Criminal Justice Reform
We believe that the Criminal Justice system in New York State is toxic for everyone involved, both the people who live behind the walls and the people who sign on to work in corrections. Just like in Pennsylvania coal country, North Country politicians and unions are both stuck in an us versus them conversation that leaves out the facts of this industry: both incarcerated people and corrections officers have a reduced life expectancy of more than 10 years, there are high levels of PTSD in both groups, and violence is the norm instead of the exception.
Wake The North Country is involved in several reform and awareness raising projects.
SARANAC LAKE RE-ENTRY PILOT PROGRAM
This is a pilot program to benefit people who have served their time and are returning home from prison. Throughout these mountains, newly released folks are regularly dropped off to catch the bus south, and we have found that many newly released people are ill prepared for their journey. This program seeks to provide basic provisions such as food and water, as well as a note of encouragement. We hope to grow this program out Malone, N.Y. For more information click here!
PEN PALS PROJECT:
In 2015 the United Nations passed a resolution outlining rules for the treatment of prisoners that included restrictions on the use of Solitary Confinement. This practice of segregating people for 23 or 24 hours a day with no meaningful human contact is considered torture by the UN if it continues for more than 15 days because it causes permanent mental deterioration. The good news is there is progress in criminal justice reform. See rules #43,44,&45 at: The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners
Our goal now is to help release our elders who have done their time but haven't been paroled. Outlaw cash bail that keeps people who have not been convicted from being free because they are poor, and institute presumptive parole so that once people have done their time it is assumed they will be released.
Would you like to write to an elder who is incarcerated in the North Country? Become a pen pal so these people know they are not forgotten on the outside.
Join us for advocacy days in Albany or get free support to visit your legislator in their home office. Did you know you have the right to make an appointment to talk to your representative even if you didn’t vote for them? Wake The North Country sponsors area teach-ins, events, and advocacy days in Albany. Get in touch! Sign up with us
BRIDGES TO THE LAND PROJECT:
Bridges to the Land is a pilot program that helps underemployed community members from the Bronx and Brooklyn, some of whom may be court involved, to find work on Adirondack Farms. Not just an employment program, we hope to help our participants gain access to fresh nutritious food while learning about abolition and gaining skills. If you own a farm and are looking for help or know of someone who is BIPoC, formerly incarcerated and interested in farming, please let us know!
The Nelson Mandela Rules
...mass incarceration was, and is, perhaps the preeminent moral domestic issue of our day."