The concept of justice and exactly what it means to each of us is something that we’ve all engaged with over the past few months, given our current social and political climate.
Off of the main yard at Avenal State Prison, fenced off, is their garden – one of the garden sites that the Ella Baker Center had a chance to visit a few months ago to see the Insight Garden Program (IGP) in action.
There’s something hopeful or resolute about giving life the space to thrive behind prison walls. Prisons are really desolate constructions. The people living and working there are far away, behind metal and stone.
Currently, 50,000 Californians on parole cannot vote because of their criminal history. Between 1976 and 2016, the percentage of people barred from voting as a result of felony disenfranchisement laws increased by more than 500%, from 1.17 million to a record 6.1 million.
As The Alameda County Board of Supervisors convened for their annual October retreat, Ella Baker Center members, advocates and family members who have lost loved ones inside Santa Rita jail marched down the block, repeating calls for a full and transparent audit of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO).
After lobbying with our members, allies, advocates and formerly incarcerated Californians at the State Capitol last month, calling our legislators, and sharing stories of the people most impacted by sentence enhancements, the California State Assembly passed SB 136!