March/April 2010 Update
Happy Easter to all of you!
-Finally the survey’s are all tallied up and here are the results. We had 11 from Gt. Falls, 6 from Glendive, 139 from Shelby, 457 from MSP, and 53 from family and friends that were mailed to us. You guys did a great job getting these out and returned back. I can see we need to reach out more to the regionals, they are being forgotten in a lot of ways by the system. The rankings are as follows:
- Mandatory Parole (633 votes)
- Parole Board Reform (518)
- Oversight committee for Board (397)
- More ½ Houses (289)
- Release of non-violent offenders (273)
- Funding for transitional services ( rent, utilities, meds) (247)
- Family involvement (142)
- Programs for regionals (108)
- Oversight for regionals (70)
Number 10 on the survey was for you to suggest another priority. A lot of you wrote, “ Bring back GOOD TIME.” My experience has been the D.O.C. doesn’t want to even hear those two words in the same sentence, which is why we started advocating for mandatory parole or some form of it. Other suggestions were:
- Medical- better care, oversight for medical, quality control board, more help for
mentally ill, better care for seniors
- PRC reform- state run PRC’s, revamp acceptance to PRC,
- Long-timers- more options
- Lifers group
- More options for sex offenders
- Return IWF
Those are a few things that were mentioned over and over from every facility. So now we move forward with addressing these issues and trying to find legislators interested in drafting some bills. Since this is not our first rodeo we do have drafts that some of you have written in the past. We will go over those and see what we have and then will be asking for your help. I think # 1 stands alone, # 2 and 3 can go together, # 4 – 6 and 8-9 will be discussions with the D.O.C. # 7 we will continue to push for but will count on you to send your family and friends our way. That is what I am thinking but please let me know what you think is the best strategy as we move forward with these issues.
I want to welcome all of the new network members and Advisory Board members thank you so much for signing on to help us create “Positive Change.” We look forward to working with all of you. We did hear from a lot of family members and they are anxious to get involved which is a blessing. The next issue of the “Lockdown Daily News” will go out next week. Thank you again for all of your hard work, support and prayers. Take care and hope to hear from you soon.