Activists denounce agenda of
American Correctional Association meeting in Philadelphia
By Diane R. Fornbacher, Executive Director of Drug Policy
Forum of Pennsylvania
August 11-15, Philadelphia will host the members and partners
of the American Correctional Association (ACA), an organization
that boasts of "125 years of excellence" in the prison
industry. The ACA is a group that bills itself as "the oldest
supplier of correctional goods and services in the United States."
It serves as an umbrella group for all organizations doing business
in, around and with prisons.
The umbrella shelters self-serving corporations that contract
prison labor and pay prisoners as little as 19 cents an hour
in prison factories. Prison HMOs are often sued for medical neglect
while this corporate lobby group advocates longer prison sentences.
Department of Corrections officials are involved in ACA at all
levels, including companies who provide poison and needles for
executions. They'll all be there with their hand out in this
upside down, money-grubbing perversion of a welfare and employment
While Philadelphia city leaders host members and partners of
the ACA, the Coalition Against the ACA (CAACA), will convene
ex-offenders, families of prisoners, activists, and concerned
citizens to counter and denounce the ACA's agenda. We will use
this opportunity to deny the false consensus that more prisons
and punitive policies are the only solution to the crime problem.
The CAACA is a network of several organizations, including The
Justice Policy Institute, The Women's International League for
Peace and Freedom, ACT-UP Philadelphia, Brown Collective People
of Color Caucus, International Action Center, Books Through Bars
and many others. Drug Policy Forum of Pennsylvania (DPFPA) is
also part of the CAACA.
As Director, I will personally represent the prisoners of the
drug war, providing copies of The Razor Wire and November Coalition
tabloids. At organizing meetings for the "counter conference"
that will take place from August 11-12, I'll be armed with November
Coalition drug war prisoner stories so the prisoners' cause has
the highest visibility at these important functions.
The Counter Conference on the Prison-Industrial Complex is an
alliance of grassroots organizations that promotes networking,
education and collaborative action within our respective communities
concerning the most prominent human rights issue of our time:
the uncontrolled growth of an unjust and ineffective prison and
criminal justice system. Through various workshops and discussions,
we are educating one another, debunking myths about crime and
prisons, calling for collaboration and action, and preparing
to challenge the American Correctional Association, and all enterprise
that generates profit by maintaining high incarceration rates.
For more information, please contact Amy Kwasnicki at (215) 727-9473.
For online inquiry contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
or Diane R. Fornbacher at (215) 633-9812 or email@example.com
(Diane R. Fornbacher is Executive Director of the Tri-State Drug
Policy Forum, a multi-state group
dedicated to educating the public about sensible and humane drug
policies and Regional Volunteer for the November Coalition.)