prison reform

106 petitions

Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Pelicia Hall, Jerry Williams, Ron King, Earnest Lee, Jacqueline Banks, Anthony Compton

Please Stop Group Punishment

We are tired of everyone being punished for things the majority of the men are not involved in. We do not understand why so many men who are following the rules and doing what they are supposed to be doing are being punished for the actions of others. There are more men being punished for absolutely no logical reason than there are men being punished for breaking the rules. Not only are the men being punished for no logical reason, but their families are being punished as well. We feel this practice constitutes cruel and inhumane treatment/punishment for both the inmate and their families, especially the children of these men and women who cannot understand why mommy and daddy are unable to write, call, or have visits. These babies are left wondering what they have done wrong despite their mom and dad following rules in order to be the best parent possible while incarcerated. We do not see any way that it is going to help any problem MDOC faces to punish the innocent (abiding by MDOC rules) along with those guilty of breaking the rules. Many of us have reviewed MDOC’s disciplinary policies and do not see where the department of corrections has the right to punish those men who are abiding by MDOC’s rules when there are RVR procedures for punishment.  Is it not enough punishment that they are separated from their families and real life? What is it that you are looking to accomplish with this practice? There has been an increase in aggression, it is less likely for men to obey MDOC rules since they are being punished already for things they have not done or have any control over, and there has been an increase in depression, anxiety, and possible suicides. I am no doctor or expert but when you take away everything the ones behaving are behaving for, what is left to motivate them to behave? Why are all the men being punished for the actions of the few? We do understand that there is a standard 72 hour lockdown that is to occur after any major situation for investigation and are not fighting that, but this is weeks and months of lockdowns when the ones breaking the rules obviously are not concerned with losing their privileges, despite the suffering of the ones that are obeying them. There are significant problems with over punishing which is why the military and our own department of corrections (before Marshall Fisher) stopped these practices years ago. Marshall Fisher’s statement was that the inmates need to learn to police themselves. They do not get paid to do that and it puts them in danger if they decide to become snitches and tell on everyone. The CO’s look down on them for that just as much as the other inmates do and in the long run is it really going to change the outcome? There will still be contraband, assaults, thieves stealing from others, and so on regardless of whether or not all the inmates that behave tell on the ones that misbehave constantly. It would just cause more problems for the department, inmate, and the families of the inmates. The inmates are not the only ones being punished. The families of these inmates who live visitation to visitation to see their husbands, brothers, cousins, fathers, and sons are being punished as well. We live visit to visit and phone call to phone call. Our lives revolve around our visits we are becoming extremely frustrated that despite the fact that only certain inmates are causing trouble, they are all being punished. Parchman Unit 29 has barely had any visits over the last year. All communication with their families has been cut off and the reason being because a handful of inmates refuse to follow the rules. For medium custody inmates, who are obviously obeying the rules or they would not be medium custody, that just makes no logical sense. What message does that send? Do we really want to tell these men that it does not matter what they do, they are still going to be disciplined and have all privileges taken away?  On top of losing visitations, their ability to buy hygiene, food, and writing supplies is taken away. They cannot visit, cannot call home, cannot write home, cannot buy soap and deodorant, and cannot eat anything other than what the prison provides when it is provided. These men are barely fed. If the families want to buy them extra food so they are not going hungry, they should be able to, especially when said inmate is obeying the rules of the department. This is cruel and inhumane treatment and needs to be stopped. No good can possibly come of all of this group punishment practice MDOC has chosen to incorporate. Why are we not cracking down punishment on the ones misbehaving and showing them that there are privileges available if they behave as men instead of animals? If they are going to have everything taken anyway, what is to stop them from becoming caged animals, rioting, and worse? There are people just being moved that were not on restriction or lockdown when they were moved being punished because of things that happened before they even arrived at the prison. There has to be a better way of handling things of this nature. There has to be a way to punish only those that are doing wrong and stop punishing those that do their best to stay under the radar and out of trouble.  We are asking that this practice be reevaluated and that the Mississippi Department of Corrections stop punishing every one for the mistakes of few. Everyone makes mistakes, some get caught and end up with a prison sentence while others never get caught and become politicians, attorneys, journalists, and other successful members of society. Once the inmate enters the department of corrections they begin paying for their crimes. Their behavior should determine the harshness of their treatment while in the department, not the behavior of others whom they probably never met before and have nothing to do with. Please think this through before our men get to a point of feeling there is nothing left to lose and everyone ends up with more problems than we started with. Justice is supposed to be fair. Humans are supposed to be treated as humans not animals that are not important.  Whether we make mistakes or not, we are still all human and not a single one of us means more to God than the other. We do not see any reason why the people who receive rule violations cannot be punished without everyone else being punished because of their violations. A man who misbehaves should pay for his own crimes and rule violations not everyone else’s crimes and rule violations and no one else should be made to pay for his mistakes. This practice is no different than if God were to set fire to the entire world right now and force us all to burn in it because of one or two men’s sin.  Please stop making the families and inmates suffer for things that have nothing to do with them. We are asking for you to exercise empathy and integrity. We are asking that you do the right thing in our Mississippi Department of Corrections. Let each man make their own bed instead of trouble makers being the ones making the beds for all men. There are many men suffering the consequences of those men that lack integrity. We are asking that this group punishment be dismissed and that the real trouble makers be made to suffer their own mistakes instead of everyone suffering. What if God decided to punish all humans this way? I think we would be in a world of hurt. Can we please find a better way?

