What is Families That Matter?
Families That Matter is a network of support that benefits parents, spouses, siblings, cousins, nieces, and nephews who have or had a loved one on Ohio’s death row. Families include those whose loved ones have lost their fight for justice and have been executed, those who have won victories through clemency, and those who are still persevering through the appeals process.
Through FTM, members receive needed peer support through relationships with others who have shared a common hardship. It organizes local and statewide gatherings which provide a safe place for members to connect and share their stories.
FTM provides the opportunity for individuals to become advocates for their loved ones. Leadership trainings (topics chosen by FTM members) strengthen the group’s collective voice. Through better understanding of the legal system, prisoner rights, lobbying, and activism, family members are better equipped to advocate for their loved ones on death row.
Past leadership trainings have included:
- Self-Care: Taking Care of Your Own Needs in Times of Stress
- Lobbying Workshop by Carrie Davis, ACLU Staff Attorney and Lobbyist
- Capital Defense Handbook: Training for Defendants and Their Families by Claudia Whitman from Equal Justice USA
- Consultation with the Chief Counsel of the Ohio Public Defender’s Office
- A Review of the Grievance Process of the Ohio Department of Corrections and Prisoner Rights
ALL FAMILIES THAT MATTER MEETINGS ARE SAFE SPACES FOR FAMILIES AND THEREFORE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC.
All families need support. Our hope is that this group and its gatherings may serve as a time for families to feel the support of others sharing in a similar struggle to organize against the death penalty.