Church of the Holy Spirit Advocacy Project in Prison Reform
SIMPLE ACTION STEPS TO SUPPORT REFORM
Watch a recording of our webinar to learn about problems in our criminal justice system. LINK IS
|TRAFFIC STOPS [HB 1513]
Current policing strategies for low-level traffic stops disproportionately harm marginalized communities.
|LIMITING SOLITARY CONFINEMENT [HB 1087]
Overreliance on solitary confinement subjects hundreds of incarcerated persons to psychological torture.
|UNSTACKING GUN ENHANCEMENTS [HB 1268]
Stacking of gun enhancements leads to mass incarceration; incarcerated persons remain warehoused into old age even when they age out of crime and can productively rejoin society.
Support these bills by writing or calling our District 34 legislators:
|Senator Joe Nguyen
|Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon
|Rep. Emily Alvarado
Why support these bills? Passing these bills will help undo the racial, social, economic, and spiritual harms of Washington state’s criminal justice system and will begin ending mass incarceration. As Christians, we believe that incarcerated persons are loved by God. A reformed criminal justice system can help end systemic racism and help all incarcerated persons turn their lives around.
I write to support HB 1268 on unstacking gun enhancements. I am dismayed by the excessive length of sentences in Washington prisons that grow out of the 1980s war on drugs and disproportionately affect people of color. I think of myself as tough on crime, but I deeply desire a more just and humane prison system. Unjustly long sentences have done enormous harm to minority communities, created spiritual and psychological hopelessness for prisoners, been enormously expensive for taxpayers, and done little to promote public safety. I hope you will vote “yes” on HB 1268, which will be a major step toward revising those 1980s laws that have turned our prisons into warehouses. Our prisons should be places of rehabilitation and hope. Please fight mass incarceration by supporting HB 1268.
I recently watched a webinar on criminal justice reform sponsored by the Episcopal church on Vashon Island. I am writing in support of the bills featured in the webinar: HB 1513 on Traffic Stops, HB 1087 on Limiting Solitary Confinement, and HB 1268 on Unstacking Gun Enhancements. All three bills work together to help create a kinder prison system that treats incarcerated individuals as valued persons loved by God and capable of turning their lives around. The webinar spokespersons for all three bills show the racial injustices in our criminal justice system and the damage that prison life does to individuals. The aim of our criminal justice system seems to be punishment and retribution rather than rehabilitation and return to a productive life in society. Please count me as a voice favoring criminal justice reform.
I write to support HB 1513 on traffic stops. I am glad that ACLU is sponsoring this carefully designed bill that allows police to stop vehicles for safety violations like failure to signal turns, not wearing seat belts, or using cell phones while driving, but not for non-traffic violations like burned out taillights or expired tabs. Too often these minor traffic stops are pretenses to search cars for drugs and disproportionately affect people of color. ACLU has designed this bill carefully as a response to the justified fear of “driving while black.” Passing this bill is an important way of dismantling systemic racism.