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.
The book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, was studied by many people in the Des Moines area for the last few months. Now there will be a 1/2 day workshop on how to move forward on prison reform, restorative justice in our schools, changes in racial profiling in Des Moines area, and Re-entry groups to lessen recividism.
It will be held at the Unitarian Church on 1800 Bell next Sat., April 27th, from 9:00-12:00 with registration starting at 8:30. The workshop is free! It's calling all of us to action in Des Moines!!
Mural Art as a Catalyst for Social Change -Tony Heriza (AFSC director Educational Outreach) will show his documentary Concrete, Steel and Paint, which explores the way that mural painting provided a space for prisoners and victims of violence to come together for healing in a Philadelphia prison. Says a participant in the process, "There's something about creating beauty that reaches people and that in the end gives us hope that things can change..." Winner of the Best Short Documentary award at the Peace on Earth Film Festival.
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.