IndyCAN E-newsletter, August/September 2016

 In This Issue



IndyCAN leader Min. Chelsea Goodlow, New Beginnings Fellowship Church, asks Deputy Mayor Hampton to clarify the commitment from the mayor's office during the People's Hearing on Criminal Justice Reform Thursday, Sept. 1.

Deputy Mayor will propose ending money bail and prioritizing pre-arrest diversion

Last Thursday, hundreds of people packed the LIVE FREE People’s Hearing on Criminal Justice Reform. A special energy permeated every corner of the room, and IndyCAN's movement to reform the criminal justice system in Marion County burst with renewed expectations.

In that room, Rev. Dr. David Hampton, Indianapolis Deputy Mayor of Neighborhoods and Chair of the Criminal Justice Reform Task Force, representing Mayor Joe Hogsett’s office, agreed to a series of IndyCAN’s proposals from the new report we released that night, The People’s Agenda for Ending Mass Incarceration and Mass Criminalization in Marion County.

The action means that Mayor Hogsett pledges to:

  • listen to families who have been directly affected by the broken criminal justice system
  • ensure that any recommendations from the Mayor’s Task Force include a serious proposal to end money bail in Indianapolis
  • prioritize addiction and mental-health diversion over incarceration
  • create a culture of transparency— like the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department began this year — by committing to implement a data system that tracks:
    • the race of those arrested, charged and jailed
    • the crimes that were committed by those arrested, charged and jailed
    • how long citizens are jailed for those crimes
    • how many are not convicted of crimes

    These data should be posted publicly, online, within the next six months and updated annually.

Our city cannot jail its way out of the challenges facing our communities. We waste time and money locking up the poor, the sick and the mentally ill, rather than focusing on delivering the treatment and services that will help them thrive on the right side of the law.

IndyCAN’s people of faith and returning citizens will continue to work toward bringing home new victories for Indianapolis and our people. The People’s Hearing was a significant first step — but now we must hold our mayor accountable to the promises we heard!

What you can do

Plan to attend the next LIVE FREE meeting on Sunday, Sept. 25, at 6pm  (Location TBA).

Related media

Above: IndyCAN leader Crystal Puckett, Eastern Star Church, shares her personal testimony of unfair criminalization, while Deputy Mayor Rev. Dr. David Hampton watches.

  A member of the audience raises a question about what was not included in the mayor's office remarks about criminal justice reform.  

Pastor John Davis, Sanders Temple Church of God in Christ, opens the People's Hearing with a faith reflection, as Rev. Dr. David Hampton (far left), and IndyCAN leaders Rev. Jeffrey Johnson II, Eastern Star Church, and Min. Chelsea Goodlow, New Beginnings Fellowship Church, eagerly await their opportunities to speak.

  Dozens of action attendees raise their hands in acknowledgment of being affected by the criminal justice system in Indianapolis.  
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IndyCAN leaders Quintin Puckett and Min. Chelsea Goodlow call prophetic voters at a phone bank early in the season.

Prophetic voter program is picking up speed

In the first three weeks of IndyCAN's Ticket to Opportunity phone bank program, 221 volunteers have made 3,045 phone calls urging voters to vote YES for expanded transit in Indianapolis.

With just nine weeks remaining until Election Day, we’re picking up speed and need to see even more volunteers to reach out to our neighbors — aiming for our goal of 80,000 conversations with voters bypassed by parties and traditional campaigns!

We need everyone to jump in and volunteer. If everyone on our email list signs up for two phone bank shifts, we will surpass our goal!

What you can do

Take one minute now to sign up and commit to two or more phone bank shifts. You can see the schedule and register for a shift online.

Plan to attend the next Strategy Team meeting on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. at Central Christian Church, 701 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis.

All voter-program captians should plan to attend the Strategy Team meeting. We will use this time not only to check in on our current progress, but also to plan our strategy for getting voters out to the polls on Election Day. Don’t miss it!


New Ticket to Opportunity resources available for congregation leaders

Congregation leaders, find new resources to help you move the members of your congregation to join forces with IndyCAN in the Ticket to Opportunity campaign. Now on the IndyCAN website, find:


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The People's Agenda shows that Marion County fails to follow best practices for preventing violence, diverting people out of the criminal justic system and reducing the number of people behind bars.

