Happy New Year Everybody,
Can you believe how fast 2014 flew bye? A lot was accomplished last year and many things paved the way for a new beginning in 2015. We are looking forward to the Legislative session starting this Monday the 5th and are in hopes of our bills passing both houses. The best news I heard last year was that Mr. McKee of the parole board resigned. FINALLY !!!!!! Best news EVER. Hopefully many of you will get the play you deserve and have worked for this year. The Governor has appointed Attorney Mark Staples from Helena as his replacement. Mr. Staples has to be approved by the Senate before he will actually take over. Mr. Staples is a Butte native and was a lobbyist for the Montana Tavern Association for 26 years. We can only pray he is NOT one of the good ole boys and will do the right thing as he serves on the board.
The Native American surveys are going well. We now have 35 returned of 50 sent out. I think I will send out another round for those already on our mailing list just in case I missed somebody. Any Native American prisoner can fill out the survey if you weren’t in Shelby. Please help us spread the word and get as many survey’s as we can back from you. People who are not on our mailing list yet can write and get a survey or you can send me a list of names of those you want us to send a survey too. If you send a list of names be sure I can read it. The survey’s are for the Indian People Action based in Butte. They are working hard to make positive changes for their people in the system not only here in Montana but also the nation.
Some positive news on Connections, we will continue to have Hannah my intern helping us this year at least until she graduates in May. I love working with her and she has done so much for us already by getting our website and Facebook page updated. She still has some work to do but it’s looking a lot better. We also got news from the state that our contract and funding was increased so that was encouraging as well. Now if we could only find some money for justice work it would be a blessing for sure.
We have a few new members to our Advisory Board and would love to have more especially in the regional facilities. In case you are interested in coming on board to do some service work to make “positive changes” to our system our advisory board is made up of prisoners only and there are 98 of you so far. Advisory Board members have 3 jobs, 1.) Let the population know about us and what we are working on 2.) Let us know what the population feels are the issues that need to be addressed from out here. 3.) Share whatever info we send you with the others and pass out surveys when we have them. If you think you would like to get involved let me know and I will send you the app. In exchange for your service we will send you an update every month and the newsletters as they come out. We look forward to working with all of you again this year and pray you will have many blessings in the future.
In closing I am asking for your continued prayers for my health and for courage and strength to deal with whatever the Docs may find. I want to thank all of you for the Christmas cards, support and prayers. Thank you also for your hard work to create change this past year…you are AWESOME.
Much love and many blessings
Connections Box 4142 Bozeman, MT 59772 406-813-8209