As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Last Prisoners Project (LPP) has been a leading voice calling for immediate decarceration efforts and safety measures for incarcerated communities. This work has led to the release of hundreds of at-risk individuals, securing safety and hygiene resources for facilities, and the development of the LPP compassionate release program which matches individuals seeking compassionate release with pro bono attorneys.
At the LPP they utilize a three-pronged approach to securing FULL freedom for the communities they serve. Through intervention, advocacy, and awareness campaigns the LPP works to redress the past and continuing harms of these unjust laws and policies.
In their first year of operations, LPP was able to implement direct services in three states. They also engaged in legislative advocacy, urging state lawmakers to pass criminal justice reform measures such as clean slate initiatives as well as "Ban the Box" initiatives and ensuring that those with cannabis offenses on their record have equal access to employment.
In the upcoming year, LPP will expand these initiatives to at least six new states that they have determined are most viable for these programs. They are currently fundraising to secure an operational budget of $756,375 and if we raise $1.3 million we can scale these programs to six additional states in 2021. With your support, we can continue to create lasting change for every cannabis prisoner.
Consider a gift today to help them reach their goal!
So far, this year has been quite an unprecedented year on so many fronts, but this month we join the folks at SOIL who have been particularly saddened by the deepening climate crisis that is evident in the historic wildfires burning in the western US, one of the most active hurricane seasons on record for the Caribbean, record breaking temperatures across the northern hemisphere and the crumbling of Greenland’s largest ice sheet.
Our friends at SOIL understand the fragile balance between vulnerable ecosystems and human activity. They have made significant progress in quantifying the environmental impact of their technology to ensure that they are responsibly and sustainably promoting a sanitation model that mitigates harmful greenhouse gases and encourages the inclusion of vulnerable populations in the climate conversation.
Their ecological sanitation solution re-captures nutrients from waste and safely recycles them to be used once again to enrich degraded soils and nurture community food production. SOIL’s EkoLakay service and Konpos Lakay product work efficiently to reduce the carbon footprint in Haiti’s sanitation sector while providing an essential service to communities throughout the country.
As we look to the rest of the year and beyond, and the unknown environmental challenges that might be ahead – we remain incredibly encouraged by the work of the core team at SOIL and the dedicated partners around the world that are working not only improve human and environmental health in the short term, but also to build the resilience needed to buffer against the challenges we have yet to face.
Read more about SOIL and their incredible work HERE.
Today, the Vermont House of Representatives passed S. 234, a bill that would require the automatic expungement of all criminal records for past low level cannabis offenses. The bill would also decriminalize possession of cannabis in amounts that are up to twice the legal limit for adults and reduce some cannabis penalties. S. 234 will now return to the Senate for concurrence before it heads to the governor’s desk. We have been working with our partners for years to expand post conviction relief in Vermont and we celebrate this important reform.