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Note: Meetings of the End Mass Incarceration Committee (and many of the other events on this calendar) are conduced as virtual meetings (Zoom or other internet-based media).
POWER Lehigh Valley - working group to
End Mass Incarceration

End Mass Incarceration meetings are usually on 1st and 3rd Thursdays each month, 7pm by Zoom (internet or phone). Check the calendar below for updates and exceptions.

Lehigh Valley - Events of interest for Criminal Justice Reform



Current / Forthcoming Events

  • November 20, 2023 (Monday, 4-5pm) Restorative Justice: What West Virginia is Talking About   Webinar and discussion.
    Following a welcome from Honorable Judge Michael Aloi and WV Restorative Justice Project Coordinator Emily Neely, participants will hear from people around the state who are using restorative justice approaches in schools, recovery homes, drug courts, communities and more. Sponsored by American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Register here.
  • Nov. 21, 2023 (Tuesday, 6:00pm) Free Our People coalition meeting (3rd Tuesday, every month)
    We'll debrief the legislative meetings we've attended over the past month and plan for the coming months! Join Straight Ahead and partners to end death by incarceration. Sign up at: bit.ly/FreeOurPeople23
  • December 5, 2023 (Tuesday, 6-7pm) Lehigh Valley Stands Up - Public Safety Committee
    The PSC works on the ongoing campaign for Help Not Handcuffs--Mental Health is Public Safety, Ending Solitary Confinement, and mass incarceration as well as identifying local public safety issues. Usually meets Fourth Wednesday of the month on Zoom. Register here: https://www.mobilize.us/pastandsup/event/565997/
  • December 5, 2023 (Tues., 6:30pm) Lehigh County - Courts and Corrections Committee
    Look for Zoom information and meeting agenda here.
  • December 6, 2023 (Wednesday, 8:00am) Reentry Roundtable usually first Wednesday each month at Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley (PNLV), 333 Union Street, Allentown, PA 18102.   Contact: reentryroundtable@promiseneighborhoodslv.org
  • December 6, 2023 (Wednesday, 6:00pm) Keystone Decarceration Bloc (meets by Zoom)
    legislative strategy (including solitary confinement); regional outreach plans; media strategy.
    For details, contact DBloc: keystonedbloc@gmail.com .
  • December 7, 2023 (Thursday, 7:00pm)   POWER Lehigh Valley - End Mass Incarceration.
    Zoom meeting - participate by internet or phone. Registered participants will be notified of details.
  • January 3, 2024 (Wednesday, 8:00am) Reentry Roundtable usually first Wednesday each month at Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley (PNLV), 333 Union Street, Allentown, PA 18102.   Contact: reentryroundtable@promiseneighborhoodslv.org
  • January 3, 2024 (Wednesday, 6:00pm) Keystone Decarceration Bloc (meets by Zoom)
    legislative strategy (including solitary confinement); regional outreach plans; media strategy.
    For details, contact DBloc: keystonedbloc@gmail.com .
  • January 4, 2024 (Thursday, 7:00pm)   POWER Lehigh Valley - End Mass Incarceration.
    Zoom meeting - participate by internet or phone. Registered participants will be notified of details.
  • Jan. 16, 2024 (Tuesday, 6:00pm) Free Our People coalition meeting (3rd Tuesday, every month)
    We'll debrief the legislative meetings we've attended over the past month and plan for the coming months! Join Straight Ahead and partners to end death by incarceration. Sign up at: bit.ly/FreeOurPeople23
  • January 24, 2024 (Wednesday, 6-7pm) Lehigh Valley Stands Up - Public Safety Committee
    The PSC works on the ongoing campaign for Help Not Handcuffs--Mental Health is Public Safety, Ending Solitary Confinement, and mass incarceration as well as identifying local public safety issues. Usually meets Fourth Wednesday of the month on Zoom. Register here: https://www.mobilize.us/pastandsup/event/565997/


Recent Recorded Events

  • Why Are We Incarcerating Domestic Violence Survivors? - Sentencing Project Webinar
    (Recorded Oct. 25, 2023) - reflects on how the growth of mass incarceration drives the criminalization of survivors of domestic violence. The national proliferation of Domestic Violence Survivor Justice Acts (DVSJA) tells a vital story about how the system actually handles the survivors it claims to protect. Watch the webinar here.
