Campaign To Free Incarcerated Survivors Of Police Torture (CFIST)


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Sign the petition online or download the petition to Governor Pritzker for your community group.

Mail a letter to Governor Pritzker demanding he free all torture survivors.

Statement Of Campaign Mission & Goals:

We are a group of survivors, family members, and advocates of justice, concerned for the well-being and dignity of those who have suffered at the hands of the criminal justice system. We seek to free all survivors of police torture and wrongful conviction, and to ensure their health, support, and success upon release. We work towards the vision of a humane, bottom-up, community focused transformative justice system, within which police are held accountable for their human rights violations. Our values of collective liberation, healing, and community guide our work, through which we contribute to dismantling white supremacy and the destruction it has caused in our society, particularly in the case of mass incarceration. We seek to continue the legacy of our ancestors and freedom fighters before us in this work towards justice and liberation until we are all free.

Illinois is the only state in the United States that has a Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission (TIRC) created by statute.  Chicago is the only city in the United States that has officially, by city ordinance, apologized for the systematic torture and wrongful conviction of men and women.  It is the only city that has created a publicly financed fund for the payment of reparations to torture survivors. It has cost the City of Chicago close to $1 billion in legal fees and settlements to survivors of police torture and the families of police murder victims as a direct result of the corruption and lack of accountability within the Chicago Police Department.  

Yet, most torture survivors remain in prison decades later, or at best, are branded as felons after serving their wrongfully imposed sentences.  

Our immediate goal is to demand that Governor Pritzker use his absolute and Constitutional power of pardon to immediately pardon all of the people that the TIRC has found to have claims that are “credible and merit judicial review for appropriate relief.”

Our continued work aims to broaden the scope of what defines torture under the commission, to include any type of physical or psychological coercion. We also believe that wrongful conviction is a form of torture itself and should be treated as such under the law.

Our overarching aim is to ensure that any person who has been tortured or wrongfully convicted is free and is treated with care and dignity upon release. We hope that all who have suffered this atrocity are rehabilitated and able to return to a life of, freedom, and equal opportunity. To achieve this, it is imperative that all those who are released receive adequate compensation for the years they were wrongfully incarcerated. This includes those who have already been released and who were convicted under the previously outlined circumstances.

We, the undersigned, are in full support of the above claims, and seek to push these goals and mission forward in the name of justice. 
Black Lives Matter, Chicago
Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
Chicago Torture Justice Center
Innocents Demand Justice
Justice and Witness Ministry, Chicago Metropolitan Association, United Church of Christ
Rev. Otis Moss, III, Pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ
Dian Palmer, President, SEIU Local 73
Aislinn, Pulley, Co-Executive Director of the Chicago Torture Justice Center, Black Live Matter Chicago, Insight Arts, and We Charge Genocide

See the full letter here.

Learn More:

Read survivor's stories and purchase the book.

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  • Souzan Mirza
    followed this page 2019-06-19 15:50:05 -0500
  • Souzan Mirza
    published this page 2019-06-19 11:36:19 -0500