The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, in collaboration with our national sister organizations, JustLeadershipUSA and Survived and Punished, is entering phase two of our National State Clemency Campaign – a campaign that highlights the invisibility of women across the nation who are serving extraordinary long sentences, of women who are ill, who are survivors, and who are elderly. And they remain invisible despite the fact that the number of incarcerated women has been swelling for years.
Today, women make up a larger proportion of the prison population than ever before, but they rarely receive commutations of clearly onerous sentences let alone executive pardons. Our sisters, our mothers, our daughters, our wives all are stranded by a system that allows no recourse. These women are not invisible to us. We have received their letters, and we are working with advocates to petition governors across the country for their release.
Our work centers on release for our sisters who are:
- Criminalized survivors of violence
- Enduring sentences of more than 10 years
- Living with long-term or life-threatening illnesses
We work everyday to end incarceration of all women and girls and with this campaign we hope to contribute to and uplift the years of advocacy by local individuals and organizations working to liberate women through clemency.
This is not a campaign we can do alone. Reimagining Communities Through Clemency plans 12 weeks of action in which we hope our comrades and allies in the struggle for freedom and justice will flood the offices of their governor with postcards, and by doing encourage officeholders to commute the sentences of women represented in the campaign. Please help us to organize community members to participate.
Unlike the problem, the ask is simple: Each person purchases or makes 12 postcards. Starting May 1st, once a week, they send a postcard to their governor with the same script. Over 12 weeks, the governor receives the same message: #FreeHer.
- Fill out our form to let us know you participated and we’ll stay in touch at: bit.ly/FreeHerForm
SAMPLE POST CARD TEXT:
Dear Governor [ ],
I urge you to use your clemency power to release women incarcerated in our state who are elderly, criminalized survivors of violence, enduring sentences of more than 10 years, and/or living with long-term or life-threatening illnesses, and all girls incarcerated in juvenile detention centers. Meaningful criminal justice reform must include clemency. #FreeHer.
Clemency Campaign – Quilt Project
If you are interested in helping to make quilt patches please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate your state and that you are volunteering for the quilt. We will contact you with specific instructions regarding your patch.
1. Each square of the quilt will be 8”x 8” and needs to display the woman’s first and last name. Squares can be made out of any material, including crocheted.
- Be sure to put the name of the state on the state quilt.
- Everything on the quilt, other than the squares — background, borders, ect should be made of blue material.
- It’s also ok to put extra 8”x8 decorative patches (they don’t have to be blue)
The Clemency Quilt is in an ongoing project with rolling deadlines.
Phase One –Now-July 15
We will be making a patch for each woman seeking clemency.
Phase Two –July 15-July 22
We will sew the patches together to make the state quilts. We will also continue to make patches as new women join the campaign.
Template for an 8”x8” Square