisons and the criminal justice system.
Location: Bethlehem,PA (contact Sheila Clever for details).

The Heart of Justice: Decarcerate Pennsylvania

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
Decarcerate PA is a growing state-wide movement focused on challenging the public policies that have caused explosive growth of Pennsylvania’s prison population over the past 30 years. A Decarcerate organizing team from Philadelphia led one of the workshops at our Nov. 2013 “Heart of Justice” event, and they returned to Allentown on March 1 and April 5 to begin organizing a Lehigh Valley chapter.

Decarcerate’s work is guided by a three-fold platform which has been endorsed by more than 100 Pennsylvania organizations: (more…)

The Heart of Justice: Faces of the Prisoner*

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Stereotypes of who is most likely to be stopped, arrested or in prison were explored through the use of photos representing African Americans, Hispanics, European Americans, male and female. None of the persons in the photographs were known to have ever been arrested. The photos of African American and Hispanic males were considered most likely to have been incarcerated. (more…)