IndyCAN releases The People's Agenda for Ending Mass Incarceration

At The People’s Hearing on Criminal Justice Reform, IndyCAN released a new, comprehensive study that identifies drivers of systemic criminalization of people of color in Marion County. The report, called The People's Agenda for Ending Mass Incarceration and Mass Criminalization in Marion County, also lays out six steps the city can take to relieve black and Latino families devastated by its effects.

The report found that Marion County has a long history of overly aggressive policing and prosecution strategies that have entangled too many black and Latino men and women in the criminal justice system without making the community safer.

“The data on the amount of time individuals who are eventually found innocent spend in jail is especially troubling,” says Chelsea Goodlow part of the IndyCAN LIVE FREE team, whose father spent most of her life behind bars. “More than 44 percent of these people spent more than 30 days behind bars. More than 5 percent spent more than 6 months in jail. It’s just one of many statistics that show the impact of our broken system on families in our community.”

The report awards Marion County and its officials a score of “D,” a reflection of its long history of failing to follow best practices for preventing violence, diverting people out of the criminal justice system and reducing the number of people behind bars.

The study is part of a collection of 19 studies across 10 states that was commissioned by PICO National Network’s LIVE FREE Campaign to end mass incarceration and reduce violence. Similar reports for counties in California, Ohio, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Missouri will be released in the coming weeks.

Read the full report, including the recommendations for best practices Marion County should implement.


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Congregations to share message of prophetic voting during Sabbath weekend

On the weekend of Sept. 17 and 18, IndyCAN congregation leaders will hold the first of two Prophetic Voter Sabbaths speaking from the pulpit, sharing with parishioners the importance of making our faith values known by showing up at the polls to vote on Nov. 8.

Each person who attends services on those days will receive an IndyCAN prophetic voter pledge card, marking their commitments to vote.

Let us know that your congregation will be participating, and request pledge cards by completing our online form.

Or download the pledge card to make copies internally.

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Meet Sister Tracey Horan, the newest member of the IndyCAN staff

Sister Tracey Horan began working with IndyCAN this summer, serving our bilingual congregations and their work toward social justice. Already, she says she has been "humbled and energized by the prophetic leaders in our churches. I'm motivated by their real stories and desire to transform pain into systemic change in our community."

Sister Tracey became a novice with the Sisters of Providence in summer 2015. "As a Sister of Providence, I see our core values of love, mercy and justice being lived out in this work," she says. "We're brining people of faith out of the pews and into actions that bridge the gap between the world as it is and the world as it should be."

Sister Tracey is a former intern at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, a ministry of the Sisters of Providence. She also has served as a volunteer minister for Spanish-speaking Mass at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Terre Haute, a volunteer labor organizer for Unite HERE in Indianapolis, an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Indy Hunger Network, and a middle school math instructor at St. Pius X Catholic School in El Paso, TX.

She has bachelor’s degrees in middle-childhood education and Spanish from the University of Dayton.

Sister Tracey blogs about spirituality and prayer for the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Follow her posts on the SP Blog.

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IndyCAN leader Pastor Clarence C. Moore, New Era Church, poses for a photo with (from left) Dr. Karen Ruprecht, IndyCAN Executive Director Shoshanna Spector and Dr. Angela Tomlin.

IndyCAN executive director selected for new national leadership program to build culture of health

As a member of one of only 15, three-person teams selected, Shoshanna Spector (right), IndyCAN executive director, has joined Interdisciplinary Research Leaders, a new program led by the University of Minnesota with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Spector will join researchers and community leaders from across the country to collaborate and innovate to solve persistent challenges and advance a culture of health—one that places well-being at the center of every aspect of life.

As part of the program, Spector and two others, Dr. Karen Ruprecht, PhD, and Dr. Angela Tomlin, PhD, will research the impact of mass incarceration on the social, emotional and developmental health and long-term health equity of Indiana’s young children. They also plan to explore the health benefits of expanding access to quality pre-k on low-income communities of color impacted by over-incarceration.

“We’re looking forward to opening the window to the realities of the effects mass incarceration has on children’s lives,” says Spector. “What we find will affect the work that IndyCAN and the city of Indianapolis have in front of us when it comes to reducing the enormous problem of over-incarceration in Marion County. We will be able to clearly share how this problem extends well beyond those who are behind bars and affects the future of our communities.”

Dr. Ruprecht is a research associate in the Human Development and Family Studies Department with Early Learning Indiana. Dr. Tomlin is as associate professor, coordinator of Psychology and director of the Riley Child Development Center LEND Program located at the Indiana School of Medicine.

Read more about Interdisciplinary Research Leaders.

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