Sunday, August 10, is Prisoner's Justice Day, a little known fact because the observance began in Canada. The death of a Canadian prisoner in a segregation unit in 1974 prompted the prisoners of the Millhaven Prison to form a group that annually observed Prisoner's Justice Day, starting in 1975, by going on a hunger strike and a day of mourning. It was officially recognized as a memorial in 1976.
While word of the observance is spreading to other countries, including the US, it is not spreading quickly. It is the proposal of HFP that we all observe the day this coming Sunday in our own way, and perhaps ask the clergy in our churches to make mention of it.
Organizations are encouraged to draw up resolutions: 1, recognizing that a very high rate of women are in prison for protecting themselves against abusers; 2, recognizing that while African Americans and Latinos make up 25% of the nation's population, they make up 65% of the nation's prison population; 3, calling attention to the brutal and inhumane prison conditions that lead to deaths; 4, raising public awareness of the economic and social costs of a system of criminal justice which punishes for revenge; and 5, calling attention to the brutality by prison staff involving mental patients.
Please don't let the day go by un-noticed! We're all in this together! If nothing else, make a contribution to your favorite prisoner advocacy agency.
Doug Tjapkes, President
HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS
20 W. Muskegon Avenue
Muskegon, MI 49440