These are tumultuous times for the criminal justice system. Huffington Post reports that exonerations of wrongfully convicted people are at an all time high. Meanwhile, Marissa Alexander has finally been released from a nightmare of incarceration resulting from firing a single warning shot at a known abuser. In the background, police are not being charged for killing the people they are sworn to protect -even when the murder is caught on tape as in the case of Eric Garner. The “Drug War” continues to separate families, racially profile young black men, and cost taxpayers billions of dollars to incarcerate people of color on simple drug possession charges.
If there is a single thing that can be said about “criminal justice” right now, it is that the system is woefully broken.
Durham City Wide Study of The New Jim Crow
In the midst of this unrest, our partners at SpiritHouse are hosting a Durham City Wide Study of The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander’s groundbreaking book examining race and the criminal justice system. Click here to learn more about the event and take part. Watch a preview of the book below.
What is being done to combat this situation?
As these injustices continue to pile up, communities across the U.S. are coming together to fight back.
- The #BlackLivesMatter movement has raised awareness about our troubled criminal justice system and its apparent indifference to the lives of Black men, women, and children.
- Organizations like SCSJ continue to hold Clean Slate Clinics to assist people who have been caught up in the criminal justice system to regain control of their lives by getting free legal assistance to obtain certificates of relief, expungements, and other documents necessary to overcome the massive barriers to finding employment, housing, and education with a criminal record.
- Universities such as UNC are holding panels to discuss how white supremacy reinforces racism in academic settings.
- Arizona State University has a new course examining white supremacy and how it reinforces racist systems in the U.S.
- YOU can join the movement to reverse the tide by participating in Durham’s City-Wide Reading of The New Jim Crow. Act now!
List of Community Partners
Individuals: Trude Bennett, Martin Eakes, Irv Joyner, Alison Moy, Mary Moore, Vivian Timlic – NAACP Diane Standaert
Organizations: Action NC, Center for Documentary Studies (Staff), Central Park School for Children Equity Team, City Well Church of Durham, Communities in Partnership Old East Durham, Durham Anti-Racist White Caucus, Durham People’s Alliance, Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, FADE Coalition, First Presbyterian Church of Durham, Golden Belt Neighborhood, Muhammad Mosque No. 34, North Carolina Central University Black Law Student Association, North Carolina Public Defender Association Committee On Racial Equity, Project TURN, Self Help Credit Union, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church
Post by SCSJ Deputy Director Shoshannah Sayers