Tell the Board of Pardons: Bring People Home from Prison and End Mass Incarceration
In Pennsylvania, the Board of Pardons was created as a pathway home for incarcerated people serving life sentences who had turned their lives around. Before the rise of mass incarceration, dozens of people would have their sentences commuted every year, so they could return to their families. In current times, it's been reduced to a mostly hopeless process. Only 27 lifers have found their way home through the Board of Pardons in the last 25 years. The members of Pennsylvania’s Board of Pardons must do their jobs, and give people who have demonstrated rehabilitation the possibility of a second chance.
Pennsylvania currently holds over 5,000 people on life without parole sentences, the second highest number in the entire United States. And due of the racist nature of mass incarceration, 65% of the people serving those sentences are Black in a state where Black people make up only 11% of the population.
In the age of COVID-19, when a prison sentence can quickly become a death sentence, we need to bring people home from prison.
Send a letter to members of the Board of Pardons today and demand that they offer a meaningful pathway to release for people who have spent decades in prison and have turned their lives around and demand that they hold their fellow Board members publicly accountable when they refuse to let these individuals come home.
Let them know that Pennsylvania needs to end race and class based mass incarceration through meaningful commutation -- and share this letter writing campaign with others!