      Also see the Sentencing Project report on Sentencing Reform for Criminalized Domestic Violence Survivors.
  • Campaign Update: 50 Years of Mass Incarceration (recorded webinar: Oct. 4, 2023; 1:09:19)
    This year the Sentencing Project and partners launched a public education campaign, 50 Years and a Wake Up: Ending The Mass Incarceration Crisis In America, designed to raise awareness about the dire state of the criminal legal system in the country. This webinar is focused on campaign developments on challenging mass incarceration and next steps we can take together, with following participants:
    • Kristen Budd, The Sentencing Project
    • LaToya Bell, Ohio Justice Policy Center
    • Emily Virgin, Human Rights for Kids
    • L.B. Eisen, Brennan Center for Justice
    • Bill Mefford, The Festival Center
    • Marta Nelson, Vera Institute for Justice
    • Stephanie Shepard, Last Prisoner Project
    • Ronald Simpson-Bey, JustLeadership USA
    • Ebony Underwood, WE GOT US NOW!
    Moderated by Nicole D. Porter, The Sentencing Project, and Monica L. Reid, NACDL.
    Also available for free download: Beyond Bars: A Path Forward from 50 Years of Mass Incarceration in the United States (124-page book - in PDF format from the Sentencing Project). Download here.
  • Misdemeanors: Driving Pretrial Injustice (recorded webinar: September 26, 2023; 1:30:00) The vast majority of people awaiting trial in the U.S. are charged with misdemeanors, which comprise 80% of court dockets around the country. Many of these charges can trace their roots to the racist history of the criminal legal system, and the growing number of misdemeanors in criminal code still clog the pretrial process without improving public safety. This webinar explores alternate ways to address criminalized behaviors, reduce the flow of misdemeanor cases into the pretrial process, and support people safely in their communities.
    Also, read the issue brief Unjustified: Reckoning with the Racialized Legacy of Misdemeanors in the Unites States.
  • Unpacking Willful Flight: Roundtable (recorded webinar: September 26, 2023; 1:26:46)
    (Pretrial Justice Institute) The law recognizes a difference between nonappearance in court and willful flight (or evading prosecution), yet many jurisdictions treat them both the same, under the umbrella category of failure to appear (FTA). This has significant consequences for pretrial liberty and equity, and conversely, can result in the likelihood of nonappearance being a driver of mass incarceration.
    Speakers: Legal scholar Lauryn Gouldin; Cook County Public Defender Sharone Mitchell; Freedom Community Center founder Mike Milton; Nicole Zayas Manzano, Deputy Director of Policy at The Bail Project; and Meghan Guevara, Executive Partner at the Pretrial Justice Institute.
    This roundtable explores strategies to achieve freedom and safety for more people facing charges, while providing support to help them return to court.
    Also, read the report: Willful Flight
  • Inside/Out: Testimonial Journeys of Transformation (recorded webinar: July 27, 2023)
    This conversation with Tony and Charisse focuses on their new book Inside/Out which chronicles their stories as two siblings - one incarcerated and living on the inside, while the other is living on the outside. They share how their journeys are inextricably intertwined and explore the question: "Who is free, and who is incarcerated?"
    Watch the recording here, and view the webinar announcement here.
  • Why youth incarceration fails - Sentencing Project (webinar recorded July 27, 2023)
    Decades of evidence have left no doubt that locking up our kids harms their futures and does little to protect public safety. We're eager to talk about alternatives-to-incarceration program models, bringing together experts, mentors, and people who've benefited from the alternatives.   Sentencing Project Reports:
  • Law & Mental Health Conference 2023: Alternatives to Police II (July 6-7, 2023)
    sponsored by the Alternative Mobile Services Association.
  • Law & Mental Health Conference 2022: Alternatives to Police I (February 1-2, 2022)
    sponsored by the Alternative Mobile Services Association.
