Hope this finds all of you feeling blessed and thankful for the things you do have that are most important. I am so thankful for all of you and the awesome job all of you did getting the Board survey’s done and back to me so that we could bring all of your voices to the Law and Justice committee. You really did make a huge impact and the committee members had all of your survey’s posted to their website so that everybody can go and read your comments and hear from you as to what really goes on within our prison system. People of power are not just believing what they are told from the DOC anymore they are listening to all of you and the people out hear that represent you through advocacy efforts. This brings me to another issue we are doing right now. I have sent every Native American on my mailing list a survey addressing your special issues along with a letter asking for your help. I am hopeful that you will have the same impact with your survey as we did with the Board survey. If you didn’t receive the letter and survey its because you may not be on our mailing list. We are trying to reach all of you so if you want to help us please send me your name and I will send the materials. Any of you that do the survey will be put on our mailing list and will receive our updates and newsletter. Remember this is a Native American survey only this time.
Many of you may not be aware that a lawsuit is pending regarding allegations against the D.O.C. for mismanagement of IWF funds and a loss of rehabilitative programs and activities. Depositions with primary witnesses are tentatively being scheduled for January 2015 in the matter of IWF et.al vs. Beeson et.al. Cause # DDV-2012-54. First Judicial District Court Lewis and Clark County Honorable Judge Reynolds presiding. If anyone has information they believe to be relevant regarding mismanagement of funds or loss of programs please send it to me. Make sure your information is reliable and accurate and can be validated. The trial will be scheduled for Spring of 2016. There will be more information about this case in the upcoming newsletter.
Now for some fed updates- A new Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey finds that 77 percent of Americans support eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenses. The poll question Reason-Rupe posed reads as follows: “Would you favor or oppose eliminating mandatory minimum prison sentences for nonviolent offenders so that judges have the ability to make sentencing decisions on a case-by-case basis?” Seventy-seven percent of respondents said they favored eliminating mandatory minimums, while only 17 percent of respondents said they were opposed. When Reason-Rupe asked the same question in December 2013, 71 percent of respondents were in favor of eliminating mandatory minimums, and 24 percent were opposed. The United States Sentencing Commission voted unanimously today at a public meeting to apply a reduction in the sentencing guideline levels applicable to most federal drug trafficking offenders retroactively, meaning that many offenders currently in prison could be eligible for reduced sentences beginning November 2015.
We have been busy this year advocating like never before not only for federal prisoners but mostly for all of our state prisoners. Without all of you helping and doing the work from inside we would have never been able to make the impact we have in 2014. Your VOICES are the most important thing to create “Positive Change.” We wish all of you the very best Thanksgiving possible and want you to know we will be thinking and praying for all of you that day as we do everyday. Many blessing to you.
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