Topic

human and civil rights

54 petitions

This petition won 1 day ago

Petition to Maryland General Assembly, Maryland Independent College & University Association, University System of Maryland

Ban the Box On College Applications

“Remove the criminal convictions question(s) from the initial application process.” Demand that universities/colleges in Maryland provide an application that does not ask applicants any question(s) pertaining to past guilt or conviction of a misdemeanor, felony, or other prior offense in the initial application process. The question would still be asked later in the process.  Statistics Support College After Incarceration: The national recidivism rate (1) drops from 76% to 5.6% if an individual obtains a bachelor’s degree and below 1% with a Masters degree (2,3). Most crimes on campus are committed by people with no prior convictions (4).    Thus, as a public safety strategy, universities and colleges should be doing everything they can to promote access to higher education – not create more barriers. Support this Petition: Job Opportunities Task Force in partnership with From Prison Cells to Phd and other organizations insist that you support “Ban the Box on College Applications.” Sign the petition today. Please state your university in the comment box (if affiliated). People make mistakes, and people deserve second chances. Unfortunately, people who have made poor decisions in the past and are trying to better themselves by pursuing higher education face a major barrier: a box that they must check disclosing their criminal history on college applications. By requiring applicants to disclose their criminal history, universities impose a barrier to education. This process reduces the applicant to the mere moment when they incurred a criminal record rather than seeing the full person with all of their interests, skills, and experiences. Asking about criminal history on college applications is not a practice grounded in empirical evidence and does not promote public safety. Studies show that college education during or after prison helps individuals reintegrate into society and reduces the chance they will end up back in prison.   Maryland Fair Access to Education Act of 2017: Fast Facts. Senate Bill 543 & House Bill 694 seeks to remove the arrest/conviction question from the initial college applications. The question would still be asked later. By moving it, the applicant can be first assessed on merit alone. Here is an analysis of this bill.  1. https://csgjusticecenter.org/nrrc/facts-and-trends/2. https://www.prisonpolicy.org/scans/changing_minds.pdf3. http://www.communityalternatives.org/pdf/passport/Benefits-of-Higher-Ed.pdf4. http://www.communityalternatives.org/pdf/Reconsidered-criminal-hist-recs-in-college-admissions.pdf About the Organizer: My name is Dr. Stanley Andrisse. I am a formerly incarcerated person with 3 felony convictions and I am now an endocrinologist scientist at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Growing up in Ferguson-Florissant, Missouri, I got involved with making poor decisions at a very young age. By my early 20’s, those poor decisions had exacerbated and I found myself sitting in front of a judge facing 20 years to life for drug distribution and trafficking charges. The judge sentenced me to 10 years in a maximum-security prison.  My dad’s health plummeted while I was in prison. They amputated his lower limbs up to his torso. Before I could reconcile our relationship, he fell into a coma and passed due to complications associated with type 2 diabetes. He remains my inspiration. Upon release, after several rejections (likely because of the box), I was accepted into a Ph.D. program, completed my Ph.D./M.B.A. simultaneously, and started at Johns Hopkins Medicine doing diabetes research. Education has been the game changer for me. It helps change the life trajectory of men and women with criminal records. Education has given me the tools and the titles to balance out those strikes that I placed against me. More important than the letters behind my name, education has broadened my life perspective and has given me hope. Share your Story via video or text which will be sent with the signatures to policymakers! Attend the Rally to Ban the Box (BtB) on College Applications! Visit our website for details. Join the Facebook BtB Petition page for updates. Be sure to #BanTheBoxMD to your post when you share with friends.  

From Prison Cells to PhD, Inc.
826 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to KRISTINA RIDDLE

