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Activists demand ‘schools, not jails’
Published Apr 12, 2012 9:59 PM
Community activists in Philadelphia marched through Center City streets on April 5 to demand, “Build communities, not prisons!” They began at Gov. Tom Corbett’s office, where they criticized Pennsylvania’s $680 million budget for prisons and the construction of two new prisons, while at the same time funds for education are slashed. The next stop was the Criminal Justice Center — where true justice is a stranger — to condemn a system that imprisons youth and people of color for minor nonviolent crimes.
The last stop was Love Park, “to break ground on the kinds of communities we want to build,” said Hannah Zellman, “with quality schools, jobs with job training, access to health care, community based re-entry programs, housing, access to healthy foods, and a restorative system of justice instead of the punitive system we have today.” Short statements were given by representatives from about a dozen of the 70 community groups throughout Pennsylvania that have endorsed Decarcerate PA’s platform.
“Tear down the jailhouse! Build up the schoolhouse!” was the most popular chant of the day.
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