No Three Strikes Bill!
In Massachusetts, our Governor Patrick may sign a 3 strikes bill, without considering amendments made in several other states, because mandatory life sentencing is expensive and does not increase public safety. Call the Governor today (617-725-4005) and tell him “don’t sign this bill”.
A disproportionate number of prisoners in our U.S.A. jails are people of color who have committed minor crimes and sometimes no crime at all. Perhaps they are of Hispanic or African American decent. The cost of their imprisonment is high, both in dollars, and in the harm done to families and communities. Their presence in jail far exceeds the proportion that they represent in our communities.
Many convicted prisoners are mothers and fathers. They are parents who need assistance and training in order to work and support their families. We focus on punishing them severely, even for non-violent crimes. We incarcerate without offering support and rehabilitation so they can become contributing members of their families and our societies.
It is because of their children that I am writing this blog. The following is quoted from the Center for Church and Prison.
Reentry, when conceptualized as starting at the time of arrest, provides an opportunity for advocacy on two levels. We need the case-by-case advocacy of six-stage reentry planning that will make the difference in the lives of defendants as they pass before a judge. And we must advocate to change public policy. There are a wide range of policy issues including the collateral consequences of imprisonment, developing a new sentencing model, and re-prioritizing investment of our resources. The time is right to seize this advocacy opportunity and unlock the potential of reentry and reintegration.
For more information you please visit the Criminal Justice Policy Coalition.
Becky Richardson, President
Promise the Children