MOTHERS IN PRISON
Angela Thompson was only 17 years old, and pregnant, when she sold just over two ounces of cocaine to an undercover police officer at the direction of her drug-dealer uncle in 1988. She had not been in trouble with the law before. Now 25, she is serving a 15-years-to-life sentence, mandatory for this offense in New York, while her young son is raised by relatives.
Angela is just one tragic example of the more than 116,000 women in prison, almost 80 percent of whom are nonviolent offenders. Two-thirds are mothers of dependent children156,000 children all together. Since 1980, the number of women in prison has increased from just 10,000, driven largely by mandatory minimum drug sentencing requirements.
For the third year, JusticeWorks Community in New York is sponsoring "Mothers in Prison, Children in Crisis Campaign 97," a grassroots campaign to influence local and national sentencing policies to establish alternatives to incarceration for mothers with dependent children. This years actions will take place on May 7, the Friday before Mothers Day, with rallies in 15 major cities and 350 public education events in 36 states. To find out about organizing or supporting local events, call Shirley Cloyes or Mary-Elizabeth Fitzgerald at JusticeWorks Community, 1012 Eighth Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215; (718) 499-6704.
Holy Ground: A Resource on Faith and the Environment will be available from Sojourners on April 1, 1997, just in time for Earth Day! Following are some other organizations and resources that deal with environmental concerns.