  • We Keep Us Safe: Violence Interrupter Programs as Public Safety Alternatives
    Amistad Law Center - Pop-Ed webinar (recorded July 7, 2023). In our society, police are a force designed to respond to violence--they aren't positioned to intervene before a situation turns violent. In the rare instances when they arrive at a scene before a crime has occurred, they often escalate the crisis because they're armed with guns and trained to employ violent tactics. We need to empower community members to intervene in conflicts before they turn violent. Watch the recording here.
    Here are some of the resources and programs described in the webinar:
  • Us & Them: Who Gets Stuck Behind Bars In West Virginia?
    (WV Public Radio: June 21. 2023)   In West Virginia jails, more than half of people incarcerated have not been found guilty of a crime. They're there because they can't afford bail. They're also disproportionately Black. This podcast episode explores racial disparities in the criminal legal system, with Kenny Matthews, who shares his personal experience with the system and his advocacy work to change it.
  • The Command Center to Bring Women Home (PBS 21-min. documentary: Nov. 10, 2022)
    The Command Center is an imagined space run by formerly incarcerated women for those with nowhere else to turn but to each other, a place where mothers can reunite and heal with their children, and women are able to hold and comfort one another.
  • Unpacking Willful Flight ("Failure to Appear" in court - what needs to change)
    Pretrial Justice Institute report, recorded roundtable discussion and resources.
    The law recognizes a difference between nonappearance in court and willful flight (or evading prosecution), yet many jurisdictions treat them both the same, under the umbrella category of failure to appear (FTA). This has significant consequences for pretrial liberty and equity, and conversely, can result in the likelihood of nonappearance being a driver of mass incarceration.
  • 50 Years and a Wakeup: Capping Maximum Sentences (webinar: recorded June 8, 2023)
    Sponsored by the Sentencing Project and Vera Institute for Justice. Extreme sentences are cruel, often racially biased, and not necessary to protect public safety. Watch the recording here.
  • Think Twice Before Calling the Police
    four-part webinar series by American Friends Service Committee
  • Punished for Presence: Reforming Felony Murder (webinar: recorded April 6, 2023)
    Sentencing Project webinar: "Felony murder" laws hold people liable for murder if they participated in a crime that resulted in someone's death. These laws impose murder sentences on people who did not kill or intend to kill. Thousands of Americans, mostly people of color, will remain behind bars their entire lives based on the extreme sentencing provisions associated with a felony murder conviction. Watch the recording here.
  • Life without Parole in the Era of Mass Incarceration - webinar organized by the Sentencing Project (recorded March 14, 2023). Watch the recording here.
  • Beyond Incarceration - four-part webinar series (February/March 2023)
    "A hard look at dismantling the prison system and building healthy communities," organized by the Mennonite Central Committee. Learn about the ways faith communities are actively understanding and working against these complex systems of confinement. The webinars are being followed by learning tour opportunities in different parts of the U.S. in 2023. See details and watch webinars here.
    • Part 1: Proclaim: How do we develop an historical/systemic understanding of mass incarceration and what is our Christian mandate to respond?
    • Part 2: Intervene: How do we interrupt and intervene in systems of mass incarceration?
    • Part 3: Create: How do we imagine and bring about alternative systems?
    • Part 4: Practice: What does proclaiming, intervening and creating alternative systems to mass incarceration look like in practice?
  • 50 Years and a Wake Up - new national campaign involving many organizations to end mass incarceration (beginning Feb. 8, 2023). Fifty years ago, the United States embarked on a path of mass incarceration that has led to a staggering increase in the prison population. Today, almost 2 million individuals -- disproportionately Black Americans -- are incarcerated in our nation's prisons and jails. The prison population has grown 500% since 1973, the year America began to sharply increase its prison population.
  • Fighting Jail Expansion (Prison Policy Initiative webinar, recorded Jan. 10, 2023)
    Across the country, communities are fighting against efforts to expand the carceral system and build new jails. 'Fighting jail expansion' brings together activists who have pushed back against jail expansion, strategies employed to prevent new jails from being built, an overview of the tools and support that Prison Policy Initiative can provide to support these efforts, and provides time for participants to ask questions of panelists.   Watch the recording at youtu.be/bxS7EZJ8V1o.
    Also here are Resources from the webinar.
