MASS INCARCERATION AND IMMIGRATION
Following the National Lawyers Guild Law for the People Convention in October 2015, NLG membership adopted a resolution calling for “the dismantling and abolition of all prisons and of all aspects of systems and institutions that support, condone, create, fill, or protect prisons.” In honor of this resolution, in 2016 the NLG expanded our annual Student Week Against the Death Penalty to become the Week Against Mass Incarceration (WAMI).
WAMI 2018 will be held February 26-March 2 and the theme is
“Mass Incarceration and Immigration”
In 2018, we ask NLG Law School and Local Chapters to organize events and actions on the intersection of mass incarceration and immigration in this current political climate. In past years, Guild chapters have organized interactive workshops, community discussions, film screenings, tabling, letter writing campaigns, banner drops, visits to incarcerated youth, and panels on topics such as solitary confinement, school to prison pipeline, immigration detention, transformative justice, and alternatives to incarceration.
The Guild is currently engaged in unique and innovative efforts nationwide to alleviate some of the harm inflicted by the prison-industrial complex and immigration regime. The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) is a national non-profit organization that provides technical assistance and support to community-based immigrant organizations, legal practitioners, and all advocates seeking and working to advance the rights of non-citizens. NIPNLG promotes justice and equality of treatment in all areas of immigration law, the criminal justice system, and policies related to immigration. For 46 years, the National Immigration Project has served as a progressive source of advocacy-oriented legal support on issues critical to immigrant rights.
Other NLG initiatives include the NLG-NYC Parole Preparation Project, the NLG Bay Area Prisoner Advocacy Network, the NLG NJ-DE Prisoner Legal Advocacy Network, and the Guild Notes column, “Beyond Bars: Voices from NLG Jailhouse Lawyers”. NLG Mass Incarceration Committee and Prison Law Project volunteers respond to jailhouse lawyer members’ letters and send out our Jailhouse Lawyer Manual on an ongoing basis. The NLG Political Prisoner Support Committee provides legal support for and connects Guild members with political prisoners. NLG members are involved in various initiatives opposing policing, criminalization, solitary confinement, the drug war, capital punishment, and new prison construction. The Guild also supported the 2016 National Prison Strike and has been working to investigate and challenge deplorable conditions in numerous Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison facilities in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
To learn more about incarcerated Guild members, their concerns, and more resources on prison litigation and organizing, please check out the NLG Jailhouse Lawyer website.
Please email NLG Director of Research and Education Traci Yoder at firstname.lastname@example.org to share the events you are organizing! Everyone should post flyers, pictures, and event invites on the Week Against Mass Incarceration Facebook event page and join the conversation on Twitter using #NLG and #Decarcerate. Tweet to us @NLGnews!