CURE–Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants–is an international organization that was founded in Texas in 1972, and became a national organization in 1985. Now nearly 40 years old, CURE has remained loyal to its original ideals, even as the politics of punishment brought about a shift in ideology and resources away from rehabilitation and toward retribution.
Working out of a small office in the belfry of St. Aloysius, a few blocks from the Capitol, Charlie and Pauline Sullivan, the husband-and-wife team who are the co-founders and co-directors of International CURE, run an inclusive group devoted to prison reform and prisoner support. It has chapters all over the country and worldwide: In 2001, the first International Conference took place; last February, the fifth such global conference was held in Nigeria.
CURE’s goals are described in its mission statement:
We believe that prisons should be used only for those who absolutely must be incarcerated and that those who are incarcerated should have all of the resources they need to turn their lives around. We also believe that human rights documents provide a sound basis for ensuring that criminal justice systems meet these goals.
CURE is a membership organization. We work hard to provide our members with the information and tools necessary to help them understand the criminal justice system and to advocate for changes.
In this video by Solitary Watch videographer Valeria Monfrini, filmed at CURE’s offices in August 2011, the Sullivans–a former priest and former nun–talk about CURE’s work and about solitary confinement.