Hundreds of people turned out in the rain last Saturday to take part in the “Jobs Not Jails” rally on Boston Common.
The rally was part of a growing movement in Massachusetts to address the inequality involved in the prison system and the problem of mass incarceration. Organized by Jobs Not Jails and EPOCA (Ex-Prisoners and Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement) the rally was seeking to address the overcrowding of Massachusetts Prisons, the recidivism rate of prisoners, and the proposed 10,000 new prison units set to be built in Massachusetts over the next ten years.
These new prison units will cost Massachusetts tax payers $2.5 billion dollars a year for the next seven years.
The rate of recidivism is 60%, meaning that most people who leave prison end up going back. A lack of jobs, discrimination, and a lack of resources upon leaving the prison leave most people with little opportunities for success.
When we look at the school to prison pipeline and the overwhelming number of poor, black, and brown men in prison we see that there is a problem.
Jobs Not Jails and EPOCA are part of the national movement to address why we have so many people in jail in the first place, and how to stop folks from ending up there.
What Massachusetts needs is Jobs Not Jails!
To learn more//join the movement visit jobsnotjails.org and exprisoners.org and the Arise Criminal Justice Committee (arise)