Other Recorded Events (2022) >>



Past Events

  • November 16, 2023 (Thursday, 7:00pm)   POWER Lehigh Valley - End Mass Incarceration.
    Zoom meeting - participate by internet or phone. Registered participants will be notified of details.
  • November 2, 2023 (Thursday, 7:00pm)   POWER Lehigh Valley - End Mass Incarceration.
    Zoom meeting - participate by internet or phone. Registered participants will be notified of details.
  • November 1, 2023 (Wednesday, 6:00pm) Keystone Decarceration Bloc (meets by Zoom)
    legislative strategy (including solitary confinement); regional outreach plans; media strategy.
    For details, contact DBloc: keystonedbloc@gmail.com .
  • November 1, 2023 (Wednesday, 8:00am) Reentry Roundtable usually first Wednesday each month at Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley (PNLV), 333 Union Street, Allentown, PA 18102.   Contact: reentryroundtable@promiseneighborhoodslv.org
  • October 29, 2023 (Sunday, 4:00pm) "No Way Home" - a documentary film, followed by discussion—about a mother's struggle to reunite her family and end mandatory Life Without Parole in Pennsylvania. Location: Civic Theatre (527 N 19th St., Allentown, 18104). Co-sponsored by CADBI and Straight Ahead. Look for more information about the film here.
    Register here for the Allentown event.
  • October 25, 2023 (Wednesday, 6-7pm) Lehigh Valley Stands Up - Public Safety Committee
    Meeting Cancelled. (Next meeting: Dec. 5)
  • October 25, 2023 (Wednesday, 2pm) Why Are We Incarcerating Domestic Violence Survivors?
    Sentencing Project Webinar - reflects on how the growth of mass incarceration drives the criminalization of survivors of domestic violence. The national proliferation of Domestic Violence Survivor Justice Acts (DVSJA) tells a vital story about how the system actually handles the survivors it claims to protect.
    Panelists: include: Dr. David McLeod, PhD, MSW, Oklahoma University; Colleen McCarty, Esq, Oklahoma Appleseed; Mulumba Kazigo, New York DVSJA relief recipient and advocate for criminalized survivors; and Monica Szlekovics, Survivors Justice Project. Moderator: Alexandra Bailey - The Sentencing Project. Register for the webinar here
  • October 19, 2023 (Thursday, 7:00pm)   POWER Lehigh Valley - End Mass Incarceration.
    Zoom meeting - participate by internet or phone. Registered participants will be notified of details.
  • Oct. 19, 2023 (Thursday, 12:30-4:00pm) Reentry Simulation - Allentown
    Location: Lehigh County Government Center, Public Hearing Room (1st floor), 17 South 7th Street, Allentown, PA 18101. The Reentry Simulation is cohosted by The Preventive Measures Foundation Inc. and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Reentry Simulations provide an understanding of the significant challenges faced by people returning home from prison. This 2-hour simulation prompts participants to walk in the shoes and complete tasks common to an individual who has recently returned home from prison. The U.S. Attorney's Office's Reentry Simulation Initiative has designed the Simulation "Kits" that will be shared with our community partners. Also, healthy snacks and drinks will be provided.
    Agenda Highlights
    • Registration & Networking
    • Introduction to the Preventive Measures Foundation and our goals around reentry
    • Introduction of the U.S. Attorney's Office simulation facilitators
    • Reentry Panel Discussion
    • Reentry Simulation
    • Breakout Rooms
    Look for more details and registration here
  • Oct. 17, 2023 (Tuesday, 6:00pm) Free Our People coalition meeting (3rd Tuesday, every month)
    We'll debrief the legislative meetings we've attended over the past month and plan for the coming months! Join Straight Ahead and partners to end death by incarceration. Sign up at: bit.ly/FreeOurPeople23
  • October 11, 2023 (Wednesday, 11am-1pm) Fireside Chat: Mental Health in the Lehigh Valley
    Dr. Hasshan Batts, Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley, and Dwayne L. Jones, Preventive Measures.   Location: Miller Symphony Hall, 23 N. 6th Street, Allentown, PA.
    Look fror details and registration here.
  • October 5, 2023 (Thursday, 7:00pm)   POWER Lehigh Valley - End Mass Incarceration.
