Bring Returned Citizens Back Home to DC

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Mr. Douglas Jemal, please honor your promise to lease your property at 3400 New York Avenue, NE to operate a re-entry facility (also known as a “halfway house”) to provide a safe and humane transition back home for our returned citizens. D.C. is home to 70,000 returned citizens, roughly 10% of the population, making it the capital of what Michelle Alexander called The New Jim Crow. These returned citizens are our grandmothers, neighbors, cousins, fathers and sons. They deserve a place back in their communities. Join us in defending Washingtonians who have been ensnared in the criminal justice system, paid their debts to society, and are now being unjustly dehumanized and maligned

This Thursday, August 8, 2019 is the deadline to reach a deal with the real estate developer Mr. Jemal to rent his property on New York Ave, NE for a Residential Re-entry Center operated by CORE DC. During an April 2019 meeting, Mr. Jemal met with a group of clergy, activists and returned citizens, and agreed to lease the building for this purpose. Since then,  Mr. Jemal has backed out of the commitment for reasons that are unclear.

Without this agreement, D.C. will have NO PLACE for returned citizens. Instead, they will be sent to facilities far from their families and homes in Washington in places like Baltimore, Delaware and Norfolk, away from the resources that will make successful re-entry possible. It will set them up for failure. They will be forced to wander their former DC neighborhoods with no place to live and no opportunities to connect to legal ways to survive. Help us avoid what will sure to be a moral and security catastrophe. Unburden our returned citizens as well as their families who love them. Help us reunite families; reduce recidivism and hopelessness; increase opportunities for returning citizens to make a positive transition into society. This will make a safer city for us all.

Please sign this petition, and join for a musical rally and protest featuring Backyard Band, EU & Sugar Bear, and TOB Band & Show and Black Bo from TCB near what should be a state-of-the-art re-entry center for our returning citizens on 5:30-9 p.m. Thursday August 8, 2019 at the intersection of New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road, NE.