For Those Behind The Walls, Letters Are Our Lifelines

There is currently a proposal to dramatically restrict inmates in the Santa Clara County jail system from receiving letters. Steeda McGruder, founder of Sisters That Been There, writes about the profound power of receiving letters while incarcerated, and shares correspondence from women currently behind the walls who write about the “life-saving” value of letters. Click image to read pieces on Silicon Valley De-Bug

(Steeda shows the many letters she received from women in the system who reach out to get support. They say letters are there “lifelines.”)

ACJP Presents to Santa Clara County Juvenile Attorneys

Last week the Albert Cobarrubias Justice squad presented to the attorneys of the juvenile division of the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office. We were invited to share our experiences, perspectives, and our model of how families can play a role in partnering with defense attorneys to protect youth from the system. It was a very productive sit down as we brought some of our leading organizers who first got introduced to the system through witnessing their own children face the courts. Their is nothing more insightful than a mother’s observations. We also shared the video, made by Cesar Flores, that was used by a defense attorney earlier this year to further her point that her client was being over-charged. The young man was able to resolve his case without jail or prison time, as well as preserving his relief for immigration court. We look forward to continuing our partnering efforts to keep youth out of the system!


Mother’s Day Math: Mother’s Love > The System

We couldn’t fit all the ACJP mothers in one picture, but here are a few of them whose strength fuels us all to keep going, to keep fighting.  They come every Sunday or Tuesday — after their visits with their children in jail, or even way after their children’s court cases are over — to then uplift other family members who have faced the same struggles.  Happy Mothers’ Day to these Moms!  Submission Post by Charisse Domingo

Mini-Doc: Transforming the Courts Through Family and Community Participation

As we launch our training series for organizations to impact their local court system, we are releasing this mini-documentary to give a glimpse into the stories, strategies, and triumphs we have witnessed. From a mother freeing her son, to a church creating an ACJP hub, this video shows the early stages of our growth (recorded a year and a half ago.) Feel free to share as we are now offering trainings to groups or regions on how to start this practice in their communities. Check it out, and contact us if you want to discuss trainings!