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AFSC Michigan Criminal Justice Program

Location

Ypsilanti, MI (remote)

Supervisor

Jacqueline Williams

Description of Project Role and Responsibilities

Legislation and Organizing Around Solitary Confinement in Michigan

AFSC is a lead partner on the Open MI Door Campaign, a campaign to severely limit and eventually ban the use of solitary confinement in Michigan. The campaign is partnering with Senator Stephanie Chang to introduce legislation around solitary confinement, and simultaneously working to build a ground-swell organizing campaign for education/public awareness around Michigan’s egregious solitary policies and conditions.

The Rackham fellow will work directly with Jacqueline Williams (AFSC point on the campaign) on:

1. Public Awareness and Education

  • Attend meetings bi-weekly to strategize around public awareness
  • Help manage social media, create gifs and memes
  • Develop direct-action requests (such as joining campaign, signing petitions, and writing to legislators)
  • Promote our artist engagement piece of the campaign (Art for Justice Grant called Silenced: Solitary Confinement in Michigan)

2. Legislative Work

  • Develop lists of target legislators and powermap with the team
  • Develop messaging and outreach to legislators
  • Promote our website, artist engagement work, and the campaign to legislators for them to understand breadth of the problem

3. Direct Advocacy Support

  • Help Jacqueline answer advocacy requests
  • Communicate with people inside through JPay and letter to deeper understanding of problem of solitary and develop individualized solutions

Time Commitment and Stipend

Start date: June 1
End date: August 20
Three to four days per week for 12 weeks
Stipend: $5,760 to $7,680

About the Organization

AFSC Michigan Criminal Justice Program has been doing anti-prison work in Michigan since 1969. The structure of our program is two fold: (1) we provide direct advocacy on an individual basis (we receive roughly 2,000 letters, JPay, and phone calls per year with requests), and (2) we work on systemic issues in the prison system, develop legislation around conditions and decarceration, and work to build a world without prisons. We are one of the only organizations that communicates directly with people inside, building our organizing strategies alongside the freedom fighters who are currently caged. We are an abolitionist organization which understands that people are suffering in real time, and we try to improve material conditions while pressing to decarcerate and close prisons through the state.

Website

Our website for AFSC Michigan Criminal Justice Program is currently under construction. Website for the OMD Campaign is hosted with Citizens for Prison Reform: http://www.micpr.org/open-mi-door.html.