Never put off til tomorrow what you can do today as stated by Thomas Jefferson seems most appropriate and most fitting regarding steps to fix the plague of mass incarceration. The time for action is now. It is time to tell the American people what has been done and what the future holds by way of policies and regulations to cure the mass incarceration that is plaguing the country and destroying families.
Jenny Triplett, owner of Dawah International, LLC and co-Editor-in-Chief of Prisonworld Magazine, has been a steadfast advocate and putting pressure on President Obama and his administration to implement legislation to help reduce overcrowded prisons across the country. Several municipalities are operating with strained budgets but yet the courts are still filling the prison buses. “Institutions across the country have gone from three meals per day to two meals per day due to overcrowding and the lack of funds needed in order to operate at the normal standard. Educational programs are being cut and visitation is being reduced due to insufficient security personnel to facilitate it. So what’s left warehouses for prisoners? There is no rehabilitation taking place in that type of environment,” says Jenny.
Progress was made within the federal prison system as earlier this year the crack versus cocaine sentencing laws were changed and several inmates saw early releases or even immediate releases. This started with the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-220) which was an Act of Congress signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama. The law reduced the disparity between the amount of crack cocaine and powder cocaine needed to trigger certain United States federal criminal penalties from a 100:1 weight ratio to an 18:1 weight ratio and eliminated the five-year mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine, among other provisions.The sentencing laws for the State prisons need to be examined and changed as well. The disparities are too high and the ratios of unfair sentencing based on race are off the charts.
The great state of Texas, where more inmates have been freed because of wrongful convictions than any other state, is the best of examples for the need of state legislation in regards to tackling mass incarceration. Prosecutors who are looking for swift justice, and great win records, often times abuse the system and convict those who are not guilty. It costs just as much if not more for exoneration as it does a wrongful conviction.
Jenny Triplett, also co-hosts the weekly radio show, the Prisonworld Radio Hour with her husband of 23 years, Rufus, received a letter from President Obama after her last call to action in 2011. On a mission bring awareness once again, this is an issue that has been side barred though his cabinet with consolatory programs such as second chance funding for faith-based programs. The after care and re-entry has been established and solidified. Now let’s back up and take care of those who are sitting behind the walls with wrongful convictions and unjust sentences due to judges who are constrained with draconian sentencing guidelines. CLICK HERE to read the letter from President Obama