5C Criminal Justice Network Hosts Crafts Fair

By Vritti Goel ‘12Co-Editor-in-Chief

Claremont students believe in keeping families together. On Dec. 3, the 5C Criminal Justice Network (CJN) organized a Holiday Craft Fair to raise money for California non-profit organization Get on the Bus, which aims to provide children and their guardians/caregivers from all across the state with a way to visit incarcerated parents in prison. The organization provides travel, meals, counseling and pictures at no cost to families. Each year on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, hundreds of children and their caregivers board buses chartered by Get on the Bus and make the otherwise-impossible-to-make trip to visit their loved ones.

CJN charged members of the Consortium community as well as members of the outside community money to rent a table for the three hour-long fair. Participants sold a variety of crafts and items, from intricate jewelry to knitted items. Students representing Cultivating Dreams, the 5C nonprofit organization that founded and runs an organic garden in California Institute for Women—a women’s prison in Chino—sold water bottles while urging people to vote for them in the grant competitionPepsi Refresh in order to win $25,000 for their project. Another booth featured tie-dyeing—for a small price students could buy and create their own colorful t-shirt.

Registration fees for the tables went straight toward chartering a bus for Get on the Bus. CJN organizes various events throughout the year to raise awareness about issues of criminal justice among the Claremont community and encourage activism to address the injustices of the prison industrial complex. To get involved, or for more information, please email 5ccriminaljusticenetwork@gmail.com.