The system of incarceration in New York continues to destroy people, families, and communities.
Rooted in the ongoing legacy of slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and ghettoization, New York’s policing, jails, and prisons are at their core driven by racism, dehumanization, and otherization. Black people in particular are targeted for criminalization, policing, incarceration, and other state violence and torture. These systems also target women, queer, transgender, and gender non-conforming people; Latino, Native American, and Muslim people; people with mental health needs; poor people of all backgrounds; and other marginalized people. Because incarceration is a tool and product of the intersectional oppression of our people and communities, a paradigm of punishment infuses the incarceration system. The results are atrocities ranging from police killings and violence, to predatory prosecutions and extreme sentence lengths, to solitary confinement and guard brutality, to repeated denials of parole and opportunities for education, to lack of support and perpetual barriers to reintegration.
It is the aim of our collective movement to push for concrete policies and undertake specific actions to dismantle this racist and patriarchal incarceration system in New York and reconstruct our state through caring and empowered communities with control over the decisions and resources that affect our own lives. To enhance true public safety and build stronger communities, New York must shift focus and resources away from the violence of incarceration and toward the services, programs, support, healing, transformation, and empowerment that help communities thrive. We also commit ourselves to standing up for our Muslim and immigrant sisters and brothers, and all LGBTQ people, any time they come under attack. This platform represents our commitment to standing together as one community, fighting for human rights for all. Specifically, we aim to: 1) End mass incarceration; 2) Promote community empowerment, education, reconstruction, and control; 3) End state violence and torture and shift away from the punishment paradigm; and 4) End structural racism, ensure a focus on women, LGBTI people and gender non-confirming people, and protect the human rights of all people.
1) End Mass Incarceration
2) Promote Community Empowerment
3) End State Violence and Torture
4) End Structural Racism and all Intersectional Identity-Based Oppression.
Each of these categories of change is interconnected with one another and all must be enacted in order for any to be meaningful. The following measures within each category are stepping stones toward these broader changes that New York policy-makers can and must enact today. We call on NY legislators and the Governor to enact and effectively implement all aspects of this platform.