Hundreds of CADBI Members from Across Pennsylvania Rally to End Death By Incarceration

CADBI Members raise fists in solidarity at the 2024 rally

Earlier this week, busloads of formerly incarcerated people, family members, friends, and supporters from across the state descended on the Capitol in Harrisburg for the 8th annual CADBI rally to end Death By Incarceration. This joyous event is nothing short of a family reunion, with some folks seeing people they were locked up with back in the day for the first time since they’ve come home.

Felix Rosado, a founding member of Right to Redemption (one of the four groups that came together to form CADBI in 2015) was our emcee for the day. Felix was sentenced to die in prison with no hope of coming home for the first six CADBI rallies, but his mother was at every single rally, holding a sign with his face on it that said, "Free my son, Felix." It was a special moment to watch Felix lead the rally, surrounded by the movement family that supported him and his mother in their tireless fight for his freedom.

The theme of this year’s rally was We Are More. Based on the Bryan Stevenson quote, “Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done,” Felix reminded us: “We are children, partners, teachers, students, creators, visionaries, peace-builders, justice seekers, mentors, mentees, advocates, activists, change makers, people harmed, people responsible for harm, people who have forgiven, people who have been forgiven, believers in freedom, fighters for freedom." 

CADBI members out here stitched together a poem with letters from CADBI members inside. It turned into a beautiful mosaic that Let’s Get Free co-founder Etta Cetera read to the group, which you can see here.

Salem Holbrook, Executive Director of Abolitionist Law Center and Straight Ahead, shared an update on the historic case that the Supreme Court will hear this year challenging the constitutionality of life without parole for felony murder, which you can read more about here. “This was your work,” Saleem told the crowd after recounting recent victories. “This was the work of the family members and our movement that’s represented here today. The politicians rode off our work, they rode off our momentum.”

The rally culminated in a showing of all the former lifers who have come home since 2015. The people gathered around that podium are restorative justice practitioners, social workers, professors, faith leaders, parents, poets, and leaders in the fight to free loved ones still in prison. Through their commitment to redemption and restorative ways of responding to harm, they’re freeing us all.


Former lifers gather at the CADBI rally