30 Minutes spoke with American Friends Service Committee Arizona Program Coordinator Grace Gámez, PhD. Grace discussed her work and the Blurring the Boundaries: Trauma and Healing Justice conference. The conference was designed to offer a critical examination of how the criminal justice system responds to, reinforces, and creates trauma for crime survivors, people accused of crime, and their families, as well as for the community at large.
AFSC Arizona combines advocacy for incarcerated people and their families with statewide policy change to document and improve prison conditions while working to reduce the number of people incarcerated in Arizona.
Through research, documentation, advocacy, and sentencing reform, AFSC Arizona secures more humane prison conditions, prevents prison expansion, and fosters alternatives to incarceration. They serve as a resource for prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their family members, providing information and resources to address questions, and a place to get involved in bringing their voice to the seats of power in Arizona.
Grace directs AFSC’s multi-media storytelling project, Reframing Justice. With Reframing Justice, she draws upon her previous research, Fierce Mamas’ Rising, to design a program that centers the voices and experiences of formerly incarcerated/convicted people and their loved ones. Her commitment to mobilizing the power and knowledge of formerly incarcerated/convicted people is informed by her own experience in Arizona’s criminal punishment system. Grace holds a doctorate in Justice Studies from Arizona State University, and a Master of Science in Mexican American Studies and Public Health from the University of Arizona.
Recorded and produced by Amanda Shauger.