Webinar: In their own words: Organizing legislative testimony from incarcerated people

Learn strategies advocates around the country are using to help incarcerated people be heard at legislative committee hearings.

by Emmett Sanders, July 1, 2024

Americans have a fundamental right to engage with legislators about decisions that affect their lives, and one of the most powerful ways to do that is by testifying at state legislative hearings. People in prison, however, are routinely denied this right. Silencing incarcerated people is not only unjust, but deprives the public of valuable insights and expertise from those most affected by criminal legal system reforms. Even well-intended changes may ultimately be short-sighted or even harmful when created without any input from the people who bear the brunt of their effects.

Advocates across the country are taking advantage of the recent expansion of communication technology to help incarcerated people have their voices heard in legislative committee hearings. Through these efforts, the testimony of incarcerated people has been a driving force behind bills to end the use of solitary confinement, end life without parole, and more in Massachusetts, Washington, and Connecticut, among other states.

Join Prison Policy Initiative on August 5, 2024 at 3 PM EST, as we host a panel of advocates from around the country for a discussion on the importance and challenges of helping people in prisons testify at legislative hearings and introduce our new legislative testimony toolkit. Panelists with deep experience in successfully implementing legislative testimony programs will share strategies for ethically and effectively facilitating remote testimony for people in prisons. Panelists will include:

We hope you’ll join us as we explore how to make sure that legislators around the country hear directly from incarcerated people on prison reform issues.

Register here for the webinar.

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