NLG Law Students Highlight Connections between Mass Incarceration and the Housing Crisis
For the 2022 Week Against Mass Incarceration (Feb. 28-March 4), NLG Law School Chapters organized around the theme of “Mass Incarceration and the Housing Crisis” to explore the intersections of housing policy, evictions, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the criminalization of poverty in the perpetuation of the mass incarceration crisis. NLG students organized both in person and virtual events to highlight the many harms caused by the current mass incarceration system and housing policy, including panels and workshops, letter writing events, social media campaigns, research projects, tabling, and more!
WAMI 2022 was co-sponsored by the NLG Housing and Homelessness Committee, which works to advance the principle that housing is a human right. The committee supports the efforts of communities advocating for and creating access to safe, affordable, and adequate housing for all people. The committee aims to provide legal support to grassroots movements organizing around self-determination, tenants’ rights, foreclosure resistance, squatting/homesteading, homelessness rights, property redistribution, and other housing and land use issues.
Read below for highlights, and thank you to our law students and speakers for your fantastic work this past week!
- University of North Carolina NLG organized a full week of events, including a presentation on “Waging a Struggle on Human Rights: Project South’s Defend and Protect Initiative”, a teach-in on “A Conversation About Abolition”, a panel on “Behavioral Health Justice,” a teach-in on “Don’t Call the Cops! Building Alternatives to Policing,“ a “Court Watch Training,” and a movie screening of “Black Power Mixtape.”
- Moritz NLG hosted an event “Redefining Mass Incarceration” to discuss how incarceration applies to people with disabilities and dedicated their weekly meeting to a discussion of combatting the punishment bureaucracy.
- Harvard NLG organized a Zoom teach-in: “Far from Home: Reducing Barriers to Subsidized Housing for People with Criminal Records in Massachusetts.”
- Cardozo NLG organized tabling at the law school all week along with the event “Mass Incarceration and Storytelling: Shifting the Narrative.”
- Maurer NLG organized a full week of events, including an Indiana Prisoners Speak-out Series, Letter writing to incarcerated survivors, an abolitionist read-in, and a coffee hour with a local homeless coalition.
- University of Oregon NLG organized a full week of events, including presentations on “Origins of the Housing Crisis and the Criminalization of Poverty,”Perspectives on Housing and Mass Incarceration in the Age of COVID,” “How to Stop the Sweeps,” “Policing and the Unhoused: Harms and Alternatives,” and a Day of Action and Strategy.
- Temple Law NLG organized a WAMI fundraiser in collaboration with the The People’s Paper Co-op.
- TAMU NLG hosted a panel on Criminal Justice and Housing Issues such as the criminalization of poverty, abolition and the prison to homelessness pipeline.
- Quinnipiac NLG organized a full week of events, including a screening of the documentary 13th, an event “Beyond Mitigation”, a letter writing campaign, and a training on trauma-informed lawyering.
- McGeorge NLG hosted a panel discussion on the ways that mass incarceration and the housing crisis impact communities.
- Southwest NLG organized a conversation on the intersection of mass incarceration and housing crises.
- UC Davis NLG planned a full week of events, including a “Public Defender Bootcamp”, a Housing Rights documentary screening, mailings, art-making, a stamp drive, and a BBQ.
- Lewis and Clark NLG organized a full week of events covering topics such as prison abolition, litigation, anti-displacement efforts, criminalization of poverty, re-entry struggles, and housing in Portland.
- Cleveland State NLG organized a panel on “Post Conviction in Ohio” with attorneys and exonerees.
- IU McKinney NLG hosted the panel “Not Home, Not Free: A Conversation about Mass Incarceration and the Housing Crisis.”
- University of New Mexico NLG organized a panel discussion exploring the criminalization of homelessness and the policing and gentrification of communities.
- Pepperdine University NLG organized a full week of events, including panels on “Progressive Prosecution and Defense”, “Hearing from the Formerly Incarcerated”, “What is Crimmigration?”, and “Homelessness and Reform.”
- Pace NLG hosted a “Defunding the police, decarceration, & overcriminalization/decriminalization” reading circle.
- Duke NLG organized an event about the inhumane and unjust carceral conditions, especially for women and girls, as well as the movement to end mass incarceration in NC.
- Fordham Law hosted a virtual panel on decarceration & democracy with leading criminal legal reform advocates & experts about systemic causes of and collateral consequences of mass incarceration.
- Chicago-area NLG law schools organized panel discussions and housing teach-in exploring the intersections of housing policy, evictions, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the criminalization of poverty in the perpetuation of the mass incarceration crisis.
- University of Maryland NLG organized a letter writing campaign for incarcerated people.
- Northeastern NLG hosted a panel on “Mass Incarceration and the Housing Crisis” with abolition-centered panelists from local organizations and a bake sale fundraiser to raise funds to donate to our panelist organizations!