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  #1  
Old 07-29-2002, 10:59 PM
KConnor56 KConnor56 is offline
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Default We Are Everywhere - The families of Prisoners

We are everywhere--

For those who forget that the incarcerated humans in this country are indeed just that - HUMAN - I would like you to think on this the next time you talk about "inmates, criminals, convicts, etc...". These humans have families and those who love them despite whatever they did. Look around you and wonder, because this is who we are....

We take care of your children and grandchildren in nursery schools, we give them shots in the doctor's office, we are dental assistants, we are school teachers and Sunday school teachers, we stand behind you in the grocery store, we prepare your medicine in the drug store, we work in banks, we approve your loans, we service your insurance claims, we work for newspapers, TV stations and radio stations, we read your electric meters and water meters, we are your landlords, your neighbors, we take care of your elderly parents in nursing homes, we are nurses, lab technicians, X-ray technicians, we own beauty shops, flower shops, printing shops, we are welders, plumbers, tree trimmers, we work for the IRS, the State Dept., in the courthouse, schools, churches, drug stores and toy stores, we are legal secretaries, lawyers, school board members, we are bus drivers, we prepare meals for your kids in school, we are city council members, bank tellers, we process your checking account, your saving account, we work at your Social Security office, your insurance company, we take care of your IRA, stocks, bonds, we sell your kids bikes, school supplies, clothes, shoes, eyeglasses, we repair your cars, we are real estate agents, car dealers, college professors, psychologists, administrative assistants, safety engineers and ranchers. We work at Ralphs, Albertsons, Trader Joe's, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, Macy's, Nordstrom and Saks 5th Avenue. We sell Avon and Tupperware. We are not all "on welfare", no matter what the government would like you to think.

There are two million people in prison in America and twice that many on parole and probation. Add in mothers, fathers, children, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends and about sixteen million people are personally affected by the prison system in the United States.

We are tired of letting ourselves feel humiliated or embarrassed because our loved one is in prison. WE did nothing wrong, and they are paying for their crime!

We are tired of fearing the loss of our jobs or evictions from our housing should anyone find out we have a loved one in prison.

We are tired of being made to feel inferior or unwelcome in churches, clubs, organizations or society in general simply because we refuse to abandon our loved ones.

We are ready to unite, to come out of hiding and openly support each other and our loved ones. It's a new day, America and we're here to prove it!

We are ready to speak out against the "they deserve what they get" attitude we hear you talk about in stores, theaters and restaurants.

We number in the millions, we are everywhere, every state, county, city and town. We may even live next door to you.

Sixteen million & counting. We are everywhere.

Think about it.
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Old 07-29-2002, 11:48 PM
Valerie Valerie is offline
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AMEN to that.
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Old 07-30-2002, 05:57 AM
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what valerie said!!!!
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Old 07-30-2002, 06:31 AM
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Let's condense the idea into a bumper sticker/PTO logo.
At least one of our logos.
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Old 07-30-2002, 07:31 AM
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Think of all that voting power!
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Old 07-30-2002, 08:08 AM
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Here here...I third what Valerie said!!
vnv...GOOD IDEA...nothing like waking them up & maybe opening some eyes, right??
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Old 07-30-2002, 08:39 AM
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YES KEN, YES, YES YES..... I AM TRYING HARD TO GET SOMETHING STARTED LOCALLY.... I HOPE IT WORKS.... THERE ARE SO VERY MANY OF US OUT HERE..... IF WE GET TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE CHANGES..


MY LOVE
DONNA
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Old 07-30-2002, 09:35 AM
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That is a lot of voting power!Steve&kids
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Old 07-30-2002, 10:42 AM
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If they were more aware of our voting power than perhaps some changes could be a little smoother? But then again maybe not! It all depends on how the powers that be view us. How do they value us as a whole? Are we people to them? Or just an extension of the "criminals" from whom they do not want to hear?
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Old 07-30-2002, 11:52 AM
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I THINK PART OF THE PROBLEM IS THAT MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE INVOLVED "AREN'T INVOLVED" IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN--FAMILIES LEFT DEVASTATED BY THE INCARCERATION OF THEIR FATHER, OTHER, CHILD--STRUGGLING TO MAKE IT THROUGH EACH DAY WITH NOT AN OUNCE OF ENERGY LEFT TO "FIGHT"--TO "GET INVOLVED" IN ADVOCATING FOR CHANGE--THEY ACCEPT WHAT THEY FEEL THEY HAVE NO CONTROL OVER, AND STRUGGLE TO JUST SURVIVE

I ALSO THINK THAT IT WILL TAKE A COLLABORATION BETWEEN THOSE IN POWER AND THOSE DIRECTLY AFFECTED BY INCARCERATION-IN ORDER FOR THAT TO HAPPEN, WE HAVE GOT TO SHOW HOW INCARCERATION TRULY IS "OUR" ISSUE--ALL OF US. CRIME, PRISON, IT AFFECTS OUR ECONOMY, OUR SAFETY--WE NEED TO MAKE PEOPLE AWARE THAT IF WE COULD PREVENT EVEN HALF OF RELEASED OFFENDERS FROM RETURNING TO PRISON WE COULD SAVE AN ESTIMATED $114 MILLION DOLLARS IN THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA ALONE!!! MONEY TALKS-WE ALL KNOW THAT AND IT HAS TO BE USED TO OUR ADVANTAGE- ALL PEOPLE DON'T CARE ABOUT INMATES, BUT EVERYONE CARES ABOUT MONEY--AND SAFETY AND CRIME-

BUT THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO TAKE THE TIME TO "DIG" FOR SOLUTIONS ARE THOSE OF US WHO CARE. THAT IS WHY IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILTY TO EDUCATE THE GENERAL PUBLIC, AND THOSE IN POWER.
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Old 07-30-2002, 11:58 AM
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i believe some would get involved quite readily if it was more "user friendly" to get involved. for instance, i'm not ready to lead a crusade all on my own, i have too much to learn, but i would be very willing to be actively involved if i could find a way to. a way to contribute meaningfully and proactively to a cause i believe in. i have yet to see an organization that is "user friendly". one that gives folks concrete goals and tasks and opportunities to make a positive contribution. is there one out there?
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Old 07-30-2002, 12:34 PM
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ACTUALLY, THERE ARE MANY. HERE IS ONE IN YOUR STATE FOR STARTERS

OREGON-CURE
P.O. Box 4712
Salem, OR 97302
(503) 287-9258
danderso@pcc.edu or tbs2k@Qwest.net

I WAS NOT CRITICIZING ANYONE WHEN I SAID SOME PEOPLE DON'T GET INVOLVED. I WAS SIMPLY SAYING THAT SOMETIMES WHEN LEFT TO RAISE A HOUSEHOLD WITHOUT A SPOUSE FOR EXAMPLE-IT TAKES ALL YOUR ENERGY JUST TO SURVIVