The rate at which human rights are being abused in different parts of the United States of America gives cause for concern. Arizona has one of the worst reputations with regards to abuse of human rights, civil rights and even immigrants’ rights. The height of this abuse was the illegal arrest and detention of both Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin who are co-founders of Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media.
These two were picked up illegally in their houses in October, 2007. They were later compensated for the abuse of their rights. Despite what they went through, they dedicated their settlement money to set up Frontera Fund, an organization that funds civil, migrant and human rights groups all over Arizona.
One of the human rights organizations in Arizona is Justice That Works. The organization found out that Arizona spends too much money on incarceration, so they are agitating for a justice that is not built around incarceration. They want a justice that tries to change the mindset of criminals and not justice that burdens the community with the responsibility of feeding criminals on jail term.
The organization was established by Heather Hamel, an attorney in Arizona. The most worrisome issue with current mass incarceration in Arizona is the fact that African American men seem to be the target. It seems justice in Arizona has zero tolerance for black men. Mass incarceration is a problem on its own, that the problem now has racism undertone makes the whole issue more complicated. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427427/Jim_Larkin
This is what Heather Hamel is trying to change with her organization. The team of Justice that works also includes Viridiana Hernandez, the policy director for Center for Neighborhood Leadership and Ayensa Millan who doubles as a radio show host and an immigration lawyer.
In 2016, Justice That Works launched a plan to build community court in Phoenix with the support of residents of the community. This is because it was discovered that community courts have been able to reduce crime rates and also keep people out of jail thereby saving millions of dollars that would have been spent on incarceration. Read more: Michael Larcey | Twitter and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia
In her bid to discourage mass incarceration, Hamel disclosed the fact that Marywale spends about $30 million dollars every year on incarceration. The money could have been diverted to upgrade schools and also provide better amenities. It can be used to increase access to healthcare.
Heather Hamel has been dissipating her personal time and money into this cause. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, despite being locked up for no reason, decided to make efforts towards preventing other people from suffering the same fate by donating the funds towards the same cause. What have you done about it?
It is important that you and everyone you know contributes their quota into this cause. It is not a smart idea to wait until you become a victim of incarceration before you begin to fight it. You may not have enough time to participate in all their activities, but you can donate some funds just to encourage the group. Your donation will definitely be a morale booster to Hamel and her team.