Prison Moratorium Project

Award Recipients - 2001

Kevin Pranis, Kate Kyung Ji Rhee, Vincent Merry, Co-Founders

The Prison Moratorium Project, (PMP), was formed in 1995 to end prison expansion and promote a youth voice in the criminal justice policy debate.  Since 1970, the number of persons in the United States prisons has risen to 2 million.  Most newly incarcerated are young people of color ages 15 through 30 convicted of non-violent drug offenses. PMP has mobilized opposition to prison development, built ties between rural and urban youth and helped achieve some changes in the New York State budget spending patterns.
PMP organizes through several projects.  Its first project was a hip-hop CD “No More Prisons,” which was favorably received, and the launch of Raptivism Records to create activist’s materials.  “Education Not Incarceration” raises public awareness about the relationship between ballooning prison spending and shrinking public education funding.  “Not with Our Money” focuses on educating the public about the corporate role in fueling prison expansion and helped publicize ties between the largest private prison company traded on Wall Street and the top provider of food services to North American schools and hospitals.  “Teach Justice!” provides workshops and a summer training institute for young people to build organizing skills and launch campaigns against prison expansion.

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