April 8, 2021 Editor

Dianne Tramutola-Lawson–Class of ’60

and CURE (Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants)--Today's Inmates are Tomorrow's Neighbors

Listen to this article

WN: Dianne is one of the amazing volunteers in charge of Colorado CURE.

Please enjoy this brief interview:

You may also click on St. Mary’s Academy link to article; and here is the link for St. Mary’s Academy.

My wife and I have had the good fortune of being members, and I represent Canadian CURE. It has chapters in most American states, and internationally, especially in Africa. I agreed to chair an emerging “CURE of the Americas” (COTA), focussed on Restorative/Transformative Justice.

I have but one quibble with the CURE byline above: “Inmates” should instead read “Prisoners.” That is calling a spade a spade–while pointing to prisons’ supreme horror: the actual caging of human beings!

I learned this lesson in 1976 from the amazing publication: Instead of Prisons: A Handbook for Abolitionists. Click here for the full content.

Then “Neighbours” (correct English spelling! 😉 ) could as readily be swapped out for “Returning Citizens,” the alternative nomenclature brilliantly promoted by a friend, Charle Thornton, as seen here: Preparing Formerly Incarcerated Returning Citizens as Part of the Crime Prevention Solution: Fourteenth United Nations Congress on Crime Convention and Criminal Justice, Kyoto Japan, 7 – 12 March, 2021.

The CURE Founders–Charlie and Pauline Sullivan–mentioned by Diane are truly amazing and selfless! Charlie travels to all the International Conferences, so my partner Esther and I have gotten to know him fairly well. I first met Charlie at a Conference in Toronto about 25 years ago. He always sent me their newsletter, and there was invariably a handwritten note.

Here is Charlie introducing CURE in 2009:

This from their website:

WELCOME to International CURE

International Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE) is a grassroots organization dedicated to the reduction of crime through the reform of the criminal justice system (especially prison reform.).

Prisons should be used only for people who absolutely must be incarcerated. And that those who are incarcerated should have all of the resources they need to turn their lives around.  A person is sent to prison  AS PUNISHMENT AND NOT FOR PUNISHMENT. The only punishment is the loss of freedom.

We encourage members to become  VOCAL especially when you are struggling with a criminal justice system.

Certainly, it is often easier to feel very helpless and isolated.  Also, it may be difficult to understand the system and you are treated disrespectfully when you talk about it. Finally, You may be overwhelmed by other responsibilities while you have a loved one who is incarcerated.

We understand those feelings. At the same time, if the criminal justice system is to improve, we need many people to speak up about the problems.  Lots of voices can result in change.

Please click on V-O-C-A-L  for a few things you can do.  These are just suggestions. They may not work everywhere. If these won’t work where you live, perhaps they will inspire you to think of something that will work. No one can do all of these things. Anything you can do is likely to help.

Finally,  CURE is a membership organization. We work hard to provide our members with the information and tools necessary to help them understand the criminal justice system and to advocate for changes. Click to Join today

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Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.

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