Open Collective
Open Collective
Mission Statement and Thank You!
Published on December 15, 2020 by Donald Lyons

Hello,

Thanks everyone for finding us on here. We're hoping to take advantage of OpenCollective's easy reimbursement tools and transparent accounting as we continue to receive support from our community. All contributions are dearly appreciated and as we grow with this system we hope to provide even more ways to get involved and support CCJS.

I wanted to share our mission statement:

We are a group of volunteers who want to abolish police, jails, and prisons. We understand mutual aid as community survival pending revolution, which means we work to help those leaving CCJ and their loved ones with their immediate needs. This includes free phone calls, transportation, food, water, first aid, warm clothing, and housing whenever possible. This care is critical, as so many are released from jail having had little to no food or water and have none of their property on them (no cash, no credit cards, no cell phones) because their property is stored at the police station they were booked into. CCJ also was for a time a leading hot spot for COVID-19 infections resulting in a number of deaths, proving the point made over and over by abolitionists that jails and prisons are a public health crisis.

As abolitionists we know that many of the services typically offered as solutions to social, political, and economic problems do not actually prevent or reduce violence and harm, but rather, they can serve to further surveil and criminalize Black and Brown people, and poverty in general. This is why we work to provide resources and care outside of a non-profit or welfare framework. Our mutual aid work outside CCJ aims to make the police and the capitalist-imperialist state less and less relevant to people’s everyday lives, and puts into action the principle that we keep us safe. Everyone has needs and everyone has contributions; mutual aid seeks to move beyond “charity” as wealthy tax breaks and beyond mere redistribution that does not disrupt the dynamics that created massive wealth inequality in the first place. Chicago Community Jail Support supports Black, Brown, and Indigenous self-determination, and we know that will never be achieved as long as CPD and CCJ exist.

Thanks again for your support!