CNDP January 2017 Newsletter #2
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Criminal Justice and Reform
Dear Friends and Colleagues,

In this issue, we highlight why the likely confirmation of Senator Jeff Sessions is especially troubling for those seeking to end the War on Drugs and push back our national “culture of punishment.”  We especially urge you to watch the video which places the drug war in a broader national context.

We are also pleased to announce that we will be mobilizing clergy in Illinois to support legislation that the ACLU of Illinois will be filing to reform civil asset forfeiture.  Ben Ruddell of the ACLU staff outlines the issue and offers a preview of what we will be asking you to support.

Rev. Alexander E. Sharp, 
Executive Director, Clergy for a New Drug Policy
Moving Backward with Sessions
The likely confirmation of Senator Jeff Sessions to be U.S. attorney general is deeply troubling. He believes people who possess marijuana should be arrested. He has recently opposed reform of mandatory minimum sentencing laws and appears to support privatized prisons. Surely clemency is beyond the pale.

But the real difficulty goes far deeper than his views about particular policies. He threatens to take us back to the days before we became aware of our national collective responsibility for mass incarceration.

It is only seven years – how much longer it seems – since Michelle Alexander told us in The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness that the United States puts more people in prison per capita than any nation on earth and relegates African American and Hispanic communities to third-world status. Her landmark book exposed the War on Drugs, exploding in the 1980’s, as the primary cause.
Read More

Civil asset forfeiture is a practice by which police departments seize the assets of individuals, often the very poor, without due cause. This is a standing issue on our CNDP agenda. We are delighted that the Illinois ACLU is filing legislation to reform this practice in Illinois.

Ben Ruddell, criminal justice policy attorney with the ACLU of Illinois, is leading this effort and has prepared the attached issue description. CNDP will be enlisting the support of Illinois clergy on this key reform effort in the weeks ahead.
Read More

PBS News Hour Video: There was no wave of compassion when addicts were hooked on crack
Take Action
Abolish Civil Asset Forfeiture 
The government should not be able to seize property from innocent people. Help end policing for profit. 

Sign CNDP's Religious Declaration 
Join an interfaith cooperative against the War on Drugs.
Copyright © 2017 Clergy for a New Drug Policy, All rights reserved.

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