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Guest Column: Bill to reinstate federal parole gathers momentum

July 1, 1993

Public and organizational support is growing daily for the passing of Bill H.R. 3072: Reinstating Federal Parole. We at Advocate4Justice are releasing the first of several press releases about this growing support. We want the government to hear what its voters want. People are signing on in droves for the support of this bill. The list grows daily.

To view the signers’ list, go to http://www.advocate4justice.org/a4j-sign.html.

Garry L. Jones, Retired Lieutenant, FBOP, P.O. Box 366064, Atlanta, GA 30336. E-mail: Advocate4justice2004@yahoo.com

Web site: www.advocate4justice.org.

An Open Letter to the members of the Judiciary Committee:

We, the undersigned, have seen the U.S. prison population increase year after year, with great financial and social costs.

Today, our country is the world’s leading jailer, with increasing community instability because prisons cannot solve the problems of poverty, hopelessness, lack of education and job opportunities that persist. They compound for growing numbers of people disenfranchised and carrying the stigma of felon.

We write to urge the House Judiciary Committee to study the merits of re-establishing a system of earned, early release of federal prisoners. One bill, H.R. 3072 to revive parole, is one remedy before you today.

Harsh, determinate sentencing reforms of the mid-1980s were enacted by Congress with the hope of curbing illegal drug and associated crime, and creating evenhanded punishment. These goals have not been met. Instead, we have a system that cannot be properly monitored, lacking in transparency, without the balance of judicial discretion.

The continued institutionalization of millions of people will not rehabilitate people, or change society for the good. Over-reliance on prison to solve problems has failed us. There are fresh ideas to replace locking people up in human warehouses, cages, then expecting them to function normally in society after years and decades of wasteful imprisonment.

H.R. 3072, To Revive Parole, was introduced by Danny Davis June 27, 2005, with 10 co-sponsors to date. National prisoner advocacy groups are finding growing support for earned, early release for federal prisoners, all evidence that suggests rewarding offenders for model behavior in prison is agreeable to the public.

We respectfully request an opportunity to present to the House Judiciary Committee a panel of experts and citizens intent on introducing ideas that will reduce the federal prison population while increasing public safety.

Respectfully, Garry L. Jones, President and Founder of Advocate4Justice

Toni Thomas is an Advocate4Justice researcher and regional volunteer for the November Coalition. She is a local resident.

From the April 19-25, 2006, issue

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