Formerly incarcerated people from all over the United States country will convene in Los Angeles tomorrow to ratify the National Platform of the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted Peoples Movement (FICPM) and discuss an agenda for action. Participants will discuss plans to register and mobilize one million formerly incarcerated people to vote in the 2012 elections and strategies to expand the "Ban the Box" employment rights campaign that has yielded legislation in six states easing discrimination against job seekers with a conviction history.
Key organizers of the gathering include Dorsey Nunn, Executive Director of Legal Services for Prisoners With Children and the organizing project All of Us or None, based in San Francisco, CA, Susan Burton, Executive Director, A New Way of Life Reentry Project in South Central Los Angeles and Pastor Kenny Glasgow, Director of The Ordinary People’s Society (aka TOPS) in Dothan, Alabama.
The new movement emerges at a time when the US has the largest incarceration rate in the world and approximately two million children under the age of 18 with at least one parent behind bars. An estimated 600,000 will be released from prison per year over the next five years. According to the latest US Bureau of Justice statistics, over four million people were on parole and over 800,000 were on probation.
The FICPM website lists 14 demands, after all a lot of people are in jail in the United States and many millions more Americans than those millions currently incarcerated are effected in a myriad of different ways from increased child mortality, loss of voting rights, loss of public expenditure on health and education in their community.
I. We Demand an End to Mass Incarceration
II. We Demand Equality and Opportunity for All People
III. We Demand the Right to Vote
IV. We Demand Respect and Dignity for our Children
V. We Demand Community Development, Not Prison Profit
VI. End Immigration Detention and Deportation
VII. End Racial Profiling Inside Prison and In Our Communities
VIII. End Extortion and Slavery in Prisons
IX. End Sexual Harassment of People in Prison
X. Human Contact is a Human Right
XI. End Cruel and Unusual Punishment
XII. We Demand Proper Medical Treatment
XIII. End the Incarceration of Children
XIV. Free Our Political Prisoners