Inspired by the internationally acclaimed hip hop theater production “Lyrics from Lockdown” (Executive Produced by Harry Belafonte), LIFE AFTER LOCKDOWN is a movement spark – a multimedia, interdisciplinary strategy for igniting dialogue and action aimed at ending the worst prison crisis in history. Our objectives are outlined in the “Bill of Rights for Returning Citizens” – a working document being developed in collaboration with the Brooklyn-based Center for Nuleadership on Urban Solutions — the first grassroots, independent research think tank founded and run by formerly incarcerated professionals and our families.
HOW DOES LIFE AFTER LOCKDOWN WORK?
By sharing the stories of youth in prison and the experiences of the formerly incarcerated, LIFE AFTER LOCKDOWN (LAL) is a national public awareness campaign led by people directly impacted by prisons. LAL starts with an album inspired by the internationally acclaimed hip hop theater production “Lyrics from Lockdown” and a prison publication based on “The Bill of Rights for Returning Citizens.” Using a series of online and prison competitions, these projects will invite widespread participation by linking prisons, colleges and other institutional and grassroots networks nationwide to issue a call for visionary art, music and scholarship proposing solutions to the problems within the prison industrial complex.
WHAT IS THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX?
The prison industrial complex is a network of institutions that value profits over people, strip millions of human rights, and incarcerate more people in the U.S. than any nation in the world. Fueled by the “war on drugs,” this crisis is supported by a system of race-based policing, unjust laws, inhumane facilities, inadequate education, ineffective drug treatment and mental health services, and disenfranchisement that continues long after incarceration.
WHAT IS THE BILL OF RIGHTS FOR RETURNING CITIZENS?
Developed in collaboration with the nation’s first grassroots think tank founded by formerly incarcerated professionals, the “The Bill of Rights for Returning Citizens*” (see below) demands Human Justice for people incarcerated or returning home after paying a debt to society. This includes the protection of human rights, and opportunities to achieve the highest possible level of human development. This process must begin before, and continue until after any person is incarcerated.