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California Healing Justice

The California Healing Justice Program works to reduce reliance on incarceration and other punitive approaches and replace them with restorative/healing practices. Toward that end we concentrate on four areas: mass incarceration, long term isolation, militarized policing, and the promotion of healing alternatives.

In coalition with Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), AFSC helps influence and monitor implementation of the U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring California to reduce its prison population; proposes sentencing policy changes that will reduce the number of people in prison; and promotes evidence-based programming that reduces recidivism.

The Healing Justice Program is also part of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition (PHSS), along with other organization, activists, and family members of prisoners in solitary confinement. The Coalition works to drastically reduce the number of people held in isolation, institute due process, and address conditions of confinement. AFSC advocates implementation of the five demands of hunger strikers, and serves on the Mediation Team and Legislative Teams to advocate for policy changes.

The core of our work on policing is researching, educating and challenging militarization. Police enforcement is the entry point for people coming into the criminal justice system. The increased militarization of policing—through training for combat, weaponized equipment, and policies that justify the use of lethal force—locks law enforcement into practices that increase harm. AFSC organizes for an ordinance in Oakland to control militarized equipment that police acquire and use.
 
AFSC also promotes healing and wholeness approaches as alternatives to violence and punishment. Program staff develop relevant curricula and have influenced community-based programs in at least two counties.

 

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Video

Breaking Down the Box

Produced by filmmaker Matthew Gossage, the film examines the mental health, racial justice and human rights implications of the systemic use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons.