“‘Sometimes, officers tell you, ‘Hey, you ain’t shit! This is you, this is your life, you’re nothing but a criminal.’ Hearing that once or twice is nothing, but hearing that day in and day out for months at a time, you start to say, ‘Damn, you know what, maybe I ain’t. Maybe I’m not good enough. Maybe I am what they say that I am.’
— Johnny Perez, Safe Reentry Advocate at Urban Justice Center, Member of the NYC Bar Corrections and Community Reentry Committee, Member of the New York State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Johnny was imprisoned at Rikers Island at age 16 and recalls these taunts from corrections officers while in solitary confinement.
As part of our work to provide a counter narrative to the dehumanization of all people with criminal convictions, this week the Immigrant Defense Project is launching Indefensible,a podcast series by producer Will Coley. Indefensible is a collaboration with our grassroots partners to elevate the stories of people facing deportation due to criminal convictions. Through these voices Indefensible confronts the rhetoric of racism, criminalization, and hatred that fuel the national security state. These stories shed light on the deep harms of an immigration system that, by design, denies basic rights — such as the rights to a fair trial to protection from excessive punishment.”
Article written by Mizue Aizeki @ Medium.com. To read the complete article, click here.