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Summer 2005 - Independent Politics News (US)

Friends Of The Incarcerated Mobilizing For March On DC

By Roberta Franklin

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Family Members and Friends of People Incarcerated, an organization based in Montgomery, Alabama is calling for individuals and organizations to travel from their respective communities. Come to Washington, DC on Saturday, August 13th, in record numbers!

The United States imprisons its citizens at rates three to ten times higher than other democratic societies. Rigid sentencing laws and 'get tough' policies have made prisons crowded, dangerous and don't make us safer. The impact of continued punishment after a person's release from prison adds to despair that keeps our communities weak.

The March on August 13th and associated events will send a message to our leaders, and is an opportunity for the world to support our demands. We must stop relying on incarceration, give people an education and rehabilitate our communities. People who pay their debt to society should be able to participate in society again.

Millions of citizens can no longer vote. Laws that partially or permanently discourage good citizenship from formerly incarcerated people cannot be supported by evidence and is bad policy.

Please support the call of Family Members and Friends of People Incarcerated, marking August 13th, 2005 a historical day. We will no longer be silent victims of criminal justice policies that target the most vulnerable citizens. We are meeting in Washington, DC to make a unified demand for justice.

The United States is the world's leading jailer, and our march on August 13th, 2005 is a long overdue event.

Abuse flourishes in US prisons, and punishment has become an industry dependent on tax dollars.

Punitive drug laws enacted in the 1980s, and to present day, have resulted in 25% of all incarcerated people in the United States serving time for a drug law violation. In the federal system, these people make up about 55% of the prison population.

In 1987, Congress abolished parole in the federal system. People were given long, mandatory, fixed sentences, leaving the incarcerated and their loved ones hopeless. State governments rushed to punish, fill prisons and build still more. We can no longer afford the injustice, in human costs or the financial burden.

Many of us work on a local level and do a fantastic job, but this march will bring family members, friends, activists, formerly incarcerated persons, and organizations together on another level.

This is a day for us to meet each other, and show our leaders that we demand justice.

Individuals and groups will begin meeting on Friday evening, August 12th. On Saturday morning, August 13th, people will assemble at Lafayette Park (north side of the White House). Programming will begin at 9:00 AM and conclude at 2:00 PM.

Please make plans to be there, and support a march for family members and friends of people incarcerated in all the ways that you can.

If you would like to be an organizer and bring a group to march in Washington on August 13th, please register online at www.journeyforjustice.org/register.html, or email: Roberta Franklin at firstladytms©aol.com

Family Members and Friends of People Incarcerated (FMI)
Roberta Franklin, Director
2243 Ajax Street
Montgomery, Alabama 36108
Phone: 334-220-4670; 334-834-9592

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