We are all bound by injustice

A dive into APPEAL’s support and advocacy group made up of clients and their loved ones

Pauline Black and her son Ashley holding up a photo of their loved one for whom they have been fighting for justice for many years

I wanted to write a few words to explain how my first Bound by Injustice retreat went.

 

We all arrived not knowing quite what to expect or what the weekend would mean for us but we were welcomed with open arms by the APPEAL team, made comfortable in our rooms and introduced to our now extended family members and friends.

 

“It was evident that everyone attending wanted the same thing:  our loved ones unjustly incarcerated for a crime they had not committed,  to be set free from this broken, mismanaged system”

 

Then it started – WOW! The APPEAL team, facilitators, family members and speakers were amazing and I listened to the stories told with such emotion. It was evident that everyone attending wanted the same thing:  our loved ones unjustly incarcerated for a crime they had not committed, to be set free from this broken, mismanaged system, that doesn’t care about and doesn’t acknowledge the damage it causes to human beings. It is left to the family and friends to pick up the pieces of shattered lives and try to glue them back without help or much needed support.

 

This weekend taught me a lot – not just that we were not alone, but there are many of us in the same turmoil wanting the same thing and with the right guidance and support we can lift, motivate and strengthen each other on this journey.

 

The emotional and physical support was evident. Everyone there wanted and needed this and it was very empowering to see the team pull together sharing, supporting, talking, crying.  I know we have all done this in our own private space but it’s much more uplifting when shared with others.

 

I came with a few of my family members, including my son Ashley and grandson Jamai. I learnt new things about my son, deep thoughts and feelings he has never shared with me. I felt proud of him for sharing with everyone, as I know this has been a very hard time for him.

 

Moving forward, we now have a team willing to do what it takes to grow and develop into force to be reckoned with. The broken, so called ‘justice’ system will soon come to realise it had better up it’s game, as we will not stop encouraging, supporting, highlighting and empowering our loved ones.

 

As a Christian I pray each day to God that the Injustice done to our family will one day soon be turned into justice for not just us but many others.

 

I pray that God gives us all the strength to carry on even when we feel we can’t. Peace in our hearts and mind. I believe that we are making a difference and that the current system will be recognised as broken and a better one be put in place.

 

I could go on! There is so much to say! But I want to say to my new family, I do look forward to working with you all and to meeting all of you who couldn’t make it this weekend.

 

Special thanks to APPEAL, all the staff and volunteers – without you this would have never happened. Thank you also to Lankelly Chase, Mansfield College, Big D’s BBQ catering and Lush. Shout out to Scott, Mark and Helen for sharing, be proud of yourselves. Michael O’Brien – you are inspiring, keep fighting.

To everyone involved, for every knockback we receive, it’s a setup for something Greater.

Bound by Injustice.

Written by Pauline Black, a member of our Bound by Injustice Community – a support and advocacy group made up of APPEAL’s clients and their loved ones.

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APPEAL is the working name of the Centre for Criminal Appeals, a Charitable Company Limited By Guarantee and a law practice authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

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