Along with the Justice Committee of Plymouth United Church of Christ, some members of the Economic Justice Committee presented our 2nd Criminal Justice Reform Workshop on the subject of Re-entry After Incarceration. It took place June 25 at Kehilla and was aimed at Kehilla congregants and those of Plymouth – the Jazz and Justice – Church as well as those of St. Colomba Church. The program included speakers’ personal experiences of re-entry into the community after incarceration, opportunities for volunteering with those re-entering, and a letter-writing activity in support of facilitating faster reinstatement of medical coverage for jail inmates on release.
Participants discussed the many challenges of re-entry, including the lack of housing, employment, health care, and difficulties reconnecting with family. They discussed the importance of beginning plans for re-entry as early as the start of incarceration, and that people who have experienced jail or prison should be the ones to work with those released.
The LiveFree Committee of Oakland Community Organizations (members of the Economic Justice Committee and Plymouth’s Justice Committee are participants) published a report, “What’s Up With Our Jails?” (see link) A lot of good crucial work is now happening on a local and statewide level to address the poor conditions of those incarcerated at Santa Rita and Glenn Dyer jails and possibly in other jails in the state. Two issues getting a lot of attention now include: 1) sleep deprivation and 2) inadequate prenatal and perinatal care for infants born in custody.
To get more information or to join these efforts, please contact EJC Chair, Karen Rachels, firstname.lastname@example.org