    Zoom meeting - participate by internet or phone. Registered participants will be notified of details.
  • October 4, 2023 (Wednesday, 6:30pm) Lehigh County - Courts and Corrections Committee
    Look for Zoom information and meeting agenda here.
  • October 4, 2023 (Wednesday, 6:00pm) Keystone Decarceration Bloc (meets by Zoom)
    legislative strategy (including solitary confinement); regional outreach plans; media strategy.
    For details, contact DBloc: keystonedbloc@gmail.com .
  • October 4, 2023 (Wednesday, 8:00am) Reentry Roundtable usually first Wednesday each month at Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley (PNLV), 333 Union Street, Allentown, PA 18102.
    Contact: reentryroundtable@promiseneighborhoodslv.org
  • September 27, 2023 (Wednesday, 6-7pm) Lehigh Valley Stands Up - Public Safety Committee
    The PSC works on the ongoing campaign for Help Not Handcuffs--Mental Health is Public Safety, Ending Solitary Confinement, and mass incarceration as well as identifying local public safety issues. Meets Fourth Wednesday of every month on Zoom. Register here: https://www.mobilize.us/pastandsup/event/565997/
  • September 21, 2023 (Thursday, 7:00pm)   POWER Lehigh Valley - End Mass Incarceration.
    Zoom meeting - participate by internet or phone. Registered participants will be notified of details.
  • September 21, 2023 (Thursday, 6:30pm) Ombuds Program for Pennsylvania State Prisons
    Learn about the PA DOC Ombuds Project--some back ground information ["What's an Ombuds anyway?"], the working team's research about what other states are doing in this arena. There will be an overview of the foundational work done thus far; our Mission and Goals, the developed Model [thus far], projected Committee development. Finally, we will invite you to actively participate in realizing free-standing oversight of our State prisons, a program with "teeth"!!!
    Register Here for this meeting.   Questions? Email: PAOmbuds@gmail.com
  • Sept. 19, 2023 (Tuesday, 6:00pm) Free Our People coalition meeting (3rd Tuesday, every month)
    We'll debrief the legislative meetings we've attended over the past month and plan for the coming months! Join Straight Ahead and partners to end death by incarceration. Sign up at: bit.ly/FreeOurPeople23
  • September 7, 2023 (Thursday, 7:00pm)   POWER Lehigh Valley - End Mass Incarceration.
    Zoom meeting - participate by internet or phone. Registered participants will be notified of details.
  • September 6, 2023 (Wednesday, 6:00pm) Keystone Decarceration Bloc (meets by Zoom)
    legislative strategy (including solitary confinement); regional outreach plans; media strategy.
    For details, contact DBloc: keystonedbloc@gmail.com .
  • September 6, 2023 (Wednesday, 8:00am) Reentry Roundtable usually first Wednesday each month at Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley (PNLV), 333 Union Street, Allentown, PA 18102.   Contact: reentryroundtable@promiseneighborhoodslv.org
  • August 23, 2023 (Wednesday, 6-7pm) Lehigh Valley Stands Up - Public Safety Committee
    The PSC works on the ongoing campaign for Help Not Handcuffs--Mental Health is Public Safety, Ending Solitary Confinement, and mass incarceration as well as identifying local public safety issues. Meets Fourth Wednesday of every month on Zoom. Register here: https://www.mobilize.us/pastandsup/event/565997/
  • August 17, 2023 (Thursday, 7:00pm)   POWER Lehigh Valley - End Mass Incarceration.
    Zoom meeting - participate by internet or phone. Registered participants will be notified of details.
  • Aug. 15, 2023 (Tuesday, 6:00pm) Free Our People coalition meeting (3rd Tuesday, every month)
    We'll debrief the legislative meetings we've attended over the past month and plan for the coming months! Join Straight Ahead and partners to end death by incarceration. Sign up at: bit.ly/FreeOurPeople23
  • August 10, 2023 (Thursday, 6:30pm) Strategies to end Life Without Parole in Pennsylvania
    Amistad Law Center "Pop-Ed" session on Zoom. Over 5,000 people in Pennsylvania are sentenced to die in prison due to a Life Without Parole sentence--the highest per capita rate in the United States. It doesn't have to be this way. We need to be strategic and organized to offer pathways for reformed lifers to come home. Look for details in August at amistadpower.org/news.
