Welcome to the Prison Talk Online Community! Take a Minute and Sign Up Today!






Go Back   Prison Talk > BECOMING INVOLVED > Prison Activism
Register Entertainment FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Prison Activism What's going on? How to become involved.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-27-2016, 12:32 PM
miamac's Avatar
miamac miamac is online now
Site Moderator Gone Mad

Staff Superstar Winner PTO Site Moderator 

 

Join Date: May 2013
Location: ORnativeAZresCAtied
Posts: 8,172
Thanks: 10,538
Thanked 13,840 Times in 5,328 Posts
Default The Language Letter Campaign

This is so important and so often overlooked or brushed aside out of convenience. You may notice a little bristle or cringe when people refer to their loved one as "my inmate". This is why-- language matters. It matters not only in the way we view ourselves, but the way society receives us. If you want to be seen as a felon, refer to yourself as a felon. If you want to be seen as a person first, change your language.

The Language Letter Campaign is an effort to ask media to shift their language to people-centered vocabulary. They have provided a letter that can be circulated to local publications asking that they be cognizant of the language they use. I won't print the letter in its entirety, but you can follow this link to read the remaining portion.

One of our first initiatives is to respond to the negative public perception about our population as expressed in the language and concepts used to describe us. When we are not called mad dogs, animals, predators, offenders and other derogatory terms, we are referred to as inmates, convicts, prisoners and felons—all terms devoid of humanness which identify us as “things” rather than as people. [...]

[...]The worst part of repeatedly hearing your negative definition of me, is that I begin to believe it myself “for as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” It follows then, that calling me inmate, convict, prisoner, felon, or offender indicates a lack of understanding of who I am, but more importantly what I can be. I can be and am much more than an “ex-con,” or an “ex-offender,” or an “ex-felon.”
Reply With Quote
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to miamac For This Useful Post:
Fire Struck (10-28-2016), GaReform (10-28-2016), Lordbew/us (10-28-2016), maytayah (02-20-2017), patchouli (10-28-2016), Sarianna (10-27-2016), Tina (10-27-2016)
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 10-28-2016, 10:00 AM
GaReform GaReform is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 751
Thanks: 428
Thanked 1,215 Times in 497 Posts
Default

I have become involved in criminal justice reform & in May 2015 I attended the Southern Seminar on Fair Hiring in Atlanta. It was designed to address the issue of people with convictions & their inability to get a job because of their background. One of the things that was stressed in the beginning of the seminar is people should not be called Felons, Convicts, or Offenders. They used the term "returning citizens" to describe those people being released after serving their sentences.

I agree that there needs to be a new word to use that preserves the human dignity our loved ones have lost. The term "felon" is an outdated & horrible term. Here is what I found as a possible source of the word.
felon- c.1300, from O.Fr. felon "evil-doer, scoundrel, traitor, rebel, the Devil," from M.L. fellonem "evil-doer," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Frank.

Here's something that gives us hope- http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...felon-convict/
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to GaReform For This Useful Post:
miamac (10-28-2016), patchouli (10-28-2016), Tina (10-28-2016), whiskeyrpm (11-06-2016)
  #3  
Old 02-14-2017, 03:12 PM
msr1978 msr1978 is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: AR, USA
Posts: 5
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default

I agree. I think sometimes people use the term not knowing what else to say. I'd be happy to have another label for lack of a better word.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-19-2017, 07:45 PM
onparoleinTO onparoleinTO is offline
OnparoleinTO
 

Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Toronto
Posts: 459
Thanks: 457
Thanked 504 Times in 254 Posts
Default

The John Howard Society in Canada recommends the word 'prisoner' - since this is literally what people in jail are, and makes no reference to anyone's responsibility. So you might try that.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Letter writing campaign to Dora Letter #1 briandi Arizona General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat 41 06-03-2008 12:52 AM
Letter writing campaign, please help! CT's Pub Federal General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat 0 04-24-2004 04:16 PM
Letter writing campaign Blondiehws General Prison Talk 0 02-04-2004 08:38 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:12 AM.
Copyright © 2001- 2017 Prison Talk Online
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Website Design & Custom vBulletin Skins by: Relivo Media
Message Board Statistics