Newsflash:
Saturday, 30 November 2013 15:10

Remembering Our Family Members and Friends Behind Bars During the Holidays

Written by  Yolande Cadore | The Drug Policy Alliance

The holiday season is here.  In millions of homes across the country, loved ones are missing from holiday celebrations, parents are longing for the warm embrace of a son or daughter, siblings are reminiscing of times past, and children are longing for their moms and dads.

For millions of families, a loved one is  currently in jail or prison. A few years ago, while working in Harlem, I came across one such mother who spent numerous holidays without her only son – he was awaiting sentencing in Pennsylvania for a nonviolent drug offense. She was worried, scared and wondered if he would ever come home. Unfortunately, this is the question on the minds of millions of family members as we begin this holiday season.  

This Thanksgiving, as we give thanks for the many blessings and mercies bestowed on our families – let us turn our silence and shame into love and compassion for those who cannot be with their families because they are victims of our callous criminal justice system. Many brothers, sisters and family members are torn away from their families for minor infractions that many of us have engaged in at some point in our life.  

Even though public opinion has shifted dramatically against the war on drugs, and Colorado and Washington are moving forward with marijuana legalization,  hundreds of thousands of young black men linger behind bars for nothing more than a drug law violation every year.

With a very heavy heart, as a mother and advocate for drug policy reform, I wish other mothers and fathers who are victims of the drug war a “happy” holidays – but can one truly have a “happy” holidays when there’s an empty chair at the family table? As the Johnny Bristol song reminds us, “memories don’t leave like people like do – they always stay with you whether they’ve been good or bad.” But somehow, we have found a way to hide the memories and presence of our loved ones who are in prison or in treatment in a very dark and murky place.   

As a member of  Moms United to End the War on Drugs, I am saddened by the overwhelming silence that exists regarding the number of Americans who are in prisons instead of with their families during a time when most of us are talking about spending time with our loved ones.

This holiday season, as we prepare to bask in the warmth and love of family and friends, I encourage you to think of a family member, neighbor, schoolmate or friend that is behind bars for a nonviolent drug offense or who was a victim of our misguided drug war.  

If you are a family member or friend of someone who is currently in prison, jail or in a treatment facility this holiday season – you are not alone.  Let us join our hearts by bringing back the memories of our beloveds into our homes and keeping them forever in our hearts – especially during this time of year. And, as we look forward to a bright and prosperous 2014, let us collectively wish and  work for more humane, just and compassionate drug policies.

Link to original article from The Drug Policy Alliance

Read 5133 times

PDA In Your State

Progressive Round Table

Please make plans to join us for the July Progressive Round Table. We will focus on Declaring our Independence from Wall Street and Corporate Control. Please join Progressive Democrats of America and many others Wednesday, July 16 from 1 to 3pm in Rayburn 2103. Livestreamed anywhere you are by We Act Radio. Featuring: Andrea Miller - Detroit Water Shutoff Update Rep. Keith Ellison (HR 1579 - Inclusive Prosperity Act) Rep. Jim McGovern (HJ Res20 & 21 - Corporations are NOT People and Money is NOT Speech) Rep. Jim McDermott - HR 4754 - Managed Carbon Price Act of 2014 Rep. Mark Pocan - Trans Pacific Partnership Emily Wurth - Food and Water Watch Public Banking - BankAct - Marc Armstrong Robin Hood Tax Campaign - Kenn Zinn,National Nurses United Jacqui Nantier - We Are Woman - ERA and Voting Rights DC Rally American Sustainable Business Council - Stephen Shaff Labor Campaign for Single Payer - Mark Dudzic Trey Hawkins - Credit Union National Association Witold Skwierczynski - AFGE - Stop the closing of Social Security Offices Please contact Andrea Miller andrea@pdamerica.org for more information about how to get involved with PDA, and / or with PDA's July Round Table meeting. Hope you can join us!

PDA's July Congressional Roundtable


PDA’s July Congressional Roundtable
PDA June Roundtable
PDA June Roundtable
7007 sec.
Views: 160
PDA’s Progressive Roundtable
PDA's Progressive Roundtable
4978 sec.
Views: 194
PDA April Roundtable
PDA April Roundtable
6526 sec.
Views: 140

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

PDA in the Media