1974 General Resolution

WHEREAS, the most effective and just basis for social change starts with empowerment of those people who suffer most grievously;

WHEREAS, instrumental control over the material and spiritual elements of life promotes autonomy and the opportunity for self-fulfillment;

WHEREAS, every life is indeed infinite in dignity and promise; and

WHEREAS, the current prosecution, court and penal practices frequently translate political, social, and economic problems into personal and psychiatric problems, thus justifying increased control and repression;

BE IT RESOLVED: That the 1975 General Assembly of the UUA urges and supports the continuing involvement in specific action projects by member churches and fellowships which include, but are not limited to:

  1. Seeking a coordinated community-based system of alternatives to incarceration, especially at the pre-trial stage, to increase the possibility that initial contact with the law will not result in arrest, trial, or conviction;
  2. Monitoring ongoing and planned social service programs and facilities to insure the equitable distribution of resources between women and men offenders;
  3. Seeking to abolish institutional consideration of homosexual behavior or orientation as evidence of criminality or illness;
  4. Promoting the adoption of legislation to prohibit employment and housing discrimination against parolees, probationers, or former prisoners unless a logical and substantial relationship between the crime of conviction and the specific duties of a job are proved by the employer;
  5. Promoting the establishment of minimum wages for work done by employed prisoners where employment is determined by facts indicating that the prisoner is regularly performing the type of work that non-prisoners perform in the institution and that his or her work is of consequential economic benefit to the institution;
  6. Seeking the elimination of all therapeutic or experimental practices which are coercive in nature or which physically violate incarcerated persons (included in this category would be psycho-surgery, most drug experimentation, aversion conditioning, pentothal interviews, electroshock, and behavior modification programs which employ the denial of basic prisoners' rights);
  7. Seeking the restructuring of therapy programs whereby prisoners can contract voluntarily with independent, private therapists for services and professional monitoring of existing research facilities and programs in prison and jails with respect to minimum national standards for experimentation with human subjects and sound psychiatric methodology.

For more information contact socialjustice@uua.org.

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