|The undercurrent of every major civil and political rights movement in U.S. history has been the struggle for economic justice, and every movement has been waged by those most impacted. The fight to dismantle incarceration and criminalization is no exception.
What we have seen after decades of the War on Drugs, tough on crime policies, and mass incarceration is an intentional and almost unprecedented denial of wages, skills, safety, and human dignity. Six decades of policymaking has led to economic disinvestment in the same communities most harmed by over-policing and mass criminalization. While millions of workers search for what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called “the dignity of labor,” the 45,000 laws and statutes continue to relegate people to a perpetual second class status.
We say enough.
In 2018, the #WORKINGfuture campaign released the Bill of Rights for Criminalized Workers — a blueprint to restore the civil and human rights of people with records and formerly incarcerated people.
We have made significant gains in places like Rhode Island, South Carolina, Michigan, and Ohio as we continue to work with advocates and legislatures to overturn harmful laws and policies. Most recently, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezsubmitted the Bill of Rights into the congressional record during a hearing for the Fair Chance Act, as an essential document when talking about restoring dignity for people with records.