Join Parole Illinois, Mothers Activating A Movement for Abolition and Solidarity (MAMAS), American Friends Service Committee–Chicago and LIV3 for a virtual press conference on COVID-19 in prisons, and the crisis of long-term sentencing. We will hear directly from our incarcerated community members, their family-members, and outside advocates working to #FreeThemAll.
The current COVID19 crisis in prisons reflects systemic failures in our criminal-legal system: Decades of extreme sentencing laws, a punitive system that focuses on warehousing people rather than rehabilitation, and no regular mechanisms for reviewing and releasing people when they are ready to return home. This is why we have so many elderly, vulnerable people inside prisons across the state, accelerating the pandemic.
Our calls for release must include everyone, including those who’ve served many years after having been convicted of violent crimes and are now ready to return home and those serving shorter sentences, or we run the risk of leaving behind those most vulnerable. From earned discretionary release to executive acts of clemency, every mechanism of release must be used and expanded right now, before more lives are lost.
Joseph Dole – Joe is an award-winning writer, artist, and activist currently incarcerated at Stateville prison. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Northeastern Illinois University with a focus on Critical Carceral-Legal Studies.
Janet Jackson – Janet is a survivor of domestic violence as well as activist and leader of incarcerated women at Logan. She has served over 30 years of a life-without-parole sentence.
Ronnie Carroll – Ronnie resides in Champaign, Illinois and is a downstate organizer with Parole Illinois. Ronnie was given a natural life sentence, did 31 years in IDOC, and was released this past December.
Melly Rios – Melly is the partner of Benny Rios. Benny is a Master’s Degree candidate at North Park University and is currently incarcerated at Stateville prison.
Armanda Shackelford – Armanda is the mother of torture survivor Gerald Reed, a leader of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARP), and a member of MAMAS. Her son, Gerald, is incarcerated at Stateville and has been in prison for almost 30 years.
Brian Bronis – Brian is the father of Matthew Echevarria. Matthew has been in jail for close to 21 years and is currently incarcerated at Menard. Brian also supports other inmates by attending their court hearings, and his wife Denice is an active member of MAMAS.
Additional Speakers To Be Announced.
Register via Eventbrite to gt a reminder email with the Zoom link and to receive future updates from Parole IL and MAMAS:
This webinar is organized and cosponsored by:
Mothers Activating A Movement for Abolition and Solidarity (MAMAS)
American Friends Service Committee–Chicago