The unfortunate circumstances plaguing our at risk communities go far beyond the clear and apparent issues of educational boundaries, economic disparities, poor housing conditions, crime and recidivism. Often unaddressed, the constraints of institutionalized discrimination, disenfranchisement of minorities, and the disproportionate rate at which minorities (especially blacks) are incarcerated and over sentenced. Although widely known, and painfully evident via public statistics, the aggressive manner in which underprivileged and minority citizens are treated within the United States justice and penal systems continuously goes unaddressed on the scale that it has been inflicted.
The circumstances created by the blatant and egregious abuses of power that have systematically crippled underprivileged and minority families is appalling, and proactively ongoing. The breakdown within the families and communities targeted by legislation such as that which demanded mandatory minimum sentences for crack cocaine have left behind a trail of unfortunate circumstances that has continues to plague those targeted by the system that put such legislation in place. Broken families, misguided youth, and a lack of societal concern is perpetually fueling issues that cannot continue to be ignored.
The Clemency Program is a step in the right direction to addressing some of the issues that are ailing these families and communities by focusing in on balancing the scales through advocating for leniency for many of those prisoners affected by an unbalanced system. In doing so, we are not merely advocating for prisoners who have disproportionately received harsh treatment within the US justice and penal systems. We are advocating for second chances for positive, productive societal re-entry that allows for the mending of families as well as communities. We are refusing to write off an entire sect of our society as unable to be reformed and/or a lost cause due to mistakes of their past.
Candidates such as Johnny Jackson who received a sentence totaling a century behind bars for first time nonviolent drug offenders are who we are advocating for! These sorts of harsh sentences do not allow for growth or reform as they are intended to impose extreme and long term penalties without any options for societal re-entry. This is unacceptable given the reality of the disproportionate disparities in incarceration as well as sentencing norms with this country! As a society, we must stand up for true justice which can only come by addressing the root causes of our issues along with the reversing the damage that has been so widely inflicted.
Please join us in supporting clemency for those affected by such harsh circumstances! Also, assist us in our focus to prevent recidivism, by banding together to offer societal re-entry support including employment, housing, family counseling and more. We can no longer standby dormant as our at risk families and communities are destroyed by the effects of institutionalized and systematic injustice.
Redemption is what makes this place work. We need to honor redemption. We need to make redemption something that is valued in our culture and our society and in our laws.
Paul Ryan - House Speaker
Our main objectives within the Clemency Program are as follows:
- Seeking second chances for non-violent drug offenders
- Attacking laws that promote imbalance within the justice system
- Preventing recidivism