Kensington community member, volunteer at Prevention Point Philadelphia
Why are you here at the rally today?
I’m out here to support the movement to try to rehabilitate people and not incarcerate them. To not be punitive, but to be more compassionate. What [crime] did people do by suffering from substance use disorder? We know that it is not a crime. That there’s intervention available, but the government is not using it. We feel that people in the community, in a grassroots way, have to come up and do something about it, and make something happen. You have to make change happen in our community because the government obviously has a different way.
What would you like to see moving forward in regards to Safehouse?
Equal protection and equal representation under the law as well as equal access to health care and rehabilitation centers under the law. If someone has a substance use disorder and they want treatment, give them treatment, not incarceration because it’s cheaper to treat them than incarcerate [them].
I understand that some certain controlled substances are illegal, but if someone gets hooked on it, don’t criminalize them because they got hooked on it. Some people are prescribed medication by a physician, not always a street drug.
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Editors: Zari Tarazona, Claire Wolters / Designer: Henry Savage
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