05/15 UPDATE: OUR APPLICATION PORTAL IS CURRENTLY CLOSED IN ORDER FOR US TO PROVIDE SUPPORT TO ELIGIBLE INCARCERATED APPLICANTS WHO HAVE NOT YET RECEIVED FUNDING.
ABOUT THE EMERGENCY PRISONER & FAMILY RELIEF FUND
In response to the deepening COVID-19 crisis, the Abolitionist Law Center, with support from volunteers of the Human Rights Coalition has launched a relief fund directly supporting 1) people currently or formerly incarcerated in Pennsylvania state prisons and 2) their families affected by job loss, reduced wages, and illness. In the spirit of mutual aid and power of resource redistribution, we are calling on our friends, supporters, and community members to donate to the fund.
WHAT THE FUNDS GO TOWARDS
Our goal is to provide currently and formerly incarcerated people and families of state prisoners with agency to direct the funds they receive to their personal expense areas that have been most impacted by the crisis. This might include money for soap, sanitizer, food, and other commissary items in state prisons, medication and health insurance copays, phone calls from prison, or grocery costs, bills, debts, and rent or mortgage payments for those on the outside. At this time, the maximum amount we are able to disperse to currently and formerly incarcerated people and families of a PA state prisoners is $100.
*The Abolitionist Law Center (ALC) is not the beneficiary of the funds raised. All funds raised go directly to incarcerated people and family members of prisoners in Pennsylvania. ALC is the custodian of the bank account used to distribute funds. Abolitionist Law Center employees, contractors, officers, board members, and their family members may not apply.
*Dustin McDaniel, the Executive Director of the ALC is shown as the "beneficiary" of the campaign on this GoFundMe page to adhere to donation withdrawal guidelines. Dustin oversees ALC's bank accounts and is not a recipient of funds raised as noted above.
HOW TO RECEIVE FUNDS AS AN INCARCERATED INDIVIDUAL OR RELATIVE
Incarcerated individuals and relatives of those in a PA state prison are able to request and receive monetary support by filling out this very short relief fund beneficiary application (TEMPORARILY CLOSED). Once you have submitted your application, a committee of volunteers of the Human Rights Coalition will review your contact information and request for emergency funds. Please allow for up to 10 days for our team to contact you or your family.
*We will do our best to accommodate the funding needs of all applicants, however the total amount distributed is subject to change based on 1) the total amount raised via GoFundMe, 2) the number of applicants seeking support and 3) vulnerability to COVID-19 and need (see below).
**In order to receive funds as a family of a PA state prisoner, you must have a PayPal account. If you do not have one, please sign up here before filling out the Google Form application.
***Incarcerated people will receive funds via their JPay accounts.
**** Family member applicants must be facing an economic emergency, such as [inability to pay for food, inability to pay for prescriptions, funeral costs, inability to pay for rent or utilities, etc.]
*****For incarcerated people seeking support, we will prioritize people who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, such as [age over 55, preexisting medical conditions, etc.] We will also prioritize people without significant outside support (no family/community support, or family/community support has been significantly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic).
ABOUT THE ALC
The Abolitionist Law Center (ALC) is a nonprofit law firm fighting to protect prisoners, and a community organizing project aiming to build a world without prisons. Since 2013, we've defended activists against criminal charges, and brought home political prisoners subjected to state violence. Some recent victories include abolishing death row solitary confinement in PA, and halting the construction of the most expensive proposed federal prison in US history in Kentucky.
You can read about our efforts in COVID-19 decarceration in Jacobin Magazine , PGH City Paper , PGH Current and 90.5 WESA.FM. Follow our action alerts on Twitter and Instagram .
For questions, please contact William Lukas at [email redacted]
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