CHANGING PATERNITY AFFIDAVIT @ DEATH OF MOTHER & FIGHTING DCS/CPS INDIANA CORRUPT

MY 18 YR OLD DAUGHTER PASSED AWAY 12/22/15 MY GRANDSON WAS 16 MONTHS OLD HE WAS MADE A WARD OF THE STATE BUT IN MY CARE I WENT THROUGH HELL AS MY DAUGHTER & A MAN A FELON MIGHT I ADD WHO WAS BACK IN PRISON WHEN SHE DIED HAD LIED ON A PATERNITY AFFIDAVIT THE COURT & EVERYONE KNEW IT WAS 100 IMPOSSIBLE HE WAS THE DAD THEY LIED AS HE WAS IN PRISON NO WAY SHE COULD HAVE GOT PREGNANT BY HIM & HE HAD MORE RIGHTS THEN WE DID HE WAS FACING 100 YEARS FOR KIDNAP HE GOT 24 YEARS THERE PLAN FOR 13 MONTHS WAS TO REUNITE MY GRANDSON W/HIM FINALLY 05/31/17 THE ADOPTION WAS FINAL I WAS TOLD SUE INDIANA DEPT OF CORRECTIONS FOR LETTING A 16 YR OLD HAVE A CONJUGAL VISIT-THEY MEANING DEPT OF CHILDREN/CHILD PROT SERVICES THEY REFUSED A DNA TEST-IT WAS ALSO POLITICAL AS THEY SAID ITS THE REPUBLICANS FAULT THE LAW NOT CHANGED THEY CANT BASTARDIZE HIM. AFTER ALREADY LOSING A CHILD SUDDENLY 3 DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS THEN DEALING WITH THEM LIKE I HAD DONE SOMETHING WRONG CRAZY I NEED HELP TO CHANGE LAWS & GET AN ATTORNEY FOR ALL THERE WRONG THEY PUT ME THROUGH MYSELF OR MY GRANDSON HAD NO RIGHTS THEN THEY SEND MY NEW ADDRESS TO THIS MAN IN PRISON HE SENDS ME A LETTER LETTING ME KNOW HE HAD SIGNED RIGHTS OVER 3 MONTHS AGO I DIDNT KNOW THAT & THAT THEY SENT HIM MY NEW ADDRESS WITH ADOPTION PAPERS NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS WHEN A SIMPLE DNA COULD CHANGE IT ESPECIALLY IF THE MOTHER WAS A MINOR NOT TO MENTION ALL THE HEARTACHE THEY CAUSED MY DAUGHTER DCS/CPS WRONGFULLY REMOVED HIM HIS OWN DR SAID HE HAD NEVER SEEN SUCH A GOOD TEEN MOM !! 10/6/2015 HE WAS REMOVED 12/22/15 SHE PASSED AWAY BUT ON 10/6/15 THEY REMOVED HIM BECAUSE SHE WAS BABYSITTING HER NEPHEW 1 OF MY OTHER GRANDSONS AT AGE 4 HE WENT OUTSIDE IN MIDDLE OF NIGHT SOMEONE CALLED DCS/CPS THEY WERE TRYING TO PUT HER IN PRISON FOR 2.5 YEARS HE DID NOT GET HURT THANK GOD BUT FOR WHAT WHY WELL THEY WERE SUPPOSE TO PUT HER IN A 30 DAY REHAB @ SHE BEGGED JUDGE DUE TO ADDICTION @ SCOLIOSIS BACK SURGERY AT AGE 11 THE DAY @ SHE DIED I GOT LETTER IN MAIL THEM COVERING THERE TRACKS THIS HAS TO STOP I HAVE SEEN SEVERAL ATTORNEYS THEY SAID I HAVE A DAMN GOOD CASE BUT THEY WILL NOT PRACTICE IN THAT COUNTY OR BECAUSE ITS SUCH A BIG CASE THEY NEED $$$ TO COVER OVERHEAD UNTIL OVER PLEASE IF ANYONE KNOWS ANY ATTORNEYS WHO PRACTICE IN INDIANA & WILL TAKE CASE & WAIT TO BE PAID UNTIL ITS OVER PLEASE HELP ME I HAVE EVERY PAPER COURT-MEETINGS EMAILS TEXTS THEY HAVE LIED SO MANY TIMES FILED IT IN COURT THEN CHANGED IT LATER THEY WERE SCARED WHEN THEY KNEW I SAVED IT ALL PLEASE HELP ME GET JUSTICE FOR OUR FAMILY GET LAW CHANGED & HELP SHOW HOW CORRUPT DCS/CPS IS I WAS TOLD SUE CPS-COUNTY & STATE WELL I NEED AN ATTORNEY FOR THAT BUT I WILL NOT STOP UNTIL LAW CHANGED & I GET JUSTICE & KEEP THIS FROM HAPPENING TO ANOTHER FAMILY PLEASE HELP

KRISTINA RIDDLE
218 supporters
Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to Charlie Baker

Support my son Arnie King by signing his petition to commute the life (without parole) sentence so that he can become eligible for parole release.

