Moratorium on New Prisons/Fund Education Instead of Incarceration
  • Petitioned Pennsylvania Governor

This petition was delivered to:

Pennsylvania Governor
President of the United States
Pennsylvania State Senate
Pennsylvania State House
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives

Moratorium on New Prisons/Fund Education Instead of Incarceration

    1. Petition by

      The "180th Watchdog Coalition"

As Americans we are constantly reinforced to believe that through hard work, sacrifice and personal effort we control our own destiny. George Washington bequeathed part of his estate to create a system of schooling that would "do away with local attachments and state prejudices." James Madison acknowledged in the Federalist Papers that we need to develop a new kind of citizen through our schools. Unless we could educate citizens and leaders who could rise above personal ambition and special interest to seek the common good, our new republic would fail as had all prior republics in history. But increasingly, the fundamental institutions of American society function unfairly, restricting access and opportunity for millions of people. The greatest example of this is the present-day criminal justice system.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 250 signatures
    2. “Who Will Fight For Them?”
      by Anthony P. Johnson

      April 8, 2011

      Too many prisons, but not enough good schools. Too many weapons, but not enough educational tools. Not enough effective teachers, but way too many fools.

      Too many students piled in one classroom--35 up to 45--and possibly more. Over 60% of them are academically incapable to pass--and more than 50% will drop out of school believing that somehow they are free at last. Free? Free? Free!

      Our children say that school is "Stupid!" They say "Ole' Head, I ain't got time for these halls of academia, where I can't read or write. I get straight A's on them streets. I sell on them streets, I rob on them streets, I shoot and get shot at on them streets and on them streets--I am the undisputed champion. I can't be beat."

      I am convinced that this is the world of Bizzaro. How can it not be, when our youth believe a life in the street or prison is cool and a much better place than school? How in the real world can this be--prison over education—I know you don’t agree?

      They're angry, scared and feel betrayed. School administrations say they love the children, but have failed to provide teachers with the most basic resources to aid the students. Some teachers say they love the children, but stand pat and watch students plummet deeper into "illiteracy debt." The politician says they love the children but speak with a forked tongue. They give lip service about providing the youth with a quality education and social programs all the while cutting public education and after school programs. You don’t think our children feel betrayed? So, they form their “gangs,” “squads,” “sets,” “streets,” "hoods," and “clicks” ready to explode their rage of frustration at any hour, minute, or second on society--tick, tick, tick.

      Too many prisons, but not enough good schools. Too many weapons, but not enough educational tools. Not enough effective teachers, but way too many fools.

      “Progressives will bring balance to the Republic.

      Anthony P. Johnson

    3. Students from across the country are coming together to stand up against the school to prison pipeline and demand positive school discipline policies that address young peoples' needs. Instead of zero tolerance policies, students are organizing for the adoption of restorative justice models that promote counseling, mediation and conflict resolution. Leading this fight is the Alliance for Educational Justice (AEJ), a national alliance of youth organizing groups that includes the Philadelphia Student Union (PSU).

    4. Sunday, March 13, 2011

      "Accepting No More Destructive Behavior from Elected Officials Who Cut Funding of America's Education System"

      The concerted and perverted war effort by elected officials declared on America's public school education system and the teachers who have dedicated their lives to this noble profession must!

      From this day forward, we will not accept the destructive behavior from elected officials of cutting funding from America's education system while increasing funding for the penal system. We must take this extremely important message peacefully to the streets, the social network, and most importantly--at the ballot box.

      Today, we are drawing a line in the sand between intelligence and civility vs. imbecility and incivility.

      Every politician--from Tea/Republicans, Democrats, Progressives, Libertarians, members of the Green Party and Independents that are participating in this morbid behavior of eliminating a fundamental requirement that every youth and adolescent receives a quality education must never again sit at the table of the Republic's government.

      As a people from all walks of life and who give a damn about the current shameless state our public schools are entombed in, we must begin building resources to combat elected officials from the local, state, and national levels of government that pillage and plunder education budgets. When would-be-candidates or incumbents seek or are up for reelection, it is our "responsibility" to campaign and vote, vote, vote to ensure that their chances of victory are impossibility. I would believe that "every" citizen in the Republic would be unanimous is this effort. Alas, I know they're not. In 2011, some Americans would like to hearken back to the "good ole' days" when a quality education was not a guarantee for every child.

      With these current academic budget slaughters like the one recently perpetrated in Pennsylvania by Governor Corbett, America is eerily moving back more than 150 years to a time when only children of wealth and privilege were taught how to read and write and how the masses of impoverished youth and adolescents were introduced to permanent poverty, a life of crime, and imprisonment.

      Conversely, a nation of illiterate youth and adolescents will impede a society from progressing, thereby creating a lasting culture built upon chaos, strife, and perpetual incarceration.

      "Progressives will bring balance to the Republic."

      Anthony P. Johnson


    Reasons for signing

    • Mandy Merklein PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN
      • about 2 years ago

      Because I love America

    • Dihon Seraaj ORLANDO, FL
      • over 2 years ago

      Because the America I know is the Land of the Oppressed. The Home of the Cowardly. And that needs to change.

    • Roger Loesch HAYS, KS
      • over 2 years ago

      Kind of like that Kevin Costner flick...Build it and they will come!! NO!! We must stop this! Privatizing punishment, and allowing a scummy portion of this country to make wealth off of the pain and suffering of others is disgusting!! This was never supposed to be!! Stop it NOW!! There is no option! Just quit doing this!!! STOP IT!!

    • Fred Alsup Jr TALLAHASSEE, FL
      • over 2 years ago

      Those who are locked up for the better part are not a danger to society and with Help and education they TOO can be productive parts of Our World. Love is what GOD tells Us to do not

    • Gayla Nelson HULBERT, OK
      • over 2 years ago

      FOR OUR FUTURE!!!!


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