Take the #VisitAPrison Challenge! | FAMM

Take the #VisitAPrison Challenge!

Our nation’s prisons and jails are in crisis. Families with incarcerated loved ones believe lawmakers would support smarter justice reforms if they took the time to visit a prison or jail and see what it is like. FAMM agrees.

That’s why launched the #VisitAPrison challenge! We are asking our members, allies, public figures, and the public to encourage all state and federal policymakers to visit a prison or jail in the next 12 months. Our message is simple: You don’t know if you don’t go.

See which lawmakers have pledged to take the challenge!

Want to Participate? Read on …

In order for the challenge to succeed, we need as many people to participate as possible. We want policymakers – state and federal lawmakers, governors, county officials, and more – to learn for themselves whether conditions in their prisons and jails are safe and sanitary, whether educational and rehabilitative programs are offered to those who need them, and whether adequate meals and recreational opportunities are provided. We also hope people will get a better understanding of what families endure when they have to travel, sometimes to remote places, to visit their loved ones.

Check out our tip sheets below on how you as an individual can make the most of your visit.

See which lawmakers have pledges to #VisitAPrison! Check back every Friday to see if your lawmaker has taken the pledge.

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#VisitAPrison Talking Points

We are asking our members, allies, public figures, and the public to encourage all state and federal policymakers to visit a prison or jail in the next 12 months. In order for the challenge to succeed, we need as many people to participate as possible.

In your video, you can tell a personal story of why you think lawmakers should visit a prison or you can use the below sample talking points to urge your lawmakers to visit a prison:

  • Every year, hundreds of criminal justice related bills are introduced in local, state and federal legislatures across the nation. It is important that policymakers who will vote on or sign such bills #visitaprison to see the impact of their votes. I challenge all policymakers in (name a state) to take the FAMM Challenge and #visitaprison.
  • All across the country, people are forced to endure inhumane treatment and unsafe conditions in facilities far from their families. Lawmakers should visit a prison and see first-hand the experiences of those incarcerated. I challenge all policymakers in (name a state) to take the FAMM Challenge and #visitaprison.
  • Visiting their local prison or jail will help make policymakers understand how badly we need to reform our state and federal prison, as well as sentencing laws and policies. I challenge all policymakers in (name a state) to take the FAMM Challenge and #visitaprison.
  • Going to a prison is one way to see the racial disparity in our society and criminal justice sytem. Our prisons and jails are filled disproportionately with black and brown people. I challenge all policymakers in [your state] to take the FAMM Challenge and #visitaprison
  • The U.S. has the largest prison population in the world. If we want to cut the population and protect public safety it is important that lawmakers #visitaprison to help inform their criminal justice related decisions. I challenge all policymakers in (name a state) to take the FAMM Challenge and #visitaprison.
  • I am one of the 1 in 2 Americans that has a family member who has experienced incarceration. I want lawmakers to understand the impact prison has not only on the people behind bars but their families too. I challenge all policymakers in (name a state) to take the FAMM Challenge and #visitaprison.
  • Families across the nation travel great distances, sometimes booking hotel rooms, and flights to visit their incarcerated loved ones only to be turned away. Lawmakers should visit a prison visitation room, and meet with families and their loved ones to hear their struggles. I challenge all policymakers in (name a state) to take the FAMM Challenge and #visitaprison.
  • We lock up too many people, for too long. Lawmakers should #visitaprison and find out if people are receiving the services they need to successfully reenter society. I challenge all policymakers in (name a state) to take the FAMM Challenge and #visitaprison.
  • Lawmakers should go sit in on a rehabilitative program or class and judge for themselves whether people are receiving quality treatment or education to help them rehabilitate themselves. I challenge all policymakers in (name a state) to take the FAMM Challenge and #visitaprison.

Lawmakers should meet with incarcerated individuals and ask them about their experiences in the criminal justice system, their backgrounds, and the impact of incarceration on their families. I challenge all policymakers in (name a state) to take the FAMM Challenge and #visitaprison.

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How to Get Involved on Social Media

Create a video telling a personal story of why you think lawmakers should visit a prison, and share a graphic below and use the sample text below as a guide.

Find Your Representatives

View your lawmakers by state and Twitter handle: https://www.commoncause.org/find-your-representative

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General Public

FB/INSTA: Every year, hundreds of #cjreform bills are introduced in local, state, and federal legislatures across the nation. It is important that policymakers voting on or signing such bills #visitaprison to see the impact of their decisions.

I challenge all policymakers in (name a state) to take the @FAMMFoundation Challenge and #visitaprison!

TWITTER: Every year, hundreds of #cjreform bills are introduced in local, state and federal legislatures. It is critical that policymakers #visitaprison to see the impact of their decisions.

I challenge all policymakers in (name a state) to take the @FAMMFoundation Challenge and #visitaprison!

FB/INSTA: Across the country, people are forced to endure inhumane treatment and unsafe conditions in facilities too far from their families.

I challenge every policymaker in (STATE/DEPT.) to take the @FAMMFoundation Challenge and #visitaprison to see the experiences of those incarcerated firsthand.

TWITTER: Across the country, people are forced to endure inhumane treatment and unsafe conditions in facilities too far from their families.

I challenge every policymaker in (STATE/DEPT.) to take the @FAMMFoundation Challenge and #visitaprison to see the experiences of those incarcerated firsthand.

FB/INSTA: Visiting a local prison or jail will help policymakers understand how badly we need criminal justice reform in our state and federal prisons. I challenge all policymakers in (name a state) to take the @FAMMFoundation Challenge and #visitaprison.

TWITTER: Visiting a local prison or jail will help policymakers understand how badly we need #cjrefrorm in our state and federal prisons. I challenge all policymakers in (STATE/DEPT.) to take the @FAMMFoundation Challenge and #visitaprison.

ALL: Going to a prison is one way to see the racial disparity in our criminal justice system. Our prisons and jails are filled disproportionately with people of color. I challenge all policymakers in [your state] to take the @FAMMFoundation Challenge and #visitaprison.

FB/INSTA: The U.S. has the largest prison population in the world. If we want to reduce this population and protect public safety it is important that lawmakers #visitaprison to help inform their decisions about criminal justice.

I challenge all policymakers in (name a state) to take the @FAMMFoundation Challenge and #visitaprison.

TWITTER: The U.S. has the largest prison population in the world. Safe and smart #cjreform is dependent on lawmakers making informed criminal justice-related decisions.

I task all policymakers in (name a state) to #visitaprison and be a part of the @FAMMFoundation Challenge!

ALL: We lock up too many people, for too long. Lawmakers should #visitaprison and find out if people are receiving the services they need to successfully reenter society.

I challenge all policymakers in (name a state) to take the @FAMMFoundation Challenge and #visitaprison.

ALL: As they write policies, lawmakers should sit in on rehabilitative programs or classes and judge for themselves whether people are receiving quality #reentry resources.

I challenge all policymakers in (name a state) to take the FAMM Challenge and #visitaprison.

FB/INSTA: Lawmakers should meet with incarcerated individuals and ask them about their experiences in the criminal justice system, their backgrounds, and the impact of incarceration on their families. I challenge all policymakers in (name a state) to take the @FAMMFoundation Challenge and #visitaprison.

TWITTER: Lawmakers should meet with prisoners and ask about their experiences in the criminal justice system, and about the impact of incarceration on their families.

I challenge all policymakers in (name a state) to take the @FAMMFoundation Challenge and #visitaprison.

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Affected Persons

FB/INSTA: I am one of the 1 in 2 Americans who has a family member who has experienced incarceration. I want lawmakers to understand the impact prison has not only on the people behind bars but their families, too. I challenge all policymakers in (name a state) to take the FAMM Challenge and #visitaprison.

TWITTER: I am one of the 1 in 2 Americans who has a family member who has experienced incarceration. I want lawmakers to understand the impact prison has not only on the people behind bars but their families, too. I challenge (name a lawmaker) to take the FAMM Challenge and #visitaprison!

FB/INSTA: Families like mine travel great distances to visit loved ones in prison, booking hotel rooms and flights, only to be turned away. Lawmakers should visit a prison visitation room and meet with families and their loved ones to hear their struggles.

I challenge all policymakers in (name a state) to take the @FAMMFoundation Challenge and #visitaprison.

TWITTER: Families like mine travel great distances, booking hotel rooms and flights to visit incarcerated loved ones, only to be turned away. Lawmakers (you can enter lawmaker handle or name), I challenge you to take the @FAMMFoundation Challenge, #visitaprison’s visitation room, and meet with families to hear what they go through.

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Graphics

Download the graphics below and use them in your social media posts. Click each photo for a high-res version.

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Why Visit? Prison Conditions

Below are just a few of the conditions in prisons around the country:

  • In Alabama, the U.S. Justice Department recently concluded that the level of violence, sexual abuse, and weapons in the men’s prisons created conditions that violate the Constitution;
  • In Florida and Texas, state-run prisons are not air-conditioned, resulting in heat-related deaths during summer;
  • In Arizona, a federal judge ordered an independent monitor to review health care services in the state’s prisons after numerous reports of neglect and abuse.

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