Peace requires justice and equity.
“Speak out on behalf of those who have no voice and defend all those who have been passed over. Open your mouth, judge fairly and stand up for the rights of the afflicted and the poor.”
Proverbs 31:8-9, The Voice
The foundation of peace and prosperity in our state is the confidence of every person that they will be treated equally at the hands of their government. Quakers know from experience that the destitute and the disfavored in society deserve justice and equity no less than the prosperous and the powerful—and deserve advocacy on their behalf the more so. IFCL follows legislation in Indiana with the hope of influencing decisions that will create a just, equitable future for the most people.
The very first words of the United States Constitution are “We the people.”
Quakers’ witness calls for right relationships among people, and between individuals and God. In a world obsessed with economic and political power, Quakers insist that an essential role of government is to facilitate lives lived together with respect for each other, with equal legal rights for all people. IFCL seeks a government that secures justice and equity for all Hoosiers.
Accordingly, we oppose discrimination or favoritism based on race, religion, gender, gender-identity, skin color, language, national origin, culture, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental condition, and economic or legal status, including formerly-incarcerated status.
We support a justice system that minimizes incarceration, maximizes rehabilitation, and seeks reconciliation and restoration as a healing response to crime and prevents harm to Indiana communities.
In the administration of justice, we advocate for laws and policies by our government that promote the following:
We support abolition of the death penalty. Life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is not a satisfactory alternative to capital punishment, as it likewise does not take account the possibility of rehabilitation.
We support repeal of mandatory minimum sentences so that judges have discretion in sentencing.
We advocate for Indiana correctional facilities to meet international standards regarding the use of solitary confinement for prisoners. We also support adequate training and compensation for correctional employees.
We oppose the privatization of detention and correctional institutions.
We support law enforcement that, while protecting legitimate community safety needs, never resorts to racial profiling, undue use of lethal force, or the treatment of juveniles as adults rather than as children.
To the end that each might have what they need to prosper in their lives and in their communities:
We support workplace accommodations for pregnant employees.
We advocate for assistance programs that provide healthcare, material, and social support so that families can meet their minimal daily needs.
We support child services that ensure the safety and well-being of each child in Indiana, including opportunities to develop emotionally, educationally, and socially while protected from abuse and exploitation.
We work for laws and policies that defend the rights of residential tenants as well as of their landlords, recognizing that the interests of both parties are not mutually exclusive.
We support economic policies that respect the rights of individuals and provides equality of economic and educational opportunities.
We support a comprehensive public health approach to preventing substance misuse, treating individuals with substance abuse, and supporting families struggling with the consequences of substance misuse.
We have also in recent legislative sessions lobbied against predatory lending, asking legislators to:
Refrain from expanding high-interest loans (sometimes called payday loans or subprime loans) in Indiana, which have been shown to ensnare people in an endless downward spiral of debt that inflicts harm on them and society at large.
Cap the rate on all loans at 36 percent, eliminating the disturbing, usurious current rate of 361 percent interest on small-dollar payday loans.
Explore alternative options for lending to those who are high risk borrowers so they can build credit in a financially safe way.
We advocate for the following:
Fair employment practices and fair laws as well as health and safety standards in the workplace should be enforced to prevent the exploitation of immigrant workers. Business owners should be accountable for their part in the violation of immigration laws.
We support adequate resources to aid and teach people seeking naturalization. Immigration laws should be enforced by federal authorities, not local law enforcement.