Standing on the Side of Empathy
It has been a tense year for many; especially for our clients and those who care about them. Although this year has been marked by some painful losses, it has also been filled with moments that bring deep hope for the future. As we come to the end of this year, it is more important than ever that we stand with our clients and on the side of empathy.
When we envision a justice system built on empathy, we are envisioning a system in which judgments are based on the full picture of a person, not just the worst set of facts available. A system geared toward healthy people ultimately leaving prison to be restored to their communities. A system that works to heal, not hurt.
Every day at ARC, Inc., we are working towards realizing a justice system that is less destructive. In the past year, we have dramatically expanded our juvenile justice programming, focusing on resentencing for clients who were sentenced as youth to life without a meaningful chance of parole. We have worked on critical capital cases across the country, hosted our first large-scale training for defenders nationwide, and provided support to defense teams in need of assistance. And we have big plans for 2018 - plans that I am excited to share as we move through the coming year.
One of the things for which I am most grateful this year is how many of you have found ways to join our efforts. You have shown up at events in Washington, DC, New York, and London. When you couldn't come in person, you helped from where you were, both as volunteers and as financial supporters. And you haven't done it alone - you have brought family, friends, and acquaintances into this movement.
The support you have shown fills me with hope and it is that hope I want to share with you as we look ahead to the new year. We can bring empathy into our criminal justice system in a way that will endure. It is no easy task, but your support makes it possible.
Thank you for all that you do,