Who We Are
Behind the Walls is DARE’s prison abolition committee, which unites people inside the prison with their friends, families, community members, and former inmates on the outside. Together, we fight for systemic changes in the criminal justice system, by advocating for progressive legislation at the state level and organizing our community to build strength and solidarity among people affected by the Prison Industrial Complex.
The Behind the Walls Committee was founded in 1998 at the request of DARE members and people inside the Adult Correctional Institute (ACI), the Rhode Island state prison. Attracted by DARE’s advocacy work against police brutality, people inside the ACI recognized the continuity between police brutality and injustices in other aspects of the criminal justice system and urged DARE to broaden its work. Many of these people continue to be involved in Behind the Walls, serving on our Inside Advisory Committee or joining DARE upon their release from prison.
If you or a loved one have been impacted by the criminal justice system, please join us at our meetings on Wednesday, 6-8 PM at DARE. Contact our staff organizer, Anusha Alles, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 4013516960 for more information.
Our Fair Chance Licensing Campaign
In 2018 we launched a campaign to create a fair and transparent process for people with conviction histories seeking occupational licensing. Over 60% of occupational licenses in Rhode Island have conviction-related barriers that prevent people with records from obtaining meaningful and stable employment. Our Fair Chance Licensing bill aims to counter blanket discrimination against people with records; agencies will only be able to deny, suspend, or revoke an applicant’s license if their conviction is substantially related to the occupation in question (ex. a DUI is arguably related to a CDL). For more information about the bill, the campaign, and how you can support, please see fairchancelicensingri.com.