While many students chose to party or sleep over spring break, a group from Earlham College travelled to Ann Arbor, Michigan to learn about the criminal justice system and AFSC’s ongoing work to promote restorative and healing alternatives. AFSC staff Natalie Holbrook, Pete Martel and Ron Simpson-Bey led the break; Erin Polley assisted with advance organizing.
The students had a packed week, touring and learning, talking and debating, challenging and growing. They had a lot to say about their experiences and the value of relationships over punishment.
Ron Simpson, left, and Pete Martel work with AFSC Michigan's Criminal Justice Program.
The Lifer Intern Project of AFSC in Michigan is embarking on an ambitious, long-term project in which restorative justice practices and principles are applied through various programs to offenders serving life sentences and long-indeterminate-sentences (LIDs) in Michigan prisons. The purpose of restorative justice in prisons is to assist with the offender's rehabilitation and eventual reintegration into society.
A pastor friend once said, “There is no love in prison.”
When you see the tall fences topped with razor wire, the guard towers and the dour faces of many who work behind the walls, it’s easy to feel that way. There’s an oppressive air to prison. Punishment, like humidity, takes the heat and makes it unbearable.
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
Where we work
AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.