VOTE is a grassroots organization founded and run by formerly incarcerated people (FIP), our families and our allies. We are dedicated to restoring the full human and civil rights of those most impacted by the criminal (in)justice system. Together we have the experiences, expertise and power to improve public safety in New Orleans and beyond without relying on mass incarceration.
Through civic engagement and policy reform, we increasingly mobilize a strong group of leaders to transform the movement for the elimination of the carceral state.
our vision and values
As a leader in the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People and Families Movement, VOTE is committed to the full restoration of all civil and human rights for all formerly incarcerated individuals. We have adopted the movement's vision and 14-point platform as our own, not just because we helped to craft them, but because we are wholly invested in bringing them to reality.
The FICPFM vision begins: "All of us have human rights that are being abused by the criminal justice system. We believe that imprisonment or conviction on a felony charge should not result in a lifelong violation of our basic rights as human beings, either while we are on probation, in prison, or as we make the transition from prison back into our communities. We are firmly committed to prioritizing De-Entry over Re-Entry, and oppose the concept of a Rehabilitative Industrial Complex that grows along with prisons. All efforts to educate, assist, and empower our communities should be within the context of eliminating human cages as a mainstream livelihood."
It concludes: "We firmly believe that it is as true today as it was when uttered by Fredrick Douglass “that power concedes nothing without a demand, it never has and it never will.” Our platform is being drafted to hold the weight of a movement, but it cannot stand by itself. This platform must be in conjunction with, and supported by, the pursuit of demands by formerly incarcerated and convicted people, our families, and community."