Jasmine Murphy, sophmore at Logan High School, speaking up for prison reform
Editor's note: Not long after Jasmine addressed the legislature, SB 379—the state's prison overcrowding bill—was passed. It gives judges the authority to grant early releases to nonviolent offenders, categorizes offenders in terms of risks vs. needs and treating them appropriately, and addresses technical parole violations that shorten time spent back in prison.
“I want to share with you a little bit about my life because I hope that maybe if I speak up, people who make the decisions that affect so many people’s lives will listen.”
As the West Virginia Economic Justice Project addresses prison overcrowding on a policy level, the Appalachian Center for Equality Youth Leadership Program explores the racial and economic injustices of the prison industrial complex and the impact this has on their lives.
Wahid was a participant in AFSC’s Friend of a Friend at the Maryland Correctional Institution – Jessup. While in the conflict resolution mentoring program, he shared his story with author and Friend of a Friend mentor Craig Muhammad.
The following story is taken from the chapter, “Dropping the Flag,” in the soon-to-be published book, From Jericho to Jerusalem: Organizing Street Organizations. It is one of several “testimonies” from young men who are former members of gangs, or what many refer to as street organizations.
According to the Bureau for Justice Statistics, the number of adult federal and state prison inmates increased from 139 per 100,000 residents in 1980 to 502 per 100,000 in 2009 — an increase of 261 percent. Over two million Americans are now incarcerated in prisons or jails and the total number of Americans under some form of penal supervision (including jail, prison, parole and probation) is over 7.2 million.
Despite little growth in either its population or crime rate, West Virginia has seen a marked increase in the number of people housed in its corrections facilities. As the state's prisons become overcrowded, West Virginia is facing a corrections crisis that not only impacts the state's budget but also the low-income and minority communities that are disproportionately impacted by drug addiction and substance abuse issues that land them in prison instead of treatment programs.
Child and Family Policy Center and Empowering Children of Incarcerated Parents are sponsoring a conference focusing on empowering the children of incarcerated parents. It will be held on Friday, August 24th, 9:15 AM to Noon.Keynote speaker is Charity Lee, of the ELLA Foundation. Other speakers include Dr.
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
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