Petition to Washington Post, USA Today, Tammy Baldwin, Donald Trump, Scott Walker, U.S. Senate, Change.org
Help better the treatment of those with mental illnesses that are incarcerated
There is over 1.2 million people with mental illnesses that are incarcerated for simple crimes like disordly conduct and trespassing. Even though these are still crimes they are punished far longer than inmates who do not have a mental illness. When in prison these people do not have sufficient care to treat them but are treated like regular inmates, and with this they begin to act out worse. I want to make a change a positive change. I would like there to be places built where the mentally ill can go after prison to live and receive treatment for free. These people do not have a reliable place to get help before crimes being committed or after being realeased due to poor insurance or not enough money, and when they are released they are less likely to be imitted into reliable rehab centers and usually end up back in prisons. I am an 18 year old senior from Sheboygan Falls Wisconsin and I know that there is hardly any places for the mentally ill to get proper treatment. Not only would supporting this petition help the mentally ill in prisons, but help prisons spend less money, considering that a mentally ill inmate is 130 dollars more expensive than a regular inmate. I believe this is a cause that is under looked and deserves the attention needed. The mentally ill deserve the same for anyone else and that is proper treatment, and treatment is extremely important. More and more rehab centers are closing and most of the prisons population is the mentally ill. Let us all come together and fight for the help of the mentally ill that are incarcerated. Just remember that the government or even my senator from Wisconsin can help me. Funding rehab centers to accept these inmates or even anyone with mental illness for no money or even just basic insurance would benefit everyone from the people needing treatment and tax payers. If I win this the amount of treatment available would be beyond beneficial to everyone, though if I lose everything could get worse meaning there might not be any treatment available for anyone except for the ones with extreme amounts of money and amazing insurance. Please, this is something not only I am fighting for but millions of other people including NAMI and MHA.
Petition to ACLU, U.S. Senate
Stop the incarceration of citizens for a crime they might do in the future.
Stop the incarceration/commitment of men across America in private for-profit prisons for crimes a psychologist says they might commit before they die. Human rights include equal protection of the law, as well as freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention. Psychiatry’s coercive civil commitment practices are therefore no less than flagrant violations of basic human rights Involuntary civil commitment of a class of individual whose class didn't exist before late 1990s, sexually violent predators, is even more flagrant a violation than the involuntary civil commitment of individuals whom the psychiatrist may deem to be an immediate threat to himself or others. With the sex offenders that are being subjected to this new coercive practice, the psychological community is relying on an assumption that these individuals are 'likely' to commit some unknown crime at some unknown time in some unknown future not on being found guilty of a crime. It is decried that "…involuntary commitment laws, inspired and lobbied for by psychiatrist, are frequently used by them – even today – to violate the most basic rights and civil liberties." Involuntary Commitment Constitutional Destruction, Psychiatry. There has been little to curb the ongoing onerous practice of incarcerating individuals indefinitely based on wrongful commitments, assumptions of some crime they MIGHT commit for years at a cost of millions of tax dollars per person. The state of Florida realized this in a study that showed that individuals were being detained up to 4 years at an astronomical cost of millions of dollars who were found not to fit any criteria to be committed. The damage was done. Removed from their families, friends, and pursuit of happiness, and I must also add here that no one, to the best of my knowledge, ever received any type of compensation. This is ludicrous and needs to stop. May I add that not one psychiatrist, prosecutor, or individual who held these men was ever charged with wrongful or false imprisonment or any violation of those individuals’ civil rights! Contrariwise, they got paid to keep these individuals incarcerated without a crime based on their mere recommendations. This action is clearly flies directly in the face of our Constitutional Rights to be free from arbitrary arrest and detention. There is no justification for this action. There is no rationale. There is no excuse to turn your back on these men, other than apathy, which in the end will come back and bite you right in the …ask me if I'm okay with it? Hell no! Neither should you be. Sign to stop this atrocity and loss of the basic right to the pursuit of life, liberty,and happiness.
