Our nation's founding documents affirm that all people are created equal, and that liberty and justice belong to all of us. In recent years, instead of making good on these ideals by investing in things like schools, healthcare, and jobs, some politicians have doubled down on the same old policing and prison practices that have been shown time and time again to hurt our communities. Throughout our history, we've seen that this country only realizes our highest ideals when everyday people stand up and demand change.
That's why PA Stands Up and our members are currently working to collect signatures to add a major initiative on the ballot in front of voters this November that would move towards a care-first approach to public safety.
In Lackawanna and Lehigh counties, voters will have the chance to cast a ballot for restorative justice by ending the cruel and harmful practice of solitary confinement in county prisons.
Studies show that placing incarcerated people in solitary confinement worsens their mental health, and the practice is widely condemned as a form of torture. Far from furthering restitution and recovery, solitary confinement endangers our communities by increasing the risk of recidivism when prisoners return home. Yet, some politicians continue to rely on this inhumane and ineffective practice, despite its lose-lose outcomes. Ending solitary confinement is a care-first solution that would go a long way toward real restorative justice that would keep both inmates and our communities healthy and safe.
This initiative would be a major step toward enacting a care-first approach that keeps us safe, and making good on the promise that liberty and justice are for all of us. But we know we won't be able to win without you. It's up to us to stand up and speak out. Here are three ways you can get involved:
- To volunteer in Lehigh County, sign this online pledge.
- To volunteer in Lackawanna County, sign this online pledge.
- To financially support the work of our Liberation and Justice for All campaign, please join one of our local chapters or make a donation to our statewide organization.