Social media effort highlights alternatives to prison expansion
December 26, 2013
Philadelphia, PA -- People all over Pennsylvania believe there are literally hundreds of better ways to invest state resources than spending money to build new prisons. That’s what the grassroots coalition Decarcerate PA hopes to demonstrate through their “100 Days Instead of Prisons” social media campaign. The campaign calls on legislators to cancel the $400 million prison construction underway in Montgomery County and make 2014 a year of no new prisons in Pennsylvania.
Over the course of one hundred days, beginning on September 23rd and culminating on December 31st, Decarcerate PA has been posting one photo each day on Facebook, Twitter, tumblr and Instagram. Each image was created by a different Pennsylvania resident and portrays what they would invest in “instead of prisons.” Many of the images were created throughout the southeastern part of the state during Decarcerate PA’s “March for a People’s Budget, Not a Prison Budget.” For ten days at the beginning of the summer, members of the group and its allied organizations marched 113 miles from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, collecting images along the way showing what people in diverse Pennsylvania communities want to see instead of more investment in prisons. (To view the images, visit decarceratepa.info/100days or decarceratepa.tumblr.com.)
“As we marched across Pennsylvania, we found that people all over, from small towns to big cities, want to see investment in creating strong, healthy communities, not more prison cages,” said Thomas Dichter of Decarcerate PA.
The social media campaign began as the Pennsylvania General Assembly came back into session in Harrisburg on September 23, and will conclude on the last day of the year. With a final image posted on December 31, Decarcerate PA will call on Governor Corbett and lawmakers to stop prison expansion in 2014. The group calls for sentencing reforms to reduce the state prison population and for greater support for Pennsylvanians returning from prison.
“Each day of the campaign people have contributed so many great ideas,” observed Decarcerate PA’s Ashley Henderson. “People want to see our state investing in education, health care, community centers, housing, jobs, libraries, parks, and so much more. We need funding for the things that will help people succeed in their communities, not a criminal ‘justice’ system that tears people away from their communities.”
Decarcerate PA is a grassroots campaign working to end mass incarceration in Pennsylvania. We demand that PA stop building prisons, reduce the prison population, and reinvest money in our communities.
www.decarceratepa.info | decarceratePA@gmail.com | @decarceratePA | 267.217.3372