Petition to Mary Lucia, Maine DOC, MPAC
Protect visitation rights for Maine Inmates
PROTECT VISITATION RIGHTS FOR MAINE INMATES Maine's Department of Correction is proposing a change in visitation policies for inmates. Currently, facilities are required to provide one hour of contact visitiation every other week for minimum and maximum security inmates ("Detention and Correctional Standard for Counties and Municipalities" K.17-A). We sign this petition to show our support for this policy. DO NOT REMOVE THIS POLICY THAT GUARANTEES CONTACT VISITATION FOR MAINE INMATES. Contact visits could be replaced by video conference calls. This is by no a means suitable substitute for person to person contact. Reduction of staffing costs and possible of drug trafficking are cited as reasons to change this policy. But increasing isolation and decreasing emotional support for incarcerated people is no way to save money or address drug use in correctional facilities. It is not respectful, it is not humane. Furthermore, an estimated 20,000 children in Maine would be negatively impacted by this proposed change in policy, according the Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition. We insist that contact visitation rights remain protected!
Petition to Robert Menendez, Cory Booker, Chris Christie, Leonard Lance
Stop Zero-Tolerance Policies in American Schools
A good education is an aspect of our lives that most of us take for granted. Many of us live in communities of privilege, communities where we have the comfort of not having to question the quality of our education. However, schools in inner cities are trapped in a vicious cycle where students not only are deprived of opportunity, they are funneled into lives of incarceration. Are these really the ideals education should be espousing? In a world where we praise equality and believe that everyone should have the chance to improve their lives, challenges to education in poverty-stricken areas remains a prevalent problem that threatens future generations. Rather than providing students the opportunities to improve their lives through education, the school-to-prison pipeline claims thousands of young lives. At the heart of this problem is a draconian justice system perpetrated by zero-tolerance policies. Inner city schools exist in communities where violence is common, a culture perpetuated by schools through the use of traditional systems of power such as the police in order to exert control. While students in wealthier communities are encouraged to pursue the American Dream with a limitless future, students in inner cities are trained to live in toxic environments of oppression and punishment. In an effort to make schools safer, they have instead normalized punitive public policies, diverting the few resources inner city schools have towards strict security measures. These are known as zero-tolerance policies, which fuel the school-to-prison pipeline. With these policies, students in inner cities face harsh discipline, involving suspensions and expulsions, along with contact with the criminal justice system. Especially at risk are minority students, who face these punishments at a disproportionate rate compared to their white counterparts. This causes a vicious cycle because this causes educators to hold negative assumptions about student populations as a whole, and zero tolerance policies exploit these stereotypes of students as disruptive and unwilling to learn. As students live in this environment where they are increasingly penalized for everything they do, and where strict control is exerted over their lives in school, they become normalized to the system of state surveillance and control, and they are redirected into the criminal justice system instead of being put down the path towards graduation. The incarceration of these students today increases their likelihood of incarceration further down the line, which promotes an ugly cycle of incarceration, poverty, and poor education systems. While students in rich neighborhoods are able to flourish and prosper, students in lower-income areas are left to rot in prisons, with their potentials abandoned and their futures branded as hopeless. This cannot continue. In order for students to be able to effectively learn in inner city schools, they need to be in an environment conducive to learning, not one in which zero tolerance policies control their lives. Thus, zero-tolerance policies must be repealed. Rather than making schools safer, they are doing more harm than good. Evidence is increasingly showing that these policies for extreme discipline are resulting in higher rates of repeat offenses and dropouts. Even the Department of Education is doubting zero-tolerance policies, as one report noted that they cause a greater possibility of misbehavior, and doubted that zero tolerance would have any deterrent effect on students. However, we need to do more. Sign this petition to call on our congressmen and governor to start repealing these disastrous policies that have crippled low-income American areas and ruined thousands of lives.