STOP TORTURE AT THE ACI
While BAIL ON 32 and our Court Debt work is focused on decarceration and reducing the prison population, we have also been fighting for years to make sure that people remaining behind bars have safer conditions of confinement.
As part of a larger coalition, we ran a direct action campaign in 2020 to fight for the safety of incarcerated people during the COVID outbreak. We organized car rallies, a public theater action, public letters, and a vigil at the Governor’s house, where 7 medical professionals were arrested blocking the road. We won access to PPE and priority access to vaccinations, but only after nearly 100% of people in the Maximum Security Facility got COVID and an elderly incarcerated person passed away.
We are currently supporting incarcerated people in Max who have long been protesting the inhumane, toxic, abusive conditions in the facility.
We are also researching a campaign to raise wages for incarcerated workers.
Governor McKee, take immediate action to address inhumane conditions in max.
Weekly letter writing
On Mondays from 4-7 PM we meet at DARE to write letters to incarcerated people. We are in touch with roughly a hundred people across the facilities. Some are loved ones of members, others reached out to us, and some responded to a mass newsletter we sent out in 2020 to re-establish correspondence. We also host a holiday card party each year with Black and Pink Providence. We are not lawyers and cannot provide legal support. However, letter writing is an important way for us to emotionally support people inside, and we organize other forms of community support including reaching out to families, helping to communicate info for incarcerated people, writing letters of support for parole, and showing up at court dates. Letter writing is a crucial way to uplift incarcerated people’s voices and build organizing across the wall.
End Longterm Solitary Confinement
DARE supports the Stop Torture RI Coalition, which is organizing to pass the Restrictive Housing Act. Campaign work is led by OpenDoors RI, and meetings are held in our space at DARE. Among other things, this bill would:
- limit solitary confinement (disciplinary confinement) to 15 consecutive days and 30 days in a 60 day period
- create equal access to programming, personal belongings in cell, commissary, medical and mental health care, legal assistance, and basic necessities for those in solitary as those in general population
- and increase out of cell time in Administrative Confinement to 4 hours a day.