prison reform

59 petitions

Update posted 1 hour ago

Petition to Pelicia Hall, Jerry Williams, Ron King, Marshall Tucker, Jacqueline Banks, Anthony Compton, Grace Fisher

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
597 supporters
Update posted 5 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, SENATOR DAYLIN LEACH'S SENATE BILL SB 293, AND THE LIFERS INC. PETITION CONCERNING COMMUTATION, IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO....THANK YOU!!****

Elizabeth Geyer
389 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania State Senate, Pennsylvania State House, Pat Toomey, Robert Casey

Support Legislation Of The Aging Out Resolution Proposed By The Gray Panthers Organization

GRATERFORD GRAY PANTHERS ORGANIZATION- SERVICE OVER SELF WE ARE PROPOSING LEGISLATION FOR LAWMAKERS WHO WANT TO ASSIST IN THE RELEASE OF AGED INMATES IN PRISON Please Help Us By Supporting, Signing, and Sharing this Petition to Your Family, Friends, Neighbors, and Co-Workers   Utilize the " Resistbot Text App" by texting the word " Resist" to 50409 on your cell phone. Text your message to the Governor, Senators, Congress, and the House of Representatives. Let them know you support the proposed Aging Out Resolution Program of The Graterford Gray Panthers Organization.    Release deserving inmates that are 50 years or older and have served 25 years or more in prison. Let these deserving inmates be considered for placement in an Ankle Bracelet monitoring pilot program. Bring them home to their families and be supervised, instead of languishing in prison for decades. History Of The Gray Panthers Organization:  In late August of 1970, a concerned senior citizen by the name of Maggie Kuhn convened a meeting in Philadelphia with a group of five friends to discuss issues relative to older people. From this group came the foundation of today's Gray Panthers Organization Nationally. Maggie Kuhn stated: " Aging is the flowering of life, a triumph of the spirit, not a disease."  Ten years later Maggie Kuhn visited Graterford prison at the request of a group of older citizens incarcerated there. A Graterford Chapter of Gray Panthers was established and received their charter, from the inspiration and dedication of Maggie Kuhn. For 37 years, this has become the soul and pride of the Gray Panthers Graterford Chapter as a local grassroots approach for change. Who We Are:  The Graterford Chapter of Gray Panthers consists of a 900 member-strong roster. We have a great deal of spirit to mentoring our younger generation, who are in many ways walking the same pathway we once traveled. It is for that reason ( that vital reason) that our wisdom and compassion gets passed on. We represent 10,000 Seniors Strong Throughout The Department of Corrections. Our Mission: The Graterford Gray Panthers’ mission is to acknowledge what are the needs of incarcerated seniors and ex-offenders and to address them in the State of Pennsylvania. We provide advocacy, re-entry resources and assistance. Our goals are to create and secure an Aging Out Resolution release system for elderly prisoners, both men & women in Pennsylvania. We share a common interest in the rehabilitative endeavors our young adults face while inside of prison and when they are released back into the community. To propose legislation for lawmakers who want to assist in the release of aged prisoners. We are working to develop a continued collaboration with the elder women in Muncy & Cambridge Springs, which is implemented in our drive toward servicing our communities and all seniors.  

Elizabeth Geyer
65 supporters