The following appeared in The Twin Cities Daily Planet on March 14, 2018. The original can be found here.
By: Katie Jeddeloh
Jewish Community Action launches justice initiative tackling prison system
The Jewish Community Action, a St. Paul group, is partnering with local coalitions, people of color, interfaith collectives and immigrant groups to organize against the for-profit prison industry. Their campaign is called Decriminalizing Communities and will emphasize incarceration as a last resort, instead favoring mental health treatment, rehabilitation, and other community-based systems.
“We believe that all people are equal. We believe that all people deserve to live in safe communities and safe homes. Despite its name, we do not believe that our criminal justice system is just. In the past 20 years, all forms of crime have declined in our state, yet we continue to incarcerate more people for longer periods of time. Evidence shows that our prison system is both profit-motivated and powered by the racial oppression that underlies many of the systems that remain fundamental to our society. We believe in the need for a justice system that is truly fair.”