  • August 3, 2023 (Thursday, 7:00pm)   POWER Lehigh Valley - End Mass Incarceration.
    Zoom meeting - participate by internet or phone. Registered participants will be notified of details.
  • August 2, 2023 (Wednesday, 6:30pm) Lehigh County - Courts and Corrections Committee
    Look for Zoom information and meeting agenda here.
  • August 2, 2023 (Wednesday, 6:00pm) Keystone Decarceration Bloc (meets by Zoom)
    legislative strategy (including solitary confinement); regional outreach plans; media strategy.
    For details, contact DBloc: keystonedbloc@gmail.com .
  • August 2, 2023 (Wednesday, 8:00am) Reentry Roundtable usually first Wednesday each month at Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley (PNLV), 333 Union Street, Allentown, PA 18102.
    Contact: reentryroundtable@promiseneighborhoodslv.org
  • July 27, 2023 (Thursday, 8:00pm) Inside/Out: Testimonial Journeys of Transformation webinar
    This conversation with Tony and Charisse will focus on their new book Inside/Out which chronicles their stories as two siblings—one incarcerated and living on the inside, while the other is living on the outside. They share how their journeys are inextricably intertwined and explore the question: "Who is free, and who is incarcerated?" Register for the webinar here.
  • July 27, 2023 (Thursday, 1:00pm) Why youth incarceration fails - Sentencing Project webinar
    Decades of evidence have left no doubt that locking up our kids harms their futures and does little to protect public safety. We're eager to talk about alternatives-to-incarceration program models, bringing together experts, mentors, and people who've benefited from the alternatives. See details and registration here.   Also see the report: Why Youth Incarceration Fails (March 1, 2023).
  • July 26, 2023 (Wednesday, 6-7pm) Lehigh Valley Stands Up - Public Safety Committee
    The PSC works on the ongoing campaign for Help Not Handcuffs--Mental Health is Public Safety, Ending Solitary Confinement, and mass incarceration as well as identifying local public safety issues. Meets Fourth Wednesday of every month on Zoom. Register here: https://www.mobilize.us/pastandsup/event/565997/
  • July 20, 2023 (Thursday, 7:00-8:00pm) "Help Not Handcuffs" Virtual Town Hall organized by Pennsylvania Working Families Party. Discussion of mental health crisis response and Allentown's fall ballot proposal for a crisis response pilot project. See details and registration here.
  • July 18, 2023 (Tuesday, 6:00pm) Free Our People coalition meeting (3rd Tuesday, every month)
    We'll debrief the legislative meetings we've attended over the past month and plan for the coming months! Join Straight Ahead and partners to end death by incarceration. Sign up at: bit.ly/FreeOurPeople23
  • July 18, 2023 (Tuesday, 11:00am) Mediation Response Unit: Conflict to Conversation in the Community This Zoom webinar will provide an overview of Dayton Ohio's Mediation Response Unit (MRU), its development, purpose and how it is impacting the Dayton community on various levels. Hear about how the MRU uses transformative conflict resolution style in their community responses. The MRU is an alternative emergency response program that responds to lower emergent 911/police calls for the City of Dayton. See details and registration here.
  • July 6, 2023 (Thursday, 7:00pm)   POWER Lehigh Valley - End Mass Incarceration.
    Zoom meeting - participate by internet or phone. Registered participants will be notified of details.
  • July 6, 2023 (Thursday, 6:00-7:30pm) We Keep Us Safe: Violence Interrupter Programs
    Amistad Law Center - Pop-Ed course (on-line). Our Executive Director, Kris Henderson, will unpack this important part of a comprehensive strategy to create public safety through community engagement. See details and registration here.
  • July 5, 2023 (Wednesday, 6:00pm) Keystone Decarceration Bloc (Cancelled)
    legislative strategy (including solitary confinement); regional outreach plans; media strategy.
    For details, contact DBloc: keystonedbloc@gmail.com .

Older Events (2023) >>


Location: http://justice.ppjr.org/
Last Updated: 11/17/2023
Created: January 18, 2018