June 2016 Updates & Events

Hi Everyone!

We want to give you updates from some of our inside members as well as share some of our goals for free world allies. We are always welcoming Free World penpals. We are developing a ReEntry bridge since Jada ‘got out’.  We joined the national effort to END Solitary Confinement. And, are always looking to  encouraging the birth of new Ohio chapters and expanding the Ohio network of LGBTQIA prison abolitionist.

New Connections:

  • We have been building a solid connection with Redbird Books to Prisoners in Columbus and are happy to share their catalog with our members!  They send books to all prisoners in Ohio and are some really great people!  We are going to help them pack books on June 19th, please join us!
  • We recently had a fundraiser hosted by GayBar.
  • We have partnered with the Missing Peace Art Space to hold our monthly meetings in Dayton, Ohio. We meet the 3rd sunday of each month at 2pm. And, we have a calendar you can plug into as well as a facebook page!
  • If your penpal has a formal complaint they would like to file about their treatment inside, we now have access to a great team of lawyers that are ready and willing to help!  Please let us know what is going on and we will connect you!!

ReEntry News

We also have two members who have completed their sentence, Chris, who is in Columbus, and Jada in Akron. Both have were sent to halfway houses, which proves for a lot of obstacles.  Jada is the first member to get out and be in communication with the ‘free world’ organizers. We all learned a lot about how hard it is to navigate the ReEntry process. We want to build a plan that helps you and your penpals navigate the first few days/weeks on the outside. Here is a document that outlines some potentially immediate needs and costs for those who don’t have much support on the outside. We used it in developing our #WelcomeHomeJada initiative. Here is Reno’s account of the past 5 months since Jada’s release from prison and her stay in halfway houses and county jails.

“Jada was having problems even in the halfway house. She had to walk away from the halfway house for fear of her safety! And since then,  Jada was locked back up (in the county jail) and is now released into another halfway house. But, she says she is determined to complete this halfway house so she can get out of it, and she has been doing good so far. It is so frustrating to know that the P. O.  could tell you where you can do your time at, I feel as long as you stay in Ohio and report in, you should be able to stay in what city you want to.   So this is one of the problems we have with ReEntry for so many of us were getting out. The case managers are not doing their job to help us get out successfully, and that we need to find housing for our family members when they do get out. to be there to help them somewhat financially when they do get out.  I hope to lead the march to try to do something about this!”

End Solitary Confinement National Effort

We are also involved in a national organizing effort to end solitary confinement state by state!  We currently have four ‘free world’ Ohioans working with the national team gathering resources. Rie and Jessica from Southwest Ohio, Liat from Toledo, and Jeanne from Cleveland. The more the merrier!

Updates from Inside

We send chapter letters to the inside every three months. (Next is August 21st) We always ask for their insight and input. In our last letter we talked about liberation. Here are two answers that affected us:

Charlie Reed, who is currently being held in solitary confinement in Lucasville wanted us to share with you that he led a hunger strike against the abusive treatment he and others were experiencing in solitary.  They were fed cold food and denied access to showers and recreation as well as being denied access to personal property, even books!  He filed a formal complaint and the warden let everyone but him out of solitary and then starting giving him hot food and access to shower, recreation, and personal property.  Please send him your support and love.

“Liberation appears to me as a place where judgement, bias, racism and bigotry cease to exist.” –Leon Leonard

We are looking to build our contacts across Ohio, please let us know if you want to plug into ReEntry bridge, End Solitary Confinement, Starting an Ohio chapter, or becoming a penpal.

For Liberation,
Black and Pink Southwest Ohio

We were able to mail out this picture in May!

We were able to mail out this picture in May!

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