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Commute The Sentences Of All Non-Violent Federally Convicted Persons

This petition had 980 supporters

Whereas the federal government spends $30,000 a year to cage federal prisoners, and 60% of those incarcerated are doing time for non-violent offenses. 

Whereas the criminal justice system disproportionately impacts low-income Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics. According to the Justice Policy Center, 71% of fathers in state prisons had incomes of less than $2000 in the month prior to arrest; 80% of women incarcerated report incomes of less than $2000 in the year before their arrest, and 90% report incomes of less than $10,000 in the year before their arrest.

Whereas the current sentencing structure violates the 8th amendment, and represents cruel and unusual punishment, by forcing families into poverty upon the extraction of a relative for a harsh sentence. According to leading criminal psychologists, punishment does not reduce recidivism. Lost productivity of incarcerated men taken away from the workforce is estimated at $57-$65 billion dollars.

Whereas BOP pays $7 billion dollars per year, for a prison system that is neither cost effective, nor does it reduce recidivism or enhance the safety and security communities in the nation.

Therefore, Be It Resolved:

Community alternatives to imprisonment cost only a fraction of imprisonment. At Exodus, for example, it costs approximately $6,000 dollars to mentor a formerly incarcerated individual for one year. Recent studies in Chicago, clearly demonstrate that job programs for low income juvenile delinquents dramatically reduces risk of criminal behavior. Furthermore, other empirical studies report that high quality preschool, community involvement, and family counseling prevent the mental health problems that lead to crime.  Families of nonviolent federal prisoners are falling into abject poverty, as income earning loved ones are needlessly extracted to be cruelly punished in cages for nonviolent drug crimes.  Therefore, an application  for a commutation should not be required from individuals with sentences known to be unjust.    The U.S. releases 750,000 inmates annually who have completed their sentences.  More can be released.  The BOP has sentencing data on all its inmates.  It is able to identify those who were sentenced for nonviolent offenses.  Furthermore, the BOP will save $240 million by releasing 8000 or more citizens behind the walls as identified by Eric Holder as eligible for clemency in his Smart on Crime Initiative. 

We therefore kindly and humbly request the release of all nonviolent federally convicted persons with deliberate speed, including those whose crimes may have been wrongfully classified as violent or those who were over charged during the plea bargaining process.

The gentleman in the picture is Kevin Washington.  He is doing a life sentence after a third strike. He had less than 3oz of cocaine.

Dr. Madeline McClenney-Sadler, Ph.D

President/Founder of

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