May 2014 Update
There is a lot going on with the Law and Justice committee. I did not testify again this time because we are not ready. After speaking with them I realize we have a unique chance to really have a greater impact than I originally thought. They have drafted some bills already and I don’t feel comfortable making our recommendations without the Advisory Boards input. Other advocacy groups have given their input but I am not so sure you would agree with them so I would like as much input as possible on these drafts. Also I think I should have some more conversations with committee members.
- LCLj 95 & 99 both need more information
- LCLj 96 has to do with recording all parole board hearings
- LCLj 97 redraft
- LCLj 98 move forward as is
During the meeting Sen. Murphy did state he is very concerned about the Board adding conditions to your sentences and this should be a priority for the committee this session. The Parole Board still maintains that this never happens. I plan to use all of the Board surveys that all of you have done to prove our point on this topic. He also asked the committee attorney to draft a letter to the FBI requesting an investigation of Shelby prison for being non compliant with their contract with the state. Sen. Murphy said we have the same problems here in Montana with our private prison as Idaho has with there’s. It was a unanimous vote to draft the letter to be presented at the next meeting. There was also a lot of denial by the Board and DOC that they violate any of you for not paying supervision fees. They both maintain this never happens. Because we have not testified yet we will keep accepting Board surveys and supervision fee forms until we do testify. So please keep sending those in to me. The next meeting is scheduled for June 26th-27th.
To date here are the numbers we have collected of Board surveys. If you notice deductions in some numbers it is because we are waiting for some people to send in their question sheet so we can count them.
Beds Surveys Beds Surveys Beds Surveys
- Gt. Falls 150 17 MSP 1457 190 Shelby 537 53
- Glendive 141 26 MWP 194 28
As we move forward please let me know your input on the LCLj bill drafts, keep spreading around the Board surveys and supervision fee form to all of those that want to help and share this information with your pods and or units. We always need more Advisory Board members especially in Gt. Falls and Glendive. I am in the process of sending everybody who did the survey the updates for March, April and now May so bare with me while I catch up. I am looking for stuff to fill the next issue of the “Lock Down Daily News” as well so if you have something to submit please get it to me soon. The Lockdown will also go to everybody who does the survey. Remember anybody who has ever seen the board can do the survey. It’s not just for those seeing them last year and this year.
I would like to tell all of you how much we appreciate your help, input and support of our work. You have been so awesome and I hope you are encouraged by the work all of us have done together to create “positive change.” You are in our thoughts and prayers always.