THE NEXT STEP FOR FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT(F.A.M)
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
13th Amendment, US Constitution
There are several fronts that F.A.M. is currently working on to continue the fight against mass incarceration and prison slavery. With the growth and continued exposure of F.A.M. also comes the need to organize more soundly on a structural and foundational level. In this respect, we are working to structure our legal department and Legal Clinic Network:
1) We need to recruit a volunteer to serve in the capacity of a staff attorney and to develop a fundraising plan to provide compensation when available. This office will help to advise F.A.M. on legal issues and represent F.A.M. in legal matters.
LEGAL CLINIC NETWORK
2) We would like to structure a F.A.M. Legal Clinic Network.
We already have a commitment from several law students, one attorney, and we are exploring opportunities with a law professor and another attorney that we are already in contact with. We anticipate the Legal Clinic Network to start out working in the following capacity:
ASSISTANCE WITH CRIMINAL CASES
a) Handling at least one criminal conviction and/or civil suit per year. In addition, we would like to build a network of volunteers composed of law students, paralegals and researchers to assist with legal research, editing and typing, copying, and filing and collecting public records.
FIRST AMENDMENT ISSUES
b) Filing litigation concerning First Amendment rights as they relate to the right of people incarcerated to peacefully assembly in protest of ongoing civil and human rights violations, and to establish and declare free speech zones at Alabama prisons for Freeworld supporters without interference from state officials when conducting demonstrations or protesting on prison grounds.
(i) First Amendment peaceful assembly rights will also address state retaliation for non-violent and peaceful activity inside of prison, and establish precedent that will be backed by TRO’s to prevent arbitrary detention in solitary confinement and retaliation by prison officials for the exercise of constitutionally protected rights. In California, several recent decisions were issued stating that people in prison could not be punished for hunger strikes because this activity was not violent and did not pose a threat to security.
(ii) First Amendment free speech zones will declare the rights of the public to access public prison facilities and to communicate with visitors on visitation days at these prisons and pass out information concerning public safety, mass incarceration, and civil and human rights issues taking place in Alabama prisons.
WOMEN’S AND CHILDREN’S RIGHTS
3) The Legal Clinic Network will address the violations of women’s rights at Tutwiler as outlined in the U.S. Dept of Justice report in January 2014, and seek compensation and assistance for all children who were born as a result of these sex crimes.
4) The Legal Clinic Network would also like to build a network of labor attorneys and experts to address labor issues within the prisons.
If you would like to assist in this project, please contact us at: