11 petitions

Update posted 5 days ago

Petition to Andrew Cuomo, Kathleen Rice, Michaelle Solages

Modify our prison system and balance out spending on incarceration and education in NY

As students of Valley Stream, NY, who have the knowledge and voice to change the world, we believe that it is our responsibility to address out problems that come with society. Please share with others, to spread the problem and restore our country.   One major portion of government funding is going towards jails and the imprisonment of criminals. And while prisoners need to be fed, kept under the best conditions (possible) and have to be taken care of, we could still improve our prison system if we change our methods for treating and helping prisoners in and out of their cells and by using part of this said money for other pressing issues, such as our education. We, Kevin Murawski, Marcus Harris, and Adam Li are here to speak out about the problems of incarceration in the U.S., how they can be solved, and why and how we should balance out this spending. Our state of New York, for example, is the highest spending state of our country for each individual prisoner. Crime in New York has declined for 27 years straight, is at its lowest since the 1950s, yet we still spend more than we ever have before. How will our students receive the proper education if not enough money is being put into it? At the moment, we do not see this: New York spent more than three times as much on prisoners than on students in 2015 ($69,355 per inmate compared to the $21,206 per student, Vera Institute and US Census Bureau). Any parent would want their child to get a suitable education, as well as be taught about their career and their future. Why not educate our students today so that they are informed to make the right decisions tomorrow? Previous experiences will get anyone to think the same about their future, and we want to improve their time of adolescence in order to see a decrease of problems in the fate of America’s society. Our budget reflects our values. However, it is not just our state that has been seeing this outrageousness. For the last 20 years, the Department of Corrections has been collecting an increase of three times the original payment in taxes. In two decades, our representatives and officials have decided that we want to bring more money to keep our prisoners in, instead of other uses. We can change the education children are given, by having them learn about drugs and violence, and how to avoid trouble. 1 in 10 high school dropouts is imprisoned, while only 1 in 35 young graduates is an inmate. We are clearly seeing that school plays a big part in the way that we can make our future for ourselves, and it is where we find the behavior of normal people around us. High school dropouts could leave due occurrences such as stress, family problems, addiction, and so on. Do you want to make our schools a friendly environment for students to relax, recap on their experiences, and gain help? If your answer is yes, then we can unite together and make this change. Our country is supposed to be one of the best in taking care of important problems, yet their ideas for dealing with prisoners is not as impressive and progressive as other nations. The director-general of Sweden, Nils Öberg, states that “[Sweden's] role is not to punish. The punishment is the prison sentence: they have been deprived of their freedom. The punishment is that they are with us.” Sweden wants to give help to their inmates and allow them to learn from their mistakes and give them a second chance in life. It would be more efficient, and reduce crime because of the motivation for prisoners to get jobs, live happier lives, identify what their weaknesses are, and how to improve themselves. It seems more reasonable than just keeping away someone from the world and either bringing them back or bringing violence to others inside. Portugal, another progressive country in this area, wants to help their drug offenders (one of the top reasons for imprisonment in our country is illegal drug use) by giving them therapy, instead of throwing them in jail, which seems more humane. We want to let the criminal realize what they did wrong and how they can go back on the right path in life. If we change our system, we will rise and burst out, getting other countries to follow the same direction. To conclude, we have not done much to get the issue of incarceration to be solved, and it has been a problem for decades. We should focus on the youth's education. We are spending too much of our money on imprisonment, and instead of trying to punish the criminals, we should prevent the problem before it happens. Therefore, if we improve our ways of education we can prevent the crimes before they happen. Also, spending more money on the imprisonment shows that we care more about our prisoners than our students. Do we want to show that keeping humans in cages is more important than teaching them to stay out and do the right thing? Maybe, we can even educate the prisoners! But, by spending less on prisons and more on our future leaders’ education, we can build not only a smarter New York but also a safer one. We (not only New York but all of America) can learn from other countries, as the "weaker" ones still do better than us. Let us put our political differences aside and think about the education of children and how their futures will be affected by this funding. We hope that you can help us on our journey to end the issue of government funds with prison, that crime is no longer a main problem for the country, and that we can not only make this change in New York but of the United States. Sincerely, Kevin Murawski 8th Grade Accelerated Student Principal’s List President's Award for Educational Excellence Recipient (Gold Seal) Adam J. Li 8th Grade Accelerated Student Principal’s List   and Marcus K. Harris 8th Grade Accelerated Student Principal’s List President's Award for Educational Excellence Recipient (Gold Seal)   We can be reached   We thank our Social Studies teacher, Mr. Visone, for inspiring us to make a change. It may have started out as a project, but we hope to make an impact.

Kevin Murawski, Adam Li, and Marcus Harris
123 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Ralph Northam

Conditional Pardon, Early Release for Kyle S. Rugg (“Uhura Loyal King Allah”)

On behalf of Kyle S. Rugg (“Uhura Loyal King Allah”), “I am seeking a pardon from the newly elected Governor, Ralph S. Northam. An early release from the penal system to reunite back with my family, friends and the communities surrounded by my permanent residence. My mother who is my world has battled cervical cancer, as well as unsermounted amounts of stress due to choices that led to my incarceration. My siblings are battling with different obstacles including, but not limited to stress, obesity and depression. A major effect of their ailments is due to my incarceration and they not having their big brother home to help keep balance like a nucleus in a cell. Incarceration has been a life changing experience. Being locked up in an animal cage and fed like a starving infant, metaphorically speaking, can and will have impactful neurological thoughts. Truthfully, those thoughts can be very toxic if an individual allows them to be. My experience has widened my horizon through trial and error. I have began to master my thoughts like, John Nash from a Beautiful Mind and even though I haven’t dealt with physiological disorders, I’ve still had to take full control of my thought patterns, as well as, what I feed my mind and body and through the teachings of the Nation of Gods and Earths, it has helped me seek a high elevation of knowing myself. Since my incarceration, I have completed and been apart of many different programs such as a custodial maintenance vocational trade, “L.A.B.” - Life and Business program, “I.C.A.N.” - Investing in Community Action Networking program and an elder/mentor training program. I have also completed my OSHA 10 hour construction safety and health course and am currently in the process of earning an electrician’s certificate through a vocational trade. I’ve also been taking drastic steps in refining my overall health and thought patterns. In so much that my passion for health and fitness has inspired me to train 4 individuals on their own health and fitness goals, as well as, mentor them for when they’re released into society this year. As an elder/mentor, I’ve held and conducted 3 seminars as a motivational speaker for individuals in the re-entry program and have plans to conduct more in the near future. My overall goals for myself, now and in the future are to help with the crime of the youth, gang violence, recividism and the total health state (mentally and physically) of our children, women and men in the communities. A new movement in which I am forming to help rebuild our communities internally, as well as, externally to have a much brighter and longer future is a program I call, “PEACE” - which means, “Proper • Education • Activates • Constant • Elevation”. I also plan on establishing two Non-Profit Organizations (NPO). The first NPO will be for young troubled boys and teens who live in a world of poverty, crime and gang violence. My goal is to be a positive role model for young boys and teens who, unfortunately, may not have an active or positive male figure in their life and are seeking positive guidance into becoming a strong, productive, law abiding individual with values and ethics. The second NPO will be a general education and motivational speaking conglomerate who speaks to anyone seeking upliftment on living a positive and healthy life. Another goal of mine is to obtain a certification in personal training, so I can open and run my own personal training business. I would also like to obtain a certification in becoming a life coach and yoga instructor. I want to create other programs that will help inspire and motivate people to be better than they were yesterday and emulate, “PEACE”. Dealing with victim impact, I have realized my poor choices and decisions in life don’t just affect me, but others around me, as well. I deeply and sincerely regret the hurt and pain I’ve put my family, friends and communities in. The only way to make amends is by continuing to elevate myself righteously, so in return, I can affect others righteously, as well. Hopefully through time and effort I will be able to demonstrate the genuine love and care, by and through, my visions. Please, help support my request and future endeavors of change. Thank you for taking the time to read and sign my petition, so I can get a second chance in society.” Sincerely, Kyle S. Rugg (“Uhura Loyal King Allah”)

Veronica Londoño
344 supporters
Started 3 months ago

Petition to Washington Post, USA Today, Tammy Baldwin, Donald Trump, Scott Walker, U.S. Senate,

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. 

Brittany Brandon
49 supporters