Take Action: Tell Congress to Reform Prisons, Jails, and Migrant Detention

Invitation to Action:

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated clearly the pre-existing injustices impacting our communities. The effects of the public health crisis and the unfolding economic crisis are inextricably intertwined with structural inequities and systems of oppression that value some lives more than others, and disregard the sacredness of all creation.

As United Methodists, we must resist all forms of oppression and advocate for justice. Right now, Congress is making decisions that could either address or perpetuate these structural injustices. We must ensure that the immediate relief measures prioritize the needs of those most severely impacted by the pandemic. We must also advocate for policies that will rebuild our economy and our society in ways that more clearly reflect God’s vision of health, wholeness, justice and peace.

Contact your Members of Congress today by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Use the script below and helpful tips from our Civic Engagement Toolkit to make your call.

Sample script for call to Member of Congress:

Hello Senator/Representative ______,

My name is ________ and I am one of your constituents in the state of ______. I am a United Methodist who believes in a justice system that reflects God’s desires for a world that is healing and restorative. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed already broken and unjust systems of incarceration, including jails, prisons, and immigration detention facilities.

I urge you to reform these broken systems by:

  • Supporting decarceration in jails, prisons, and migrant detention facilities
  • Protecting the health and safety of those who will remain incarcerated
  • Lifting the bans that prevent those being released from accessing social services (such as SNAP, TANF, and housing support)
  • Ensuring all have access to economic relief programs, including migrants and formerly incarcerated individuals

We must implement changes through legislative policy, institutional practice, and communal action to safeguard and secure the health and wellness of all vulnerable communities, including those adults and youth in prisons, jails, and detention centers. In the midst of this public health crisis and the unfolding economic crisis, we must embrace short-term, temporary relief measures and long-term policy reform that dismantle rather than perpetuate structural injustices.

People of faith and goodwill stand ready to support these changes so that all in our communities may thrive.

I look forward to hearing how you will take action and help me build the beloved community.

Thank you,