Congressman Danny K. Davis calls for reviving the system of parole for federal prisoners
Washington, DC - On June 27, Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-IL) introduced a bill (HR 3072: To Revive The System Of Parole For Federal Prisoners) to reinstitute federal parole. Rep. Davis stated that, "first time non-violent offenders deserve a second chance to be released from prison and become contributing and productive citizens in society." When the US Sentencing Guidelines were imposed for federal defendants whose criminal activities took place subsequent to November 1, 1987, parole was eliminated. The majority of federal inmates are non-violent drug offenders with very long sentences. Many people in prison are serving life sentences for non-violent offenses without the possibility of parole.
Ninety-seven percent of all federal inmates are eventually released. Forty-five thousand federal inmates were released last year in the United States. Presently, there are 181,000 federal detainees. The cost to house these inmates increases exponentially as they age. Total cost to US taxpayers for federal incarceration is over $5 billion yearly. Re-entry of mostly indigent elderly inmates is significantly affecting state budgets. After many years of incarceration, inmates tend to lose all support. Their wives and children abandon them. They lose their ability to find and keep a job because they are banned from most jobs requiring a license and have received no alternative training in prison. There is very little money allotted to the federal prison system for rehabilitation programs.
The federal parole bill Rep. Davis has introduced will save taxpayers billions of dollars over the next several years by taking mainly non-violent first time offenders out of the prison system earlier and when provided support and rehabilitation assistance they can become contributing and self-sufficient members of society.
Please urge your congresspersons to support this important legislation.
A message from drug war prisoners:
I Need Your Help!
Apparently, there is no relief for me coming from the courts, or it would have already happened, and I would have been home by now. The only realistic way for me to find relief is by changing the laws.
You see, on June 27th, 2005, United States Congressman Danny Davis of Illinois introduced "A Bill To Revive The System Of Parole For Federal Prisoners", HR 3072, in the Congress. This bill is designed to re-establish federal parole, which was taken away from federal prisoners in 1987. Without a chance at parole, I have to stay in prison for a longer time.
Here is how you can help: start by calling the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121, tell the operator that you are in support of the Parole Bill, HR 3072, and ask for the contact information for your US Representative and your two US Senators.
Call your Representative and Senators and tell them you want them to support HR 3072, or, in the next election, you will vote for the candidate willing to support this bill. Then sit down and write them a letter. Use the samples provided below if you need some help.
Finally, continue to collect signatures for The Petition For Relief From Drug War Injustice. The November Coalition has collected over 100,000 signatures to date, and makes sure Congress is aware of these numbers. If you need more copies, see www.november.org/parole, or contact our office at (509) 684-1550.
We must convince the members of Congress that without the system of federal parole, the entire process of incarceration is unfair. The current system destroys our families, and places too great a burden on taxpayers.
If you really want to see me come home sooner, please do this now. Only you can help change the law. You have the power - use it!
Thank you ________________________________
Sample Letter to your United States Representative:
Dear Honorable _______________:
I am writing to ask you to co-sponsor HR 3072, A Bill To Revive The System Of Parole For Federal Prisoners. The bill makes fiscal, social and moral sense.
Most of the prisoners in federal custody are non-violent drug offenders. It is illogical to spend tax dollars on long imprisonment when other means have proven far more effective in solving the social problems of drug abuse and addiction. State leaders across the U.S. are moving ahead on their own to reform failed sentencing, drug, and parole policies.
Enactment of HR 3072 would provide prisoners with an incentive to maintain exemplary behavior in prison. A humane philosophy of earned, early release would foster incentives toward cooperation, study, and learning skills that would begin creating a safer environment for staff and prisoners alike, not to mention a more successful re-entry.
With hope for the future, and families reuniting earlier, the impact and social costs of incarceration would be lessened. High costs of imprisonment -- more than $10 billion annually for nonviolent drug offenders alone- could be dramatically reduced. Inhumane prison overcrowding would be relieved, along with the immediate need to build expensive, additional prisons.
Please co-sponsor HR 3072 to build a safer society by promoting rehabilitation, shorter incarceration times for deserving prisoners, and more appropriate use of public funds to strengthen effective social programs.
(Your name and complete contact information)
Sample Telephone Call
Hello, my name is (First and Last name), and I am a constituent living in (city). I'm calling to urge you to support HR 3072, a bill to revive Federal Parole. Most of the prisoners in federal custody are non-violent drug offenders. It doesn't make economic sense to spend tax dollars on long imprisonment when cheaper means have proved far more effective in solving the social and public health problems of drug abuse and addiction.
Please co-sponsor HR 3072 to build a safer society by promoting rehabilitation, shorter incarceration times for deserving prisoners, and more appropriate use of public funds for cost-effective social programs. My phone number is (________). Thank you.