Locked in Solidarity event sparks conversations about mass incarceration

Published: Feb. 21, 2021 at 11:22 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The fifth annual “Locked in Solidarity” event at The Beacon in South Bend sparked discussions surrounding mass incarceration Sunday.

“Locked in Solidarity is a community justice initiative to bring awareness to the issues of mass incarceration, and so this year we are doing a specific theme around reentry and returning citizens,” Beacon Community Resource Center Executive Director Jeff Walker said.

Both in-person and virtually, people gathered Sunday for the annual Locked in Solidarity event.

Topics ranged from expungements to an in-prison college initiative and a second-chance job fair this April.

“Our returning citizens population is a valuable asset to our community, and we need to extend open arms to them and welcome them back home into our communities,” Walker said.

Walker says he enjoys the wide variety of speakers the event has each year. “Everybody that comes to this event are local practitioners and directors of different organizations or are involved in the very street ministries that are happening.”

This is a topic very near and dear to Walker’s heart.

“I have an incarcerated son, so I hope that some of these steps that are happening here will be available for him upon his release from prison,” Walker said.

He is hopeful that events, like Locked in Solidarity, will create positive outcomes for people like his son.

“Our incarcerated individuals, although they are out of sight, they are not out of mind, and we need to support them and build systems of support around them so they can have successful lives.”

If you missed Sunday’s event but are interested in learning more information, you can contact Jeff Walker with the Beacon Community Resource Center.

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