BPC 10th Annual Justice Reform Summit

The 2015 BPC Summit on Saturday, November 14th marked the 10 year anniversary of the event at the Washington State Reformatory (WSR) in Monroe, WA. The day was filled with presentations and constructive dialogue that invoked both tears and laughter at various points throughout the program. The theme of the summit was “Community Restoration” and around 150 guests were in attendance – 100 from the community. Ever since the BPC developed a partnership with the Teacher Residency Program through the Seattle School District, anywhere between one-third to one-half of the guest are brand new, incoming educators. Long time BPC member,
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Thank you for attending the Black Prisoners’ Caucus 2014 Social Justice Summit

The 9th Annual Black Prisoners’ Caucus Social Justice Summit was held at the Washington State Reformatory in Monroe, WA on November 15, 2014. A warm thanks to all those who attended. The event was attended by BPC members, sponsors, volunteers and guests including Seattle Teacher Residents, the Seattle King County NAACP President, the deputy prosecutor from the King County Prosecutors Office, community members and public officials. The program included: Understanding the “Education to Prison Pipeline” Re-enactments (see link below for script) Analysis of Re-enactments The Value of Personal Relationships Identify the issues (How to Close the Pipeline) talking topics: The
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Cultural celebration 2013 at Clallam Bay Corrections Center

“It Takes a Village” was the theme of this year’s annual cultural celebration that took place on August 3rd, 2013 and it took a village to pull out all the stops for this year’s event that was well received. Children were allowed to be present for the first time in over five years so the BPC made this event all about the kids! Each child received 2 bags given to them by the fathers of the BPC. One, a back pack full of school supplies for the upcoming school year. The second, a gift bag made up of an autographed
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Investing in No Return

March 23, 2013 by Dan Satterberg, the King County prosecuting attorney.  This report is the work product of people interested in change – some inside the criminal justice system, some from the private sector, and others who were formerly incarcerated. The goal is to increase the discussion around the shared responsibility to help with the reentry transition, and to make practical recommendations for increased government action” (pg. 2). The report contains recommendations to reform Washington’s system of reentry to improve outcomes for men and women released from the State’s prisons, to reduce crime, and to enhance public safety. A report
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School of Second Chances

Originally posted at http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/beyond-prisons/school-of-second-chances July 01, 2011 by Carol Estes Inmates who get an education are less likely to reoffend when they’re released. So why are prison education programs getting cut? Washington State Reformatory looks like a college, and in one improbable sense, it is. A massive stone temple of a building, it has sat for a hundred years atop a campus of rolling lawn and manicured flower beds, overlooking groves of giant evergreens and pink rhododendrons. Today, as families walk up the wide granite staircase to a University Beyond Bars graduation, the scene is like that at any college—except that
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When you learn, you don’t return

Originally published in the Monroe Monitor & Valley News, Vol. 120, No. 39 September 28, 2010 by Polly Keary University Beyond Bars celebrates $600,000 grant Most medium security inmates try to earn their wayto minimum security, for thefreedoms that go with it. But such is the freedom that goes with education, some inmates have tried to stay out of minimum security just so theycould keep going to the University Beyond Bars, which is only offered at the medium security part of the Monroe Correctional Complex. “Sometimes they try to get infractions, just so they can stay,” said Carol Estes, founder
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Court decision encourages Monroe prisoners eager for right to vote

Originally posted at http://www.heraldnet.com/news/court-decision-encourages-monroe-prisoners-eager-for-right-to-vote/ January 10, 2010 by Andy Rathbun MONROE — Bill Pawlyk considered himself a conservative before he went to prison. His political leanings changed after he lost the ability to vote and began serving a life sentence at the Monroe Correctional Complex. “I shifted more toward the center,” said Pawlyk, 68. “You’re a McCain type of fellow,” added Kimonti Carter, 30, a fellow convict serving life at the Monroe Correctional Complex. The men, both found guilty of first-degree murder, are among a group of Washington state prisoners excited by a controversial court decision that could return their right
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Justice Reform Summit 2008

Anthony Wright presenting on higher education as a pathway to freedom. Derrick Jones presenting on the importance of family connections and the impact of incarceration of families and children. Freddy Moore presenting of the juvenile justice system. Marcus Altheimer presenting on transition and reentry and the need to think beyond incarceration. Vincent Sherrill presenting on mental health disorders, viewing mental health disorders as a societal issues and its effects on self, family and community.
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SIDEBAR :: From the Other Side of the Bars

Originally posted at http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/is-the-u.s.-ready-for-human-rights/sidebar-from-the-other-side-of-the-bars February 12, 2007 by Carol Estes & Catherine Bailey Carol Estes: This is for the next issue of YES! Magazine. YES! is a magazine that looks at problems in the world, and then tries to find a solution for them. It’s going to be on human rights, and the part on prisons and human rights we’re dealing with is the difficulty of you guys getting back into court to have your stories heard. And one thing that the guy who was writing the article for us focuses on is AEDPA. So if your story is related to
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Black prison inmates seeking to modify three-strikes laws

Originally published in The Seattle Medium September 1, 2004 by David Bash The local African American community’s responsiveness to Black prisoners’ pleas for “hope and accountability and redemption” through a Justice Summit at Monroe Penitentiary last Saturday proved to be a draw for a handful of church and community activist, a Department of Corrections staff head, a King County Council member, a state senator, and two state representatives whom are on the primary ballot next month. Under the banner of “Working Together for Sentencing Reform,” the Black Prisoners Caucus (BPC), a core group of about 30 African American prisoners, of whom
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