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Breaking the Chains: Mass Incarceration and Systems of Exploitation

April 10th, 2015

EAD-chain-cross-topperThe Ecumenical Advocacy Days Annual Conference will be held in Washington, DC from April 17-20, and will focus on the problem of mass incarceration in the United States.

The EAD Congressional Advocacy day will be on April 20th. Here is the EAD ‘ask’ of Congress:

Congressional Advocacy Day – April 20, 2015

(Click above to read the full “Ask” with talking points and background information.)

We call on Congress to reform federal criminal justice and immigrant detention policies toward the goal of ending unfair, unnecessary, costly and racially biased mass incarceration:

  • Adopt criminal justice and sentencing reform policies that incorporate an end to mandatory minimum sentencing;
  • Eliminate the detention bed quota for immigrants and implement alternatives to immigrant detention.

Our Faith Conviction

As people of faith and conscience, we call for respect to be shown all people as bearers of God’s image. Jesus tells us to act humanely toward those we might consider “least” among God’s children. We are therefore concerned for the millions of men, women and children arrested, sentenced, incarcerated and returned home from incarceration throughout this country. The federal justice system should lead the nation in ensuring proportional and equitable accountability, not arbitrary and inhumane treatment. Unjust criminal justice practices and unnecessary immigrant detention run contrary to our faith and to our nation’s fundamental values of basic dignity, due process, and human rights.

End Mandatory Minimum Sentencing

We urge Congress to support federal criminal justice reform legislation that would:

  • Allow judges the discretion to fully consider the circumstances of individual cases to arrive at the most appropriate sentencing decision.
  • Strike or reduce mandatory minimum sentences.
  • Shrink the size of the federal prison system, particularly among people convicted of nonviolent and low-level offenses.
  • Eliminate racial disparity and racial bias in sentencing.
  • Prioritize alternatives to incarceration for individuals who pose little threat to public safety, and ensure accountability without the use of excessive punishment.

Eliminate the Detention Bed Quota for Immigrants and Implement Alternatives to Detention

In the House, Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Bill Foster (D-IL) will introduce an amendment to strike the quota language in the appropriations bill. We ask you to:

  • Vote in favor of this amendment.
  • Contact other offices to gain support for the elimination of the quota.
  • Express your opposition to the bed quota in public statements.

Go to AdvocacyDays.org for more information, downloadable brochures and bulletin inserts, hotel information and to Register NOW!

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