Austin, TX– The Alliance for Safety and Justice held a rally in the rotunda of the Texas Capitol building to bring attention and praise the thousands of survivors of criminal acts.
The Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice group, which has chapters across the Lone Star state and nation, is focused on helping facilitate existing state funds already allocated for the victims of crimes.
But by scratching under the surface of the organization, the safety and justice group appears to be part of the bigger criminal justice reform, or less jail time for criminals movement.
The group’s Development & Membership Director Aswad Thomas says that they are advocating for a justice system that meets “the needs of victims first,” as well as pushing for more “prevention programs, more mental health programs, and drug rehabilitation measures “rather than more spending on incarceration.”
When asked if the group and crime victims was advocating for less stringent prison sentences for the very same criminals who have hurt them, Aswad affirmed that was the intention.
“Yeah, many crime victims who experience the loss of a loved one …as they go through the healing process, they find out that the individual that may have caused them harm, at one point was a crime victim themselves.”-Aswad Thomas
Thomas says that many of those criminals find themselves in the criminal justice system because their own victimization was never addressed, pushing them to commit the crimes they were arrested for.
Thomas then added that his organization would like to see offenders immediately put into some kind of probationary system instead of being arrested.
In addition, Thomas pointed to the 2014 Proposition 47 measure in California that changed 6 non-violent felonies to misdemeanors, emphasizing the need for more diversionary programs.
While we were looking over the group’s website, in hopes to get a better idea of what it was up to, we stumbled across staffer Subhash Pateel.
Pateel, a self-styled “progress to the bone” community activist based in Florida, has in the past expressed his concern and disapproval of “right wing” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s position towards Palestinians.
Aside from questioning Israel’s actions towards the Palestinians, Pateel has also been a supporter of the controversial Black Lives Matter movement.
Pateel is listed as speaker for the upcoming Law for Black Lives convention. The Law for Black Lives network of “5,000 radical lawyers and legal workers.”
Pateel has even gone as far as assert that the “War on Terror” has “terrorized communities” and that U.S. is conducting an “undeclared war on Immigrants.”
“As a community organizer, I witnessed with my own eyes a War on Drugs that left communities littered with drugs, violence and mass incarceration, a War on Terror that terrorized communities and an undeclared War on Immigrants meant to “secure communities” that has left many families torn apart.
My own beliefs on the culture of violence have put me at odds with many friends. I consider myself a progressive to the bone. I am pro-immigrant, anti-war on drugs and anti just about any war based on false pretenses and built on destruction. Like many people, I have seen enough needless death and violence to know how much I hate it, whether it comes from the barrel of a gun, the blade of a knife, the missile of a drone, a U.S.-issued Stinger in the hands of the Taliban or a baseball bat.
But even though my parents never owned guns, I grew up around many people who did and I have always believed in what the Second Amendment fundamentally stands for. I never saw the label progressive as meaning a little left of liberal. To me, it always meant that we address the root cause of every problem we face in a way that challenges ourselves as much as we challenge the powers creating those problems.
As a community organizer, I witnessed with my own eyes a War on Drugs that left communities littered with drugs, violence and mass incarceration, a War on Terror that terrorized communities and an undeclared War on Immigrants meant to “secure communities” that has left many families torn apart. So when I hear folks recite the mantra of “gun control” or “a good guy with a gun” as the cure-all for the culture of violence in this country, I pause. “=Subhas Pateel (Source)