Civil and Human Rights

Shifting Our Approach

The connection between the America's war on drugs and the skyrocketing rates of incarceration is no secret. More than half of our federal inmates are in prison for drug convictions. Many of them for minor offenses.  Since 1972, our prison population has exploded from 300k to over 2.3 million, and... read more»

Posted by Nathan Hollifield on July 24, 2012

GBCS Statement on Aurora, Colo., Shootings

The General Board of Church & Society of The United Methodist Church urges all people to pray for the victims of the Friday shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., a suburb of Denver. Thus far, 12 people were killed and 50 more wounded, including a baby, at a midnight showing... read more»

Posted by Nathan Hollifield on July 20, 2012

Supreme Court immigration rulng ‘significant’ start

Faith groups hail Supreme Court ruling on Arizona law as ‘significant’ start Express concern ‘racial profiling’ provision still stands, possibly awaiting other legal challenges United Methodists joined other faith groups in hailing the Supreme Court decision this week that declared Arizona’s controversial SB1070 immigration... read more»

Posted by Wayne Rhodes on June 27, 2012

“Solitary confinement dehumanizes us all”

Anthony Graves spent 18 years incarcerated and in solitary confinement before he was exonerated for a crime he did not committ. Graves testified yesterday at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights chaired by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). As... read more»

Posted by Nathan Hollifield on June 20, 2012

Solitary Confinement Disregards Sacred Worth - Hearing on Capitol Hill

GBCS's Director of Civil and Human Rights, Bill Mefford, will testify today before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights in a hearing on Reassessing Solitary Confinement. The following is a transcript of Bill's testimony: Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for... read more»

Posted by Nathan Hollifield on June 19, 2012

UMC applauds immigration decision

UMC Grassroots Immigration teams have hosted 570 events, actions and resolutions advocating reform of U.S. immigration laws in 46 states and the District of Columbia from the 2009-2012. That’s almost 200 events per year or one public event every 42 hours. United Methodists across the country are celebrating President Obama&rsquo... read more»

Posted by Nathan Hollifield on June 15, 2012

Take Action! FCC: Stop Predatory Phone Rates

On June 20 urge the Federal Communications Commission to Stop Predatory Phone Rates for Those Currently Incarcerated Those who are incarcerated are isolated from their families and loved ones and the high rates of long-distance calls makes needed family contact an enormous financial burden on families. A typical long-distance collect call... read more»

Posted by Bill Mefford on June 05, 2012

Take Action! Reform the U.S. Criminal Justice, Support NCJCA

On June 13 Urge Senator Cornyn to Cosponsor the National Criminal Justice Commission Act (S. 306)! The National Criminal Justice Commission Act (NCJCA) is a bill that we have long supported. It will establish a blue-ribbon commission that will study every aspect of the U.S. criminal justice system and make recommended... read more»

Posted by Bill Mefford on June 05, 2012

Michelle Alexander: It’s time to raise the level of consciousness

So many people, of all colors, are simply in the dark about the system of mass incarceration. Michelle Alexander, legal scholar and author of The New Jim Crow speaking to people of faith during the May 14 discussion via conference call, Listen to the 1st part of the conversation.

Posted by Laura Markle Downton on May 31, 2012

Michelle Alexander: From Retribution to Restorative Justice

We have to shift from a purely punitive approach to dealing with violence and violent crimes to a more rehabilitative and restorative approach to justice. And that means working to end three strikes laws; end harsh minimum mandatory sentences that do not give people even the hope of rehabilitation or... read more»

Posted by Laura Markle Downton on May 29, 2012

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