This is important because Arnie is requesting a 6th public hearing. Governor Patrick rejected a 6-0 favorable vote in 2008, and Arnie was granted another hearing in October 2010. Two months after the hearing, a police officer was killed by a lifer on parole. The governor then fired 5 parole board members and selected replacements. After that, Arnie received an unfavorable vote in March 2011, and he was denied another hearing request in March 2013. Arnie is responsible for killing a man in 1971, when he was 18 and had been drinking and drugging for several days. He has been clean for over 30 years now, obtained 3 college degrees, successfully completed more than 2 dozen weekend furloughs, participated in and created many support, rehabilitation, and education programs, and he remains very active in community service. Based on his age, the number of years he has served in prison, his level of educational achievement, and his community service while inside prison, Arnie is no longer a risk for danger to society. Over the years he has formed many significant bonds with people who are high achievers, and they support his reentry as a contributing member to society, including offers of employment and the prospects of becoming a taxpayer rather than costing the state $50,000/annually. Here are a few examples of support shown at Arnie's public hearings over the past 7 years: Charles Ogletree (Professor, Harvard Law), I have never seen anyone transform their life the way he has in the more than 40 years of service in prison. Gloria Fox (State Representative), I believe he is a changed man … and we support this commutation. Mel King (Professor Emeritus/MIT), What we need to see in this world is epitomized by Arnie and his change and behavior…    Jill Soffiyah Elijah (Attorney), How many youth counselors have I met regularly, who have been impacted by Mr. King! Reverend William Dickerson (Greater Love Tabernacle), Arnie King is not the average inmate.  He doesn’t play games.  He is sincere. Reverend Dr. Ray Hammond (Bethel AME), I appreciate that he inspires young people to make the right choices and not simply scare them.  We really need the voice and presence of Arnie King. Eva Clark (Executive Director, Judge Banks Community Justice Program), Nothing short of catastrophic illness would prevent me from being here today to support Arnie King. Lyn Levy (Executive Director, SPAN, Inc.), I met Arnie in 1976 and I will be one of the people holding his hand.  Our agency will help him also. Dr. Fran Roznowski (Community Psychologist), I have known Arnie since 1979, and I will be joining many others to have his back. Robin Casarjian (Executive Director, Lion Heart Foundation), For 15 years, he showed up with a sense of purpose and encouraged other prisoners to participate in group activities. Bob David (Side By Side Community Circle), Of the large numbers of disciplinary reports, some may be questionable, while other were earned. Paul Marcus (Executive Director, Community Change Inc.), What Arnie’s life means to me is the power of transformation, and society needs to see this example. Abrigal Forrester (Street Safe Boston), I’m here as a product of Arnie King.  Hope – Lifeline – Redemption.  He engaged the ignorance within me and told me I had value. Peter McGuane (Student, Truck Driver), I was in for involuntary manslaughter, and he got me active with Prison Voices, which I continued upon release.  I’m honored to be here for Arnie. Paule Verdet (Professor Emeritus/BU), It’s a way of life for Arnie.  He is a superb model. Becky Thompson (Professor/Simmons College), Recognizing Mr. King as a man worthy of commutation, no one benefits if the policy exists theoretically but is never granted. Felix Arroyo, Sr. (former Boston City Councillor), The first time I met Mr. King, I was with his brother.  I wondered about him and found a calm person, at peace with himself.  We have a recourse… ‘cause I know it will help our community. Nancy Murray (ACLU), Why is the community present?  We are interested in redemption… He couldn’t bring back the life, but he would do what he could to try to prevent others from going down that path. George Lee (Community Organizer), I heard a lot about him.  He wasn’t about tooting his own horn.  He was present for young folks and the other men. Seth Kirshenbaum (Director, The City School), Having Arnie with us in the community will help save young lives, and we have a job or volunteer opportunity for him. Banjineh Brown (Boston School Teacher), He works with prevention.  The “Arnie” factor is about redemption, and we use him as a case study.  He is an entrepreneur activist. Jason Lydon (Minister), Through Barbed Wire has been quite active at the Community Church of Boston. Aaron Tanaka (Boston Workers Alliance), I hope you will see his deep commitment to change and rehabilitation. Dianne Zimbabwe (Community Artist/Educator), My involvement with Through Barbed Wire allows me to witness the positive impact of Arnie’s community endeavors. Myriam Ortiz (Executive Director, Boston Parents Organizing Network), Arnie King has been an asset to us and students benefit from his example. Daniel King (Brother), I was a 16 year old teenager in 1971.  We have prayed for the family of John Labanara for comfort and peace, and we hope for their forgiveness. Marva King (Sister), It matters that we heal together. Eddie Berkin (Attorney), People are much more friends than supporters.  Because they are friends, they are also supporters. Margaret Burnham (Attorney), Your legal obligation is to review and decide whether this man has made exceptional strides in development. Walt Silva, Ed D  (Professor Emeritus/BU), Arnie is the classic example of prison injustice gone way over the top. He's jumped through every hoop, made every effort to contribute to the community from behind bars more than anyone else that I have known in my 25 years involved in prison higher education, and remains in prison at a cost of what - $60,000 + a year when he could be out contributing and paying taxes with zero threat to anyone?                                                                                                                 I have written to Governor Patrick more than once, concerning parole in general and Arnie specifically. If Arnie King doesn't qualify for commutation, then who does? It sends a sad message back to the prison population. If Arnie doesn't get a consideration, what's the sense of trying? But I'm sure Arnie doesn't feel that way, and will continue to keep contributing from behind bars. Imagine what he could do if he were out. He's paid his dues several times over. Arnie is the 3rd of 9 children through which many grandchildren and great grandchildren are a major part of this family circle. I complete 82 years of living this month, full of tremendous joys and blessings. However, this journey will be incomplete until I’m able to welcome Arnie’s return to the world community. My son has been inside Massachusetts prisons for the 1971 murder of another human being. He was 18, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, in Boston, and responsible for the death of this young man. Our entire family-and-friends network was devastated, as well as that of the Labanara family. After Arnie was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, without parole, I traveled to Massachusetts with his younger brothers and sisters to visit him in the maximum security prison. I told him that “God would not forsake him and neither would our family-and-friends community”. Arnie has grown, matured, and progressed during this lengthy period of imprisonment. He obtained 3 college degrees, created major rehabilitative programs within the prison and offered services to communities beyond the walls. He has been encouraged by many people, while inspiring the success of others. By examining the volumes of documents, transcripts, and opinions, it will become clear - the need to support the eventual release of my son. God Bless and One Love! Please sign the petition and encourage your family members and friends to support this effort. - Mary King

Mary King
521 supporters