What Would You Build #InsteadofPrisons?
Today, along with our #Insteadofprisons image, we hear from James at SCI Graterford, calling on us all to educate, agitate, and organize to dismantle the prison system:
I’ve been imprisoned for almost two decades for a crime I committed as a juvenile. While I’ve been here I’ve watched the prison population grow larger, younger, and browner (as if wasn’t brown enuff!). I’ve witnessed the prison rip families and communities apart by transferring prisoners hundreds of miles away from loved ones. I’ve seen the economic burden that prisoners’ families and friends must endure – the “prison tax” – for cheap and unreliable services, such as the expensive, long-distance phone calls and high travel/visitation rates.
However, those pale in comparison to what I consider to be the vilest aspect of this prison behemoth: the psychological torture inflicted daily to break the spiritual will of the imprisoned. Instead of becoming rehabilitated advocates for personal and social transformation, many of these tortured minds become more fearful, docile and semi-childlike under the authority of slave master-ish correctional officers. These “invisible prison scars” are apparent in the high recidivism rates and high levels of violence in brown/urban communities by participants with direct ties to the current prison system.
With new prison construction underway in Pennsylvania, we can only expect more taxpayer debt, more cutting of education budgets, and more young brown bodies (male and female) to be dehumanized in Pennsylvania prisons. To ALL within eye and ear of my words, I beg you to get involved in the struggle to dismantle this prison system by educating, agitating and organizing against it.
Tell us what you would build instead of prisons! You can post here, tweet at us (@DecarceratePA) or share on our Facebook page. Spread the word and help us envision a better future for Pennsylvania #insteadofprisons!
Each day until December 31, we are posting an image from our collective imagination of what we would build instead of prisons. We call on Pennsylvania legislators and Governor Corbett to cancel all ongoing prison construction and resolve to make 2014 a Year of No New Prisons!
The #insteadofprisons images we post were created by people around the state as part of Decarcerate PA’s March for A People’s Budget, Not a Prison Budget. When we met with people in Philadelphia before the march, and as we walked from town to town, we asked Pennsylvanians to make a flag and share with us what they would build #insteadofprisons.
Don’t forget to tell us what you would build #insteadofprisons and ask all of your friends and family to do the same!
More information at www.decarceratepa.info