CSI Civic Education for Formerly Incarcerated Persons
Attorney General Eric Holder Delivers Remarks on Criminal Justice Reform at Georgetown University Law Center
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 – “Although the issues on our agenda this morning are difficult and at times divisive, the diversity of this crowd – and the panelists and Members of Congress you’ll be hearing from – is a testament to the fact that criminal justice reform is essentially not a partisan issue. It’s about providing legal professionals and law enforcement leaders with the 21st-century solutions they need to address 21st-century challenges. It’s about shaping a system that deters and punishes crime, keeps us safe, and ensures that those who pay their debts have the chance to become productive citizens. Most importantly, it’s about answering fundamental questions – about fairness and equality – that determine who we are, and who we aspire to be, not only as a nation, but as a people – a people resolved to move forward together, and committed to implementing criminal justice policies that work for everyone in this country.’ To read the entire address: http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/ag/speeches/2014/ag-speech-140211.html
Second Chance Lobby Day a Success!
Read about The Second Chance Lobby Day here.
Second Chance Lobby Day NC Legislature video highlights! Click here.
Second Chance Lobby Day Press Conference. Click here.
Democracy North Carolina is the state’s most respected source of impartial data on the role of money in politics, voter participation and good government. Learn more »
The NC Second Chance Alliance
…is a statewide alliance of advocacy organizations, service providers, faith-based organizations, community leaders and interested citizens that have come together to achieve the safe and successful reintegration of adults and juveniles with criminal records by promoting policies that remove barriers to productive citizenship. Click here to visit their website.
Melissa Harris-Perry and her panelists talk about where politics and the prison system converge in deciding who gets to vote, and the outcomes of the decision.
NAACP Convention, recently held in Houston, covered the voting rights issue with Dennis Gaddy of CSI on the panel.
The NAACP met and discussed issues within the African-American community including voting rights, education, and civic participation. As pivotal elections approach in 2012, the summit examined the national attack on voting rights and retrogressive measures meant to prevent participation by eligible citizens. The session provided an overview of the national and state-level attacks on voting rights, and provided a comprehensive strategy on the progressive response. Panelists discussed concrete steps to implement the NAACP game changing strategy to increase civic participation and protect and expand voting rights. Click here to visit the CSPAN webpage
Commentary: Felony Disenfranchisement
Voter suppression takes its cues from old politics.
More than 100 years later, felony disenfranchisement — the practice of denying formerly incarcerated citizens the right to vote — remains on the books as an enduring nod to the Jim Crow era and a stain on our democracy” To follow the rest of this important article click here which is link to BET.com, who is hosting it. They have our thanks for this timely presentation.
NAACP Presents Case Against U.S. Voter ID Laws to United Nations
Leaders of the NAACP were in Geneva this week, taking this issue to the United Nations Human Rights Council for support, claiming that such ballot-box integrity measures violate the human rights of racial minorities under international law. The centerpiece of NAACP’s campaign, “Stand For Freedom Pledge,” includes a appeal for “the United Nations to investigate and condemn voter suppression tactics in the United States.” Officials from the NAACP are presenting their case against US voter ID laws arguing to the international diplomats that the requirements disenfranchise voters and suppress the minority vote. To read the rest of this, click here.
It may be a good idea to watch what you say in public.
Brandon Raub, a Marine combat veteran, was abducted at his home in Chesterfield, Virginia by a thugscrum of federal officials and local police on August 16. He wasn’t charged with a crime; instead, he was taken into custody on the pretext that some of his Facebook posts concerning current affairs evinced symptoms of mental derangement or terrorist inclinations. Raub was handcuffed by the police when he displayed “resistance” – in this case, passive non-compliance. Following a perfunctory mental status hearing, Raub was confined to the John Randolph Medical Center. To read the rest of this and watch a video, click here.
CSI In the News!
See what CSI was up to at the NC Reentry Summit on March 11. View the Video
Communicating Effectively With Your Legislator
Don’t be intimidated. Legislators are in the business of representing the public’s interest. A significant part of their job is listening to people like you.
Ask to speak briefly with the legislator. If the legislator is not in his or her office, ask for their contact information and leave the Second Chance Alliance Action Request with the secretary.
Address the legislators as “Representative ____” or “Senator _____.”
Introduce yourself clearly. Tell the legislator your name, where you are from, and why you are there. If you are a member of their district, it is especially important for you to let them know.
Share your reentry story and/or support for second chances. This is the most important thing you can do on Second Chance Lobby Day. In just 2 or 3 minutes, describe the barriers that you have faced as a result of your criminal record, why the legislator should try to address these barriers, and how you would use (or have used) your second chance. If you do not have a criminal record, please describe why you support lowering barriers to reentry.
Be specific. Suggest actions the legislator might take, including specific bills he or she should support. Use the Second Chance Alliance Action Request as a guide.
Listen, and always be respectful. Listen to what the legislator has to say, even if you do not agree with what he or she is saying. You can state facts or personal stories to support your opinion, but try to avoid arguing with the legislator.
Share Action Request. Be sure to leave the legislator with a copy of the Second Chance Alliance Action Request.