Put a STOP to Florida Banning Physical Letters and Cards in Prison

Put a STOP to Florida Banning Physical Letters and Cards in Prison

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Amanda Tarver started this petition

Florida became the most recent in a growing number of states to ban physical routine mail except for legal mail inside of prisons. The decision, which will go into effect on November 29, 2022 is right in time for the holidays, when the need for communication, support and love is critical for an incarcerated person's mental health.

300 Letters is a non-for-profit organization that was created to heal and strengthen family bonds after an incarceration experience. The name "300 Letters" comes from the number of letters co-founders Amanda and Legend wrote to each other during their incarceration and is the reason why their love, connection, and family stayed strong during the most challenging time of their lives. These letters were the only way they could communicate, talk about their children, share updates on Amanda's pregnancy during her sentence and express their feelings and dreams for the future. It is what saved their family.

Mail call in prison is the best time of your day -the time you feel like you still matter to your friends and family back at home. Knowing your loved ones held that same exact sheet of paper or post card, makes you feel so comforted. Sheets of paper where the scent of their spouse or children still linged are a dream for a person doing time and missing their family. Parents love to share drawings and spelling activities with their children to stay engaged and remind their children that the love will always be there. One of the most cherished moments as a parent is receiving a tracing of your child's hands or a drawing on a special holiday and falling asleep re-reading the words over and over. Without physical mail, you would have to read your letters at the specific allowed time of day or pay another FEE to print and keep the black and white version at hand, not to mention the scan can be unclear to people with vision needs.

Why would we decide to continue dehumanizing incarcerated individuals? when will the reality of our country's criminal injustice system come to light? The U.S houses the most prisoners in the world, with 1 out of 3 male adults having an arrest record and the mass incarceration of women having risen 700%. The fees, commissary, phone calls, email prices and overall cost of living inside of a prison is outrageous and set-up to keep families torn apart. More than 63% of state inmates are assigned to prisons that are located over 100 miles from their family. This means that most times, letters is all they have to stay connected. The state should be focused on maintaining the emotional connection between families to ensure a successful re-entry into society, and this will benefit the family, the community and country at large.

There is no reason to place greater collateral punishments on people who are already defined by the worst moment in their life for the rest of their life. It has been proven that letters, mail, phone calls have the largest positive effect on the person incarcerated and their family members. Let us focus on healing and rehabilitation rather than more punishment and treating people inhumanely!!!!!

With Love - 300 Letters Amanda & Legend Tarver

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