Join the Ella Baker Center in denouncing the tactics used by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) who on May 15th pulled an appalling bait and switch using a website and email campaign offering $200 and amnesty to parolees who upon arrival, many accompanied by their family members, were arrested.
"We thought this was supposed to be a program to help, not to scare and arrest. My son thought the Amnesty program would help him as he continued to get his life back on track. Now, he is locked in jail and will likely lose his job." said Linda, the mother of one of the arrested parolees. "The system is broken and the way it is now doesn’t help these guys. If CA took all the money they spent on the set up, and used it to help some of the people on parole, perhaps some of these people would be better off."
We call on Matthew Cate, the Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to bring an end to these misguided operations.
"These tactics and strategies undermine community trust and erode cooperation," said Jakada Imani, Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center. "Secretary Cate and his staff should be using California tax-payer money towards solutions that create lasting peace and to work positively with people trying to turn their lives around."
The individuals and their families believed they were participating in an Amnesty program, and now are locked in Santa Rita without information about their future. Those who participated believed they were doing the right thing and taking steps to put their lives on track. Now, those who have been arrested face job loss, incarceration, and yet another obstacle in their rehabilitation.
The CDCR should use tax payer resources to create programs that are rehabilitative and support former incarcerated Californians in finding employment and opportunities to turn their lives around. Your fake amnesty program was a waste of limited resources and will have a lasting negative impact on the possibility of positive relationships between parole officers and their caseloads.
Thank you for taking swift attention and shifting the tactics used by your Department.