EMIT — End MAss Incarceration Together is a statewide working group of the Unitarian Universalist Mass Action Network.
EMIT’s motto is Inform to Reform. Once people are informed about the injustice of our judicial and corrections systems, they will inform their state legislators to reform our state laws, through a series of bills over a number of years.
EMIT partners with people to encourage and facilitate face-to-face meetings with state representatives and senators to let them know we are outraged about the over-incarceration of people in America who are more likely to be black, brown, poor, under-educated, mentally ill and have substance abuse problems.
A common faith unites our leaders — Unitarian Universalism, progressive thinkers who act on our beliefs. EMIT is in a coalition of groups in Massachusetts that advocate, inform and act for systematic criminal justice reform now. UUs are the moral compass of Massachusetts, the yeast that foments social justice movements.
There are many spokes in the wheel of justice to big hairy goal of reforming our state’s judicial and corrections systems. Here are the many spokes on the wheel of justice.
- Allow terminally ill incarcerated people to be treated at nursing homes instead of state prisons and jails.
- Raise the amount required to classify a crime as a felony from the 1980s rate of $250 to bring it more in line with inflation to $1500.
- Build no more new jails or prisons.
- End all mandatory minimum sentencing.
- Treat addiction as a health problem, not as a crime. Provide treatment instead of incarceration.
- Offer pre-trial alternatives to qualified non-violent offenders, instead of incarcerating a person between their arrest and trial. Some 5,000 individuals among the Commonwealth’s 22,000 inmates are incarcerated without having been convicted of any crime.
- Reform the state’s probation/parole practices, procedures and policies to end the punitive attitude in place since 2010 when a former offender murdered a Woburn police officer. Ensure that the racial makeup of parole and probation officials reflect the people whom they serve.
- Legalize marijuana, embrace harm reduction policies, and consider decriminalizing other drugs.
- Raise awareness of institutional racism as a root cause of mass incarceration.
- Acknowledge the lack of economic opportunity in many communities that may have led to turning to an illegal economy.
- Practice restorative justice when possible.
- Use drug courts and other alternatives to incarceration.
- Volunteer in prisons and jails to connect with the 2.3 million incarcerated Americans. Offer people hope, caring and a hand up to prepare them for a successful return home, to never return to prison again.
- Your suggestion:
This website is to inspire action and unite activists who are dedicated to ending mass incarceration. We hope Massachusetts will be a beacon to other states to lead the way to end one of the worst injustices of our time. Feel free to use our resources.
Unitarian Universalists come from a variety of faith traditions, including humanism and atheism, as well as former Catholics, Jews, Christians, Buddhists and earth-based spiritualities. UUs must think for ourselves. Debate and honoring differences are central to our way of life. With only about 300,000 world-wide, (half in New England), we tend to have higher education and income levels than other denominations. As long as your beliefs do not hurt anyone else, we embrace most people and their beliefs. We have no dogma. See more here.