September 16, 2012

Building Bridges - September 2012 edition

The September edition of Building Bridges has been issued by the Prison Action Network.

A brief summary is given below. Please see Building Bridges for full details:

1. The 1971 Attica Rebellion revealed an unforgivable truth; that this country allows human beings in confinement to be dehumanized, traumatized and demoralized, unmercifully.

2. Civic engagement means you take ownership of your community. You work to make it the place you want to live. One of the ways to do this is by voting. The Reentry Roundtable makes civic engagement the focus of their September 19th meeting.

3. Corey Parks tells readers how the Merle Cooper Program taught him that confrontation could be a positive tool for transformation.

4. Family Empowerment Day 5 in Buffalo features keynote speakers Ebony Magazine's "Couple of the Year", Rufus and Jenny Triplett of Powder Springs GA. The choice of workshops is listed in the flyer at the end.

5. Herman's House, a movie: 'What kind of house does a man who has been imprisoned in a six-foot-by-nine-foot cell for over 30 years dream of?' Co-presented by the Correctional Association and opening at the Harlem International Film Festival on Wed. Sept 19.

6. History of Graziano v. Pataki. It took 5 years before the plaintiffs found a lawyer to take the case pro bono. Is Mr. Graziano despairing after the latest set-back? No. The fight continues!

7. ICARE speaks about our Social Contract. If progressives are going to dispel the myth that mass incarceration is a response to crime, we have to break through the prevailing definition of criminality. And we are going to have to fight back using moral terms.

8. In Our Name, Restoring Justice in America, was the first in what promise to be a series of excellent conferences. The issues facing War Veterans in prison will be the focus of the Spring 2012 event.

9. My Name is My Own II, an evening of words by formerly incarcerated women, Tue. Sept 18 7-9pm.

10. Old Behind Bars, Speaker Jamie Fellner, Human Rights Watch, on October 10th, 11am-1pm. FREE. Fordham University.

11. Parole News: July release rates, the percentages are looking good, but the denials are the same old "nature of the crime" and the inconsistency is even getting to some prison superintendents, one of whom is reported to have complained about the denials of parole applicants he thought were highly qualified for release; Mark David Chapman's parole denial.

12. NYS Parole Reform Campaign depends on voters to elect a strong Democratic majority in order to pass the SAFE Parole Act. First step is to make sure your voter registration is up to date. Report on the Sept 13 primaries looks positive.

13. Pregnant in prison? Tell us about it. The law says you can't be shackled when in labor, during delivery, recovering after birth.

14. Prison Public Memory Project: website and blog + community-based activities and events to build public memory, connect communities with prisons to their histories and help people in places where prisons have closed to use the past to imagine new futures.

15. NYS Prisoner Justice Network reports on Sept 14's Program to End Mass Incarceration/Close Attica.

16. Reminder: Prison Action Network’s deadline for position papers is October 1.

17. Thinking Outside the Cell is launching a 10 minute multi-media study of the stigma of incarceration in the USA.