Leading the world in incarceration, the U.S. struggles to find a balance between justice and punishment. Since the 1970s, the primary focus of criminal justice policy has been getting criminals off the streets. This has led to a great increase in the number of prisoners, mostly incarcerated for nonviolent offenses, and large racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
This issue of our newsletter highlights strategies for policy reform and the work that MCC is doing to reverse this systemic injustice. Read the full Washington Memo.
Las Vegas shooting
On the night of October 1, at least 59 people were killed and more than 500 were wounded at an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas, making it the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Our prayers and thoughts are with all those affected, as we affirm our commitment to work toward common-sense gun policies.
Immigration: MCC is accompanying a couple targeted for deportation at a hospital in Texas, in violation of Department of Homeland Security guidelines regarding immigration enforcement operations at “sensitive locations” such as schools, churches, and hospitals (NPR story | Take action). In addition, on September 24, the White House announced new travel restrictions for citizens of eight countries. Read the full September immigration update.
Use of military force: In mid-September, the Senate voted 61-36 against bringing up an amendment by Sen. Paul (R-Ky.) to repeal the open-ended 2001 and 2002 “authorizations for the use of military force” (AUMF). The U.S. has used the 2001 AUMF, passed in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks, to justify dozens of instances of military action or deployment to 14 countries.
The right to safety (gun violence)
Praying for peace: Prayers for peace around the world
“Faithful Budget”: A budget for the common good
David Boshart, moderator for Mennonite Church USA and executive conference minister for Central Plains Conference, participated in Faith Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C., September 12-13, to call for reduced funding for immigration detention, deportations and border militarization.
Tammy Alexander led a workshop at the MCC immigration law training in Akron, Pa., on September 13. Sign up for the next training June 4-8, 2018.
Cherelle M. Dessus attended the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference September 20-23. This conference focuses on issues affecting African Americans and the global black community.
On October 1, Cherelle M. Dessus spoke at an advocacy seminar at Ridgeway Community Church in Harrisburg, Pa. The Pennsylvania Council of Churches and MCC partnered to address issues in the criminal justice system at the state level, in support of the Clean Slate Act. If you are a Pennsylvania resident, sign up to receive updates about Pennsylvania state-level legislation.