Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Warning: Black Women Are the New Targets For Mass Incarceration

The Free HER Rally is organized to call for non-violent female prisoners to be released from prison Female prison population has risen 757 percent from
 1977-2005. www.naturallymoi.com

On June 21, 2014, Families for Justice as Healing is holding the FREE HER Rally in Washington DC.  The rally hopes to bring women, families, and supporters together to raise their voices against mass incarceration and the war on drugs.
According to Corrections.com, “the female population in prisons has risen an astonishing 757 percent from 1977 to 2005.  Most experts believe the massive increase is the result of tougher sentencing laws and a record number of drug offenders.”
The majority of these women are imprisoned for non-violent crimes, and 70 percent of incarcerated women are usually caregivers prior to their incarceration.
Andrea James, founder of Families for Justice as Healing and author of the book titled Upper Bunkies Unite,  discussed the FREE HER Rally with Your Black World. Here’s what she said: “We are hoping to raise the level of awareness in this country on the increase of incarcerated women and the destruction it has on our children and our community.”
She further states, “Ninety percent of the women are there for non-violent offenses related to drugs and they are serving unconsciously long sentences.”
James is a former criminal defense lawyer and is no stranger to prison.  In 2009 she was sentenced to two years in federal prison after turning herself in for mail and wire fraud.  In the early 2000’s, James took advantage of the real estate boom and worked doing real estate closings in addition to her thriving law practice.  It led to her illegally misusing funds in her dealings to help clients pay off their mortgages early.
She told Your Black World that when she first entered the inside of prison, she was stunned by what she encountered as she walked through the “cramped” environment “full of Black women.” There she witnessed firsthand the devastation the war on drugs had on women and their families.  She was also shocked at the unimaginably long sentences given to these women who, as she says, “were never arrested before, never so much as for a parking ticket.”
Upon her release, she created Families for Justice as Healing.  She stated, “Prisons are dehumanizing environments and will never serve a role in society as places of healing. A shift is necessary from policies that criminalize poverty to ones that provide resources for healing from laws and practices that continue to perpetuate a permanent underclass.”
Her organization is a criminal justice reform legislative advocacy group that advocates for community wellness alternatives to incarceration.  The organization is comprised of both incarcerated and formally incarcerated women.
James states, “We hope to shed light on the dangerous and rapid increase in the incarceration rates of women, and disproportionately black women, in the United States. And, we will ask President Obama to commute the sentences of women locked up in the federal system who are serving drug sentences and send them home to their children and their families. The time for healing has arrived.”



Isaiah 42: 
22 But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.

23 Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come?

24 Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the Lord, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.


Deuteronomy 32:

39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.