Many of you have likely seen the news by now of the latest toxic prison atrocity, where prisoners in Flint have been lied to and stuck using contaminated water. We know this is not an isolated phenomenon—things like this are happening in prisons all over the country.
Many of you have likely seen the news by now of the latest toxic prison atrocity, where prisoners in Flinthave been lied to and stuck using contaminated water. We know this is not an isolated phenomenon—things like this are happening in prisons all over the country.
Note: In the case that you don’t feel like reading the full email update, you can skip straight to taking action on pressuring the EPA to recognize environmental justice for prisoners by CLICKING HERE NOW.
For news from the Prison Ecology Project (PEP), read on.
General update on the Prison Ecology Project:
Despite the relative silence since last Fall, the PEP has been plugging away on multiple fronts.
One area we have been focusing on is the development of a partnership to create maps providing a powerful visual aid for telling the story of toxic prisons that are either in operation or proposed for construction nationwide.
In the coming weeks, PEP will send out a joint press release with our partners on this mapping project—students and faculty at Humboldt State (CA) and Evergreen (WA) universities.
We are gathering new data every day to populate additional maps similar to this which aimed at filling the void of knowledge on the environmental impacts of prisons, and providing that information to agencies, news outlets and activists in order to push for changes that protect prisoners’ health and safety, as the law is supposed to require of them.
In the process, we’ve been approached by the social media team of the national Sierra Club to partner on a petition to build pressure on the EPA over the coming months. As a result, we’ve jointly created a letter-writing campaign to generate emails to head EPA officials. Please send one in and share it around.
In addition, we are helping to develop an offshoot of PEP called the Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisonsfocused on building momentum against the proposed federal prison in Letcher County. Thankfully a host of other organizations in the region have stepped up to carry this work forward, including the Abolitionist Law Center in western PA, Appalachia Resist! In southeast Ohio, the Ohio Valley Environmental Council and RAMPS in WV, Heartwood and Students Against State Violence in IN, and national grassroots groups such as Rising Tide and Earth First!, among others.
There is now a team connected with people on the ground and prisoners in other federal facilities in the region building off what HRDC was able to put on the record through the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process.
Along with this work, PEP has also been contributing or assisting with reporting in Prison Legal News each month, reaching thousands of prisoners throughout the U.S., including stories on a new toxic prison in Utah, solar companies tied to prison slave labor, and the toxic supermax proposed in Thomson, IL.
Thanks again everyone who has supported PEP thus far.
You can expect to hear more from us in coming months.
In the meantime, mark your calendar for this upcoming event:
June 11 – 13, Convergence In Support of Eco-Prisoners and Against Toxic Prisons, D.C.