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In their own words: Organizing legislative testimony from incarcerated people 

4 days ago

The Prison Policy Initiative's new guide on organizing legislative testimony from incarcerated individuals highlights efforts across the United States to amplify the voices of those affected by prison conditions. Despite facing significant barriers to participation, incarcerated individuals are increasingly using legislative testimony to advocate for reforms such as ending solitary confinement and reducing mass incarceration. Advocates collaborate with various partners including community organizations, legal aid groups, and supportive legislators to facilitate access and prepare incarcerated testifiers. They educate them on the legislative process, potential risks like retaliation, and provide logistical support through remote communication technologies.

Through these efforts, incarcerated individuals are empowered not just as subjects of reform but as leaders in shaping policies that impact their lives directly. The initiative underscores the importance of recognizing and respecting their voices, ensuring that constitutional rights extend beyond prison walls. By facilitating these testimonies ethically and effectively, advocates aim to foster a more just and informed policymaking process, driven by firsthand experiences and insights from those directly affected by incarceration.

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