The beginning of a new year can be a time of reflection – for most. A fresh start or clean slate to make resolutions, to recommit to the work we are doing, the opportunity to begin again. But for many in our communities, the impact of incarceration looms regardless of new seasons. Men, women, and children languish in prisons and jails – waiting for an opportunity to begin again. Families in our communities have celebrated another Christmas season separated from their loved ones.
Hebrews 13:1-3 reminds us to remember the prisoner as though we ourselves were in prison. We are told to remember and to identify with those who are in prison, waiting to be released, hoping to not be forgotten by those from whom they are separated.
In our CCDA communities, we recognize the effects of mass incarceration and are working to not only support the individual restoration and societal manifestations of those impacted by this phenomenon but to deeply understand the need to confront the systemic injustice around our justice system. It is for this reason that we at CCDA have chosen to make mass incarceration one of our three platform issues (alongside education equity & immigration reform).
Since 2014, we have set aside the second Thursday in February as CCDA’s National Awareness & Action Day on Mass Incarceration. We call this day “Locked in Solidarity.” Locked in Solidarity is an opportunity for us to create the space needed to listen to stories of people in our communities who are directly impacted, to learn about the greater impact of mass incarceration’s, to pray, and to engage public sector officials who have the power and position to impact change.
We invite you to join us by hosting an event in your community.
Locked in Solidarity 2017 will be held on Thursday, February 9. You may sign up here.
Currently, we are creating a new toolkit to guide you through your event as well as offering Urban Entry’s video, “Remembering Prisoners” for free to the first 30 CCDA individual or organizational members to sign up to host an event.
We are happy to help answer any questions you may have. Please direct questions to Michelle Warren, CCDA’s Advocacy & Strategic Engagement Director, [email protected]
Join our collective efforts as we seek to be a part of the solution to end the impacts of mass incarceration.