The Decarceration Collective, Chicago
The American law Third-Strike-And-You-Are-Out means that with three drug-related offenses, you get sentenced life in prison.
This law is ethnically skewed and unfair. The Decarceration Collective in Chicago wanted a campaign to influence the new members of the US Congress. For the first time, there are so many members with different backgrounds, and therefore a unique opportunity to get the law overturned or at least taken into consideration.
In addition, the goal was to raise awareness about selected prisoners and their stories with the goal of having their cases resumed.
We created a visual identity and campaign site https://thirdstrikecampaign.com/ as the centerpiece of the campaign. Instead of communicating numbers and statistics, we used storytelling, and through interviews with a number of lifetime prisoners, we got their stories and pictures so that the message became personal. Influencers like Kim Kardashian, Pusha T, and Lauryn Hill sympathized with the cause and shared the website.
In terms of traffic, Kim Kardashian's tweet and Instagram stories provided over 20,000 visits to the campaign page in just a few hours. And the launch of Pusha T's and Lauryn Hill's new song on the page https://www.thirdstrikecampaign.com/cominghome again brought a huge traffic boost. Also, the campaign was mentioned in numerous American media such as Rolling Stone Magazine and MTV. Resulting in the organization obtained a much better starting point for their message and work. In fact, two of the people whose stories we have on the site were resumed and have been released as a direct result of the campaign.
A while ago, you listened to me and another lawyer present arguments to the Judge about why Jabari Veals's life sentence should be reduced. Jabari is one of the 14 men featured on the Third Strike's website.
Today the judge agreed with us and reduced his life sentence. (See below) He's our first solid win from the site!
Please share this news with the team., and extend my deepest gratitude. I will try to arrange a call so Jabari can thank the team personally.
And shortly before the new year 2019:
We recently learned that we won Chris McGee's case. He is another one of the prisoners Your work highlighted. He was our very youngest client - serving life for drugs that happened in his teens and early twenties. This is a shared victory! Please let the team know.
Many thanks and cheers to a New Year!