Mississippi Dreams Prisoner Advocacy
486 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to John Hickenlooper, Alan Loeb, Catherine P. Adkisson

Release Rene Lima-Marin

My husband Rene Michael Lima-Marin was incarcerated in 1998 at the age of 19 and served 10 years of his 16 year sentence for robbery in which he used an unloaded gun and no one was hurt. He was released in 2008 and placed on parole which he successfully completed in 2013. But in January 2014 it was determined that a clerical error had been made and he was sent back to prison for an additional 90 years.   During his six years of freedom, Rene strived to be a productive member of society.  He had been rehabilitated and took full advantage of this second chance; we had a child, purchased a home, and got married. He coached his step-son’s soccer team, mentored other youth to stay out of trouble, and maintained full time employment so he could support our family. To take him away from our family and lock him up for the rest of his life is unjust. I certainly do not want to make light of the mistakes that Rene made as a teenager but I do call into question the life sentence Rene and our family faces. Does a man that was formally released from the penal system, met all the conditions of this release, and turned his life around deserve this type of justice? Are we as a society really willing to accept that a clerical error is enough justification to rip apart a family?   Rehabilitate means to help re-adapt, as to a former state of health or good repute. The entire penal system was created to rehabilitate and restore individuals to be productive members of society.   Please sign my petition asking Attorney General John Suthers, Arapahoe County Chief Judge William Blair Sylvester, and Colorado Appeals Chief Judge Alan Loeb to release Rene from this unjust sentencing. I ask for this so he may return home where he can continue to be a tax paying model employee, an engaged and loving father and a supportive husband.

Jasmine Lima-Marin
285,964 supporters
Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Pennsylvania State House, Jason Dawkins


PLEASE SUPPORT HB135- Introduced by Pennsylvania House of Representative, Jason Dawkins. Below, State Rep. Dawkins explains what passing HB135 would do for the rehabilitated inmate serving life, as well as our community as taxpayers..... HARRISBURG, PA. June 7 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., introduced legislation that would abolish sentences of life without parole in Pennsylvania and extend parole eligibility to those already sentenced to life imprisonment. Specifically, Dawkins’s bill would permit a person sentenced to life imprisonment to be released on parole after spending at least 15 years in prison. It also would extend parole eligibility retroactively to those sentenced before the legislation's effective date. Dawkins said that all life sentences in Pennsylvania are imposed without the possibility of parole, which means that people sentenced to life imprisonment may not be considered for parole, no matter how much they have reformed themselves and no matter how unlikely they are to re-offend. "Those sentenced to life in Pennsylvania have no chance of release, even if their age or health make it extremely unlikely that they will ever re-offend," Dawkins said. "Not only is this an injustice to those who are incarcerated and have demonstrated their commitment to rehabilitation, it also is fiscally irresponsible to require taxpayers to foot the bill for sentences that are longer than necessary. "Dawkins added that his bill would not grant a right to parole and the Board of Probation and Parole would continue to thoroughly examine parole requests. "The Board of Probation and Parole will continue to carefully consider requests for parole. This bill simply allows our correctional system to be smart on crime and promote rehabilitation." ***Please share with your friends and family! We need all the support, help, and love we can get! This Bill ( HB135), if passed, Will bring GEORGE TRUDEL, INMATE # AS-2262, currently serving his 29th year of a Life without Parole sentence at SCI GRATERFORD, home to his family. And will help other incarcerated inmates serving a life sentence, who have proven they are completely rehabilitated and deserve to re-enter society, come home to their families. Thank you very much!*** ****PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW AND SIGN GEORGE TRUDEL'S ORIGINAL PETITION FOR CLEMENCY, AND SENATOR DAYLIN LEACH'S SENATE BILL SB 293, IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO....THANK YOU!!****  

Elizabeth Geyer
178 supporters
Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to The Right Honorable Justin Trudeau

Improve Health Care in Canadian Prisons!

Prisoners in Canada are suffering and dying due to inadequate health care.  Many prisoners report long waits (up to years) for medical attention, misdiagnoses, poor pain management, a lack of mental health support, as well as difficult living conditions including sweltering heat in the summer,  cold in the winter, poor quality food, disturbing noise levels, restrictive communication with families and more. On several occasions, the Correctional Investigator (CI) has raised serious questions about the quality of health care and diagnostic processes in federal prisons without any adequate changes from Correctional Services Canada (CSC). The release of healthy individuals from prisons is important to public health. Prison health is public health! Although this petition focuses on the federal prison system, the substance of these recommendations should also be implemented within prisons under provincial and territorial jurisdiction, in which prisoners also regularly experience poor health care. This petition calls on the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau to mandate the Hon. Ralph Goodale, the Hon. Dr. Jane Philpott, and the Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould to work together to ensure those in Canadian prisons have full access to health care that meets the requirements of the World Health Organization’s Prison Health Policy guidelines, the UN’s Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and the UN’s Bangkok Rules. This includes decent and compassionate health care of prisoners with respect to their dignity and human rights (note 1). Specifically, we call on the federal government to: 1.  Ensure that all prisoners have access to: o   full yearly physical and dental examinations based on a standard protocol for all prisoners in Canadian correctional institutions; o   prompt professional medical appointments leading to swift diagnoses and treatment of potentially serious conditions, such as cancer; o   prompt professional medical appointments, treatment, and support, which must include eye care, dental care, mental health care, and medical care for chronic and episodic conditions such as HIV and AIDS, hepatitis C virus (HCV), multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease, diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and others; o   palliative care and simple, swift compassionate release when terminally ill; o   culturally specific and holistic treatment in support of the WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014–2023; 2.  Ensure conditions that protect and enhance health by not violating protections against cruel and unusual punishment under the Charter or international human rights law. This would, in effect, reduce the number of prisoners in each prison (note 2). 3.  Transfer responsibility for the health of prisoners to community health care services away from correctional authorities.  This is important because the prison system does not meet  acceptable standards of care because of a lack of health resources and conflicts between healthcare and security protocols; 4.  Fund community health care services to be able to provide health care services to prisoners and fund the training of community health care personnel in the provision of health care in the prison context, including the legal obligation to ensure equivalent quality health care for prisoners; 5.  Support the rotation of health care personnel between working with prisoners and working with the public outside prisons; 6.  Ratify Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, and implement its mechanisms for monitoring places of detention; 7.  Establish panels of independent specialist physicians and nurses to carry out mortality reviews on prisoners who die while in the custody or control of Correctional Services Canada; 8.  Be accountable for implementing recommendations made by the Office of the Correctional Investigator, including by mandating publicly provided detailed rationale in the event any recommendations are not implemented within given time frames. This petition has been launched by the families of David Huxtable and Peter Collins. Both suffered extreme pain and died of cancer following a lack of adequate medical care and medical attention by Correctional Services Canada. Although this petition focuses on the federal prison system, these recommendations should also be implemented within prisons under provincial and territorial jurisdiction, in which prisoners also regularly experience poor health care. This petition is raised in the names of all prisoners who have suffered and died under inadequate health care in all prisons everywhere. Thank you for signing and circulating this petition both within and outside of Canada. Please go to the facebook page if you would like to connect more with us:‐Health‐Care‐in‐Canadian‐Prisons‐Petition‐165516223988583/ The recommendations listed in this petition are endorsed by:The John Howard Society of Canada: The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies:         Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network: Rittenhouse: A New Vision:                    PASAN: Prison Lives USA: International CURE: The West Coast Prison Justice Society: South Riverdale Community Health Centre Professor Terri Leclercq: Prison Justice Film Festival: St. Leonard's Society of North Vancouver Across Walls Restoring Dignity and Hope  Note 1:  Particularly via the use of ss. 29, 81, 84, 85, 86 and 87 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, accompanied by adequate funding as required. Note 2:  By the use of ss. 29, 81, 84, 85, 86 and 87 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, accompanied by funding as required. References UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners including clear health guidelines latest revision 17 December 2015 (The Nelson Mandela Rules): The WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014–2023: Corrections and Conditional Release Act: UN Bangkok Rules:  “Providing Better Health Services in Prisons can Help Improve Lives”: WHO Guide to the essentials in prison health: Recording by Peter Collins about David B. (not the David mentioned in this petition) who died of cancer while in prison before Peter himself was diagnosed with cancer: Open letter to Justin Trudeau from prisoners demanding changes, including in health care: Articles giving details of the lack of care given to Peter Collins: “Report gives diagnosis of poor health in Canadian Prisons.”: 2014-2015 Annual Report of the Office of the Correctional Investigator, including a large section on health care: 2015/2016 Annual Report of the Office of the Correctional Investigator, including a section on health care: “An Investigation of the Correctional Service of Canada’s Mortality Review Process”: In the Dark: An Investigation of Death in Custody Information Sharing and Disclosure Practices in Federal Corrections - Final Report. August 2, 2016: The College of Family Physicians in Canada – Prison Health Program Committee- resource:

Dale Huxtable
112 supporters