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Abolitionist Law Center

Abolitionist Law Center, our clients, and our supporters have made important strides in overturning laws aimed at censoring and silencing prisoners’ voices, in challenging decades-long solitary confinement, and in pushing for life-saving treatment for hepatitis C+ prisoners. Over the last few years, the Abolitionist Law Center has:

• Released a comprehensive report detailing how Pennsylvania is a world leader in death by incarceration sentencing and how we must change this reality

• Secured the release of MOVE members and political prisoners Debbie and Mike Africa after nearly forty years in prison.

• Challenged the new legal mail policies of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections that mandate photocopying all legal mail in violation of the right to confidential attorney-client communications

• Won the first court order in the country forcing prison officials to provide new hepatitis C medications in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, and helped other clients get access to treatment

• Successfully fought against indefinite, long-term solitary confinement in several cases, and ended the solitary confinement of pregnant women in Allegheny County Jail Transforming this system and rolling back the mass incarceration state requires building mass popular movements. And people’s movements need movement lawyers. Please consider making a donation to our efforts today.

The Coalition to Abolish Death by Incarceration (CADBI)

Pennsylvania prisons hold over 5000 people serving life sentences without the possibility of parole. In PA, a life sentence means your natural life–it is a sentence that condemns you to die in prison–which is why many choose to call it Death By Incarceration (DBI). We believe that sentencing people to Death By Incarceration is a violation of their human rights and an affront to the humanity of us all. That’s why Decarcerate PA, Fight for Lifers, the Human Rights Coalition, and Right to Redemption are launching a campaign to end Death By Incarceration sentencing in PA. We are working to build a mass movement both inside and outside of prison to take a stand against DBI and other harsh sentencing practices. To do this, we have established three core demands for legislative change:

  1. Parole eligibility after no more than 15 years;
  2. Presumptive parole: people are paroled at their eligibility date, unless the prison administration can prove serious unresolved disciplinary infractions;
  3. A maximum sentencing law that will stop the commonwealth from incarcerating people for indefinite periods of time.

Support CADBI by donating to Decarcerate PA!

Help Debbie & Mike Rebuild

Mike & Debbie Africa have been political prisoners since Aug 8, 1978. On Jun 16 after 39 years and 10 months, Debbie was released, and on October 22, after more than 40 years in prison, Mike was released.

They have two kids together (one that was literally born in prison as Debbie was 8 months pregnant at the time of her arrest) and despite not being able to see or talk to each other for 40 years, they have stayed together. The picture above is first time they’ve touched or seen each other since they were in their 20s.

They had their life stolen from them for a crime they did not commit. and anything helps as they work to rebuild the life they had taken from them so very long ago. Please consider donating.