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Advocates and elected officers joined Kids of Promise NYC founder and CEO, Sharon Content material, to interact in a thought upsetting dialog, entitled “Breaking the Chains of Incarceration,” on the racial disparities and trauma inflicted on Black and Brown communities with an outdated prison justice system.
Content material works day by day with what she calls “the unseen victims of incarceration,” that are members of the family who typically really feel unheard and have an absence of voice concerning prison justice insurance policies. The open dialog delved into the historical past behind points comparable to financial insecurity, school-to-prison pipeline, and extra with Senator Jessica Ramos, CEO and Government Director of FPWA Jennifer Jones Austin, Founding father of Pure Legacee Naquasia Pollard, and CEO and Government Director of JCCA Ron Richter.
As points plaguing Black and Brown households have been laid out, the panelists mentioned how they need to be dismantled. The topic of racism has been the ugly shadow shrouding society, and panelists shared the impact it has had making a vicious cycle of psychological sickness and mass incarceration in Black and Brown communities, a lot in order that New York Metropolis declared racism a public well being disaster final week.
Jones Austin states that the reason for trauma for marginalized teams started with slavery and the oppression of marginalized communities. She likewise defined that the foundation of systemic racism started with the method of indigenous individuals being ripped from their homelands, enslaved, proceeded by Jim Crow Legal guidelines, lynching, enforced racial segregation, inequitable wages, mass incarceration, and extra.
“I imagine the justice system is working precisely because it was created and designed. It’s not damaged. It was designed precisely to function in that method. The justice system doesn’t present justice. You recognize, sure individuals in sure communities are protected. After which sure people and sure communities are violated. That’s the way it was created,” Content material mentioned, asking Jones Austin who additionally serves because the chair of the New York Board of Corrections, “What are a few of the methods the fee is working in direction of bringing consciousness to households impacted by the prison justice system and the cycle of trauma and racism that exists?”
Jones Austin described the Racial Justice Fee and the significance of acknowledging the hurt achieved with a purpose to transfer ahead if the problems have any hope of being corrected.
“What America has achieved is Band-Assist the response,” Jones Austin acknowledged, including that many both ignored the issue at hand or simply moved on, however the right response is to acknowledge the issue, take duty, and decide to fixing it.
This yr the deteriorating circumstances at Rikers Island have been within the highlight after the eleventh Nunez Monitor Report and a number of other visits from elected officers. Senator Ramos states that she has visited the sight 4 occasions, and on one event even witnessed a person try suicide in addition to the inhumane dwelling circumstances. This yr alone the ability has seen 14 deaths.
“Each legislator ought to be visiting our correctional services and seeing the circumstances through which we’re holding human beings in our custody. In order that we will perceive the hurt that we’re creating ourselves, and in perpetuating this method. My go to to Rikers was particularly to OBCC on this one event…I noticed 12 to twenty males sleeping on the ground,” Ramos mentioned, describing the positioning of human excrement and urine soaked into the flooring since a number of of the bathrooms weren’t working. In some instances, she additionally noticed baggage stuffed with human waste.
The sheer quantity of our bodies in a single room gave Ramos trigger for well being and security considerations.
“And naturally COVID operating rampant, drugs aren’t being given to those males on a well timed foundation, and a slew of human rights violations are being dedicated. That’s the reality. I imply, I’ve described it as a Home of Horrors,” Ramos mentioned.
The Queens state senator urged listeners to achieve out to legislators inside each degree of presidency and ask them to go to Rikers Island and to signal the Honest and Well timed parole in order that as many people as attainable can re-engage of their communities.
“It is very important handle the trauma related to mass incarceration. By way of the Therapy Not Jails laws, we encourage judges within the authorized system to contemplate diversion strategies in courtroom to rid ourselves of this mass incarceration situation,” Senator Ramos mentioned.
Naquasia Pollard, Founding father of Pure Legacee added that these circumstances being uncovered are nothing new. It’s one thing she has gone via herself as a previously incarcerated individual, and the trauma it inflicted on herself, her daughter, and different members of her household.
“As somebody who was beforehand incarcerated for almost all of my daughter’s life, I noticed firsthand the impression that had on her and her well-being,” mentioned Naquasia Pollard, Founding father of Pure Legacee. “We all the time suppose that as a result of kids with incarcerated mother and father have somebody to stick with and meals on their plates, they need to be positive however there may be a lot extra that’s wanted. Extra assist must be created in our neighborhood in order that kids get the ample psychological well being assets wanted to take care of this trauma.”