ARTS, CULTURE, AND BENEVOLENCE
The Arts, Culture and Benevolence program of the Mutual Aid Network of Ypsilanti in Washtenaw County is a group focused on transformative and restorative justice and works with members of our community that have been impacted by the legal system. This includes helping with completion of mandatory state assigned service hours as well as monthly letter writing events to our community members who are currently incarcerated, combined with education about transformative and restorative justice. One of our goals is to help program participants connect with the community and resources that they may need.
Service Hour Completion for Probation or Parole
Looking for a more accessible way to fulfill your service hours? Complete them with the ACAB program of the MANY! We have virtual service hour options.
The Arts, Culture, and Benevolence program of the Mutual Aid Network (MANY) works with members of our community that have mandatory state assigned service hours through their parole or probation. We offer accessible ways of meeting this demand by providing media to engage with (reading, podcasts, music, film, art) and connecting folks with local mutual aid projects. By providing a variety of ways of achieving the service hour requirement, we hope to make meeting mandatory service hour demands more accessible. The MANY is a community network and 501c3 non-profit.
To learn more about different activities you could do with ACAB to complete your service hours, see here. (create pdf to link)
Want To Get Involved?
For assistance with service hours:
To attend the letter writing events:
To get involved with the group as an organizer:
Monthly Letter Writing and Transformative Justice Meet Up
Join us the fourth Thursday of every month at 6:30pm to write letters to neighbors, friends, and comrades who are currently incarcerated. If you have a penpal, you can write to your penpal while we meet! Not sure how to be a pen pal, or maybe you are not ready? We will have a list of names of folks who are open to receiving occasional mail. Looking for a penpal? We can connect you with lists of folks who are also looking! Check out these guidelines for writing letters to folks who are incarcerated in Michigan!
- Monthly Letter Writing to Incarcerated Comrades, July 29nd @ 6:30pm | RSVP
- Long Term Jail Support Workshop (link to video)
- Letter Writing to Members of Community currently Incarcerated Workshop (link to video)
Frequently Asked Questions
What are restorative and transformative justice?
Restorative and transformative justice are overlapping concepts in the sense that both are strategies to address harm which originate within traditional Indigenous practices for addressing harm in families and communities.
Specifically, restorative justice aims to address a single situation of harm, while transformative justice aims to go deeper, and tries to address the factors that contributed to why harm happened to begin with in order to prevent similar situations from happening again.
What do we consider service hours?
Part of our commitment to healing and transformative justice is providing accessible ways for people to meet these requirements of parole and probation.
We view service hours as a means to connect with the community, not as a means to inflict punishment or extract free labor. We believe that working on self-healing and growth is an act of service to the community.
We have worked with multiple people who have completed their service hours through this program successfully. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to talk with someone about how to complete your service hours with us!
What is abolition?