|a Lehigh Valley working group to
End Mass Incarceration
(a committee affiliated with POWER Lehigh Valley and POWER Interfaith )
Pennsylvanians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild: Fighting for racial and economic justice in the Lehigh Valley
Our Vision is to become a culture in which justice is equated with humanitarian values and not punishment.
Our meetings are usually on 1st and 3rd Thursdays each month, 6:00-8:00pm at Resurrected Life Community Church, 9th & Turner Streets, Allentown, but check our calendar for updates or exceptions, or register to get on our email list, or contact us for further information.
is to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in Pennsylvania, and restore community for our incarcerated and returning citizens, by:
- Reducing the use of jails as the only recourse for offenders
- Bringing dignity to life behind bars
- Changing minds through education and advocacy
- Building political will for criminal justice reform
We have six subcommittees to facilitate our work:
- The Public Policy Team works with other organizations to host Candidate Debates, prepare Candidate Scorecards, and engage in advocacy for criminal justice reform legislation.
- The Reentry Team identifies resources to assist people leaving jail or prison; and provide support for incarcerated people, such as letter-letter writing or working directly with prisoners and their families.
- The Bail Team is focused on ending cash bail; that is, ending the practice of keeping people accused, but not yet convicted, of crimes in jail simply because they don't have the resources to come up with money bail.
- The Community Education Team plans public educational events and provides speakers on topics related to mass incarceration and bail reform.
- The Vision/Talking Points Team develops resources for our public presentations, letter-writing, and meeting announcements.
- The Amplify Team extends our work through social media.
Lehigh Valley - It's Time to End Mass Incarceration
There are currently many organizations in the Lehigh Valley and across Pennsylvania that are working independently on various aspects of criminal justice and mass incarceration. Let's begin planning and working together!
- Watch the WFMZ Business Matters show "What's Fair in Prison Reform" with District Attorney Jim Martin, Hasshan Batts, Ed Angelo, and Ed Sweeny which aired on Jan. 28, 2019. It is now posted here.
- Blueprint for Justice -- the ACLU Smart Justice program has created a state-by-state report showing how each state can cut the number of people behind bars in half. The Blueprint for Pennsylvania is posted here.
- Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has announced Changes in PA Prison Policies for Mail, Books, and Visitors. Read more about the new policies here