FO Forward



“While there is a reduce class, we am in it, and while there is a rapist element, we am of it, and while there is a essence in prison, we am not free.” — Eugene V. Debs

“This is the very misfortune wickedness, that we exclude to acknowledge the ardent immorality that is in us. This creates us secret and rotten.” — D.H. Lawrence

Not even the misfortune criminals in the universe merit to be jailed the way they are currently put divided to debase in torturous confinement. No exceptions. No exaggeration here.

FO stands for Felons Outfacing. It is a new non-profit classification in the U.S. which intends to classify the jailed in such a way as to capacitate them to resolutely confront those who distinction from the Prison Industrial Complex, and secure poignant reins of decision-making powers for prisoners, their desired ones and all adults who have gigantic care for their horrible plight. It is not purebred with any state, however, for the powers that be have placed crafty parameters on non-profits which forestall them from enchanting in the electoral locus meaningfully.

The jail complement does all within its energy to disjoin any earthy or romantic links you have to anyone in the outward world. They wish your children to grow up without ever meaningful you,  says Damien Echols,They wish your associate to forget your face and start a new life. They wish you to lay alone, grieving, in a petrify box, incompetent even to contend your last farewell at a parent’s funeral, according to that West Memphis Three member, who also underscored for me that seizure itself entailing detriment of liberty, detriment of citizenship, subdivision from family and desired ones, is punishment adequate for many individuals, no matter how auspicious the resources under which their time is passed.

Anyone who thinks differently about that last indicate has possibly never famous the horror of being put divided first hand, or lacks the amiability to empathise with another. The many extreme criminals should not be lumped — as they are, customarily — with the immeasurable infancy of the incarcerated. But, again, even the misfortune of the misfortune — in a courteous environment — must be rubbed differently than they are at, say, Pelican Bay. That’s no way to provide any life, and the ongoing abominations in the domestic area which I’m spotlighting here guarantees that the abroad atrocities will continue… as they have given the pregnancy of this country, the United States of Amnesia.

I’ve taught students on all levels in the U.S. — all opposite the demographic spectrum — for half-a-century, and we can count on two hands the series of youngsters and colleagues who really accepted the U.S. lane record (dis)respecting the life of The Other when we first crossed paths with them. Our educational complement very simply reinforces the comfort with misapplication and barbarity by emphasizing the “exceptional” inhabitant inlet and/or by making irregular distinctions between the jailed and those who have never been arrested.

Imprisonment is a way of sanctimonious to solve the problem of crime. It does zero for the victims of crime, but perpetuates the thought of retribution, so progressing the unconstrained cycle of assault in the culture. It is a vicious and invalid surrogate for the rejecting of those conditions — poverty, unemployment, homelessness, desperation, racism, fervour — which are at the base of many punished crime. “The crimes of the abounding and absolute go mostly unpunished,” my mentor Howard Zinn never sleepy of repeating. [See the final divide below.]

The idea that a immeasurable cove exists between criminals and those of us who have never served time in jail is a novella combined by the secular beliefs that birthed mass incarceration, namely that there is something essentially wrong and implicitly defective about them. “The reality, though, according to Michelle Alexander, is that all of us have finished wrong.”

Bryan Stevenson has pronounced that any one of us is some-more than the misfortune thing we’ve ever done. “No one is just the crime he or she commits,” according to the founder and Director of the Equal Justice Initiative. But I’d go one better than that. For me, it’s transparent that any one of us is some-more than the misfortune thing we’ve ever contemplated doing. Too many people forget how close they came at a essential connection in their lives to killing someone. I’d contend that that goes for the immeasurable infancy of those adults among the out-of-whack, absolved United States citizenry. The entitled are simply enraged, and lethal rendezvous these days is — daily — one wrong second’s spin this way or that more than ever.

“The larger stupidity toward a country,” said Criss Jami, “is not ignoring what its politicians have to say; it is ignoring what the inmates in its prisons have to say.” Well, we take that criticism as mark on, and we intend to do all we can to give felons and their brothers and sisters an rare voice in the U.S. around the new FO, defiantly not only meditative and behaving outward the self-evident box, but — nonviolently — outstanding the box to bits.

The fact is that if one were to recover the whole jail race in the U.S. overnight — with positively no credentials — all of the before jailed souls could not do as much repairs in a full year as what Bechtel or Monsanto does customarily every week worldwide.

There’s something that begs to be addressed respecting that fact of the lives.

Rachel Oxman is an activist, teacher and journalist. She can be reached for some-more sum about FO at

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