Did you know that there are people in jails, prison and detention facilities scattered around the nation who are desperate to learn more about what's happening in their legislature?
Many people impacted by mass incarceration who are eligible to vote have no idea of their voting status because of confusing voter eligibility laws. On top of this, incarcerated citizens who are still constituents to their legislatures have No idea how to connect with their representatives in congress.
At SawariMedia we publish a national newsletter, the Right2Vote Report, in order to keep incarcerated citizens informed of the ways that they can engage in their local, state and federal elections.
“The right to vote is the cornerstone of democracy but to ban people from voting simply due to past mistakes and bad decisions, a decision which vastly affects minorities, leads more towards totalitarianism than democracy” – Subscriber, Peter incarcerated at Red Onion State Prison in Virginia
In 2018 incarcerated organizers made national headlines with 17 states participating in the National Prison Strike. Their non-violent demonstrations, held from August 21, 2018 - September 9, 2018, ended with a call for, "The voting rights of all confined citizens serving prison sentences, pretrial detainees, and so-called “ex-felons” must be counted. Representation is demanded. All voices count!" in demand #10
In response to their call, the Right2Vote Report was established to keep incarcerated organizers and eligible inmate voters informed about the new legislation that would impact their lives. The Right2Vote Report is currently produced on a bi-monthly basis and distributed to people incarcerated in hundreds of facilities across 30 states.
What Your Contribution Will Support
Your dollars will help us to
- Increate the number of facilities in new states receiving the Right2Vote Report Newsletter
- Increase the number of free newsletter subscriptions being sent to incarcerated supporters
- Increase the amount of media (video, podcast, webinar, print) produced and distributed for local and regional awareness of inmate voting rights and voting education opportunities
LEARN MORE: What's the significance of Felony Disenfranchisement?
On April 15, 2018 seven men lost their lives and over two dozen were seriously injured at Lee County Prison as a result of South Carolina Department staff negligence for over seven hours. The tragic event was the deadliest prison massacre in decades and yet none of the prisoners were interviewed by media outlets in the days, or weeks following the tragedy. An incarcerated group of activists, Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, recognized that this incident could happen in any one of the nation's facilities.
The circumstances that led to the death of their peers including: overcrowding, lack of rehabilitative programming and understaffing; are identical to that of all of the prisons in the United States. In response to the conditions that resulted in the Lee County Massacre activists organized a National Prison Strike for which 17 states participated in peaceful demonstrations from August 21, 2018 - September 9, 2018 ending with a call for voting rights.
We can only expect to solve the problem of mass incarceration if we allow those impacted to be civically engaged.
“Giving every citizen voting rights expedites the rebuilding process of our communities. Incarceration took many things away from me but it did not take away my citizenship. Democracy needs everyone and everyone includes people in prison and on parole. I believe we all can contribute positively to our political system if given the chance” – Subscriber, Juan incarcerated at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison in California
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March 20, 2023
SawariMedia Launches Weekly Talk Show Series to Spotlight Incarcerated Reader Experiences
This past week was the 2nd of Amani's reading reflections featuring a handwritten letter from a beautiful woman who has spent too much of her life trying to communicate with the outside world in order to share her story. Her mail has been censored for decades and decades by prison officials trying to keep her from sharing her story, so I share this letter as an amplification of Naomi’s perspective.
Please take a moment to listen, share and you’re welcome to look into her case, the invitation is outlined within her letter that we’ll take a very deep look at this week.
Following that I’ve got some special artwork to show, possibly THE MOST influential piece drawn for SawariMedia’s Right2Vote Report newsletter. I was off-site for this one, next recording I’ll make sure to have my microphone handy, if you have trouble hearing let me know in the comments as well as any other reflections you have on the narrative and/or artwork that I’m sure my readers will look forward to. TEN in the PEN aims to establish a two-way dialogue between inside readers and outside viewers for the benefit of all those impacted by PISC.
September 11, 2022
Black August Issue Developed with Yale Intern Support Well Received by Incarcerated Readers
Reginald Lewis out of MDOC shares from earlier this week,
"Got your July August 2022 newsletter. Everyone should read and support. It is truly amazing your collaboration with those brilliant Yale University interns and digitalizing our work!"
See those digitized works at SawariMedia's Online Showcase at: https://sawarimedia.press/subm...
Reginald is deeply concerned with and passionate about the issue of good time credits in Michigan. Learn more about the campaign to Repeal TIS here and follow this contributor on IG @reginald.s.lewis
October 19, 2021
1/3 Subbies Supplied So Far
This September/October Issue only made it to less than a third of our incarcerated subscribers, simply due to lack of funds. Fortunately we were able to get the full newsletter produced and distributed before the end of October, it's also available online to download at https://right2vote.report/2021...
September 18, 2021
Will the newsletter make it to every subsciber next month?
Last month we pushed out hundreds of newsletters to over 1,000 readers across the 32 states where we have incarcerated subscribers depending on our reporting. We made sure that our readers had access to the information that they needed in order to fully participate in BlackAugust and Jailhouse Lawyers' Speak's #ShutEmDown demonstrations for 2021. In the previous report we included updates for prisoners continuing to seek out EIP payments that they have yet to receive. Along with that we also informed readers about the following introduced peices of legislation:
- Federal death penalty abolition Act, HR 97
- To regulate monitoring incarcerated person's electronic communications, HR 546
- Enhancing oversight to end discrimination in policing, HR 3732
- Vote at Home Act, S 136
- To repeal the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, HR 36
- Extending the right to vote to citizens sixteen years of age, HJ Res. 23
- To establish the Election Integrity Commission, HR 607
Next month we hope to be able to supply all of last month's readers with another report, the Spetember/October issue, but we ar struggling, be able to do so we need your help!
Please share this campaign page to extend our reach!