August 24, 2019
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MPAC community meeting to discuss prison reform legislation at Brunswick church

Community Author: Janice Thompson
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BRUNSWICK — The Maine Prisoners Advocacy Coalition and Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick will hold a community action meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 at 1 Middle Street.

The focus of the February meeting will be on current legislation about prison reform, and the recent political changes in Augusta, specifically Governor Mills’ appointment of Randall Liberty, former warden of the Maine State Prison, to State Commissioner of Corrections.  

MPAC interacts closely with Maine’s Department of Corrections (MDOC), legislators, incarcerated citizens, and advocacy colleagues ACLU, NAACP, NAMI and many more to reduce the psychological trauma of incarceration. Through MPAC’s involvement incarcerated adults and youth are exposed to alternatives and hope; families are more likely to stay intact or are reunited; communities have reduced levels of crime, and businesses increase profits because of the increased number of good wage earners. Advocacy reduces recidivism and tax dollars ($40,000-$60,000) spent per year on each prisoner, and MPAC’s services are free.

“These community action meetings always have such an impact on our work,” says Joseph Jackson, MPAC’s co-coordinator.  “People leave with a sense of not only what we are doing to improve conditions in the prison system, but also with a specific set of action steps they might take to help in this area.”  

“We are pleased to be co-sponsoring this meeting,” says Betsy Williams, co-chair of the UUCB Working for Justice Steering Group, which carries out the church’s commitment to social justice through programming and events.  “The mission of UUCB is to be a spiritual community, to welcome all, to nurture one another, to work for justice, and to care for the earth. Our partnership with MPAC aligns beautifully with this mission.”

For more information about MPAC, please contact Joseph Jackson at http://www.maineprisoneradvocacy.org/.  To hear more about UUCB’s work in the social justice area, please contact the church at (207) 729-8515.