Commute The Sentences Of All Non-Violent & Overcharged Federally Convicted Persons
This petition had 302 supporters
We respectfully request that President Obama adopt the Exodus Coalition Plan (available for review at Exodus Foundation.org) for clemency before he leaves office on January 20th. Over 20 individuals and agencies have signed on to the Exodus Coalition Plan including: PICO-Live Free, National Council of Churches, Ecumenical Poverty Initiative, Progressive National Baptists, Hip Hop Caucus, Justice Action Mobilization Network.
Whereas the federal government spends $30,000 a year to cage federal prisoners, and 60% of those incarcerated are doing time for non-violent and overcharged 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 Foundation, 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 and overcharged 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; however, Exodus Foundation.org has submitted an application on their behalf. The U.S. releases 750,000 inmates annually who have completed their sentences. More can be released. Yet there remain 80,000 incarcerated federal prisoners classified as "non-violent", and many others who have been overcharged. The Exodus Coalition Plan provides a remedy for our mistakes.
We therefore kindly and humbly request the release of all overcharged and nonviolent federally convicted persons with deliberate speed utilizing the Exodus Coalition Plan.
The gentleman in the picture is Kevin Washington. He was serving a life sentence after a third strike. He had less than 3oz of cocaine. In October 2016 Kevin was granted clemency. There are tens of thousands of more people just like Kevin who await mercy.
Dr. Madeline McClenney-Sadler, Ph.D
President/Founder of ExodusFoundation.org
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