No Exceptions focuses on three issues for advocacy and organizing:
- Sentencing reform—The truth and sentencing laws that swept the country in the mid 90’s were particularly devastating in TN. Beginning with Tennessee’s 51 year life with possibility of parole sentence (the only such sentence in the country), we are committed to repealing sentencing laws that are, in actuality, death sentences and make redemption and return to loved ones impossible. We work for this change through legislation, litigation, education, and grassroots organizing. Please read more about these unjust back-door death sentences. Read HB135, a bill that addresses this;
- Internal conditions—Including, but not limited to, medical care, policy accountability, abuse, living conditions, and mental health. See HB652 that recreates the select oversight committee on corrections. And HJR226, a joint resolution to amend the Tennessee constitution;
- Abolition of all private prisons—No Exceptions believes there should be no exceptions to the abolition of slavery. People should not profit off the custody, confinement, and control of other humans. Private prisons do just this in our society. Some systems cannot be reformed; they must be stopped. Private prison property and profit is acquired through the ill-gotten gains of slavery, torture, trauma, and death. Through legislation, lobbying, and targeted direct actions, we aim to eliminate the four private prisons in Tennessee and the corporations that back them. For more, click here.
We work to achieve these ends through education, legislation, litigation, and organizing. We aim to function as an organizing arm for the families of Tennessee prisoners, as well as mobilize other collaborators and sister organizations toward the fruition of our goals. Through popular education in faith-based communities, universities, and schools, we seek to educate and engage the broader community in dialogue on the realities of mass incarceration, the inevitability of change, and the possibilities of creating alternative paradigms.