The Brotherhood/Sister Sol (Bro/Sis) believe it is not only imperative to #CLOSERikers and repair the harms caused, but also necessary to redistribute the funds and invigorate efforts to further build our communities. The movement to #CLOSErikers is grounded in an effort to change our criminal legal system and move it closer to justice. We are a partner in the coalition led by JustLeadershipUSA to #CLOSErikers because Rikers is a stain on the City of New York; it is a broken and unethical facility that offers no solutions. It is not enough to close a deplorable, immoral and unjust institution; though closing Rikers is a must. We need to also rebuild, fortify, and nurture the communities that welcome those most harmed by our world. We must embrace a new way forward.
We believe we can #CLOSErikers in accordance with the ways dictated by the #CLOSErikers partner coalition:
Increasing pre-arrest diversions • Decriminalizing low level offenses to reduce arrests and prosecutions • Eliminating profit-driven money bail practices • Ensuring the constitutional right to a speedy trial • Expanding existing alternative to incarceration programs • Diverting people with mental health needs or substance addictions into treatment • Eliminating the racist policies and practices that create and fuel the disproportionate impact that the justice system has on Black and Brown, LGBTQI, and gender non-conforming people in the system.
To learn more Click Here.
Start Smart NY:
We believe that legalizing marijuana, expunging the records of people unjustly incarcerated, investing monies into communities, and ensuring that an appropriate apportionment of licenses and funding granted for marijuana business owners go to people in (and historically from) communities directly impacted by the War on Drugs and over-policing. According to the Marijuana Arrest Research Project and The Drug Policy Alliance, in 2017, 82% of people for marijuana possession were between the ages of 16 – 34 and 86% were Black and Latinx. This statistic represents the overwhelming demographic of youth with whom we work. Understanding that Black and Latinx neighborhoods are disproportionately over-policed, under-resourced, and criminalized, we know that legalizing marijuana is a critical and strategic way to help our youth stay out of the carceral system. We support the passing of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA).
Principally, the MRTA dictates that:
The Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA) legalizes the production, distribution, and use of marijuana. This bill removes marijuana and marijuana products from New York’s Controlled Substances Act and allows for the regulation of marijuana under the supervision of the Liquor Authority of New York State. This legislation will regulate the distribution and use of marijuana and marijuana products similar to the way alcohol and tobacco are regulated (“Start Smart NY”).
We know that decriminalization is not enough, we need to legalize.
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of BroSis alumni have graduated from high school or earned a GED
"I believe so deeply in the life-saving work that The Brotherhood Sister Sol is dedicated to: values and skills building that empower young people and keep them on course; helping young people to see and develop the extraordinary within themselves; ensuring their safe passage to adulthood. It is surely one of the most incredible organizations in the nation. Their work is catalytic! Their leadership, their services and outcomes are without peer. Simply put, The Brotherhood Sister Sol does the work that few others will or even know how to do…. They have answered the call to repair the village, to secure the children. It’s our responsibility to ensure they have all they need to do God’s work."
"[The Brotherhood Sister Sol] is using their passion to uplift and inspire a next generation through extraordinary work that creates leaders and a sanctuary for children…. where their members can develop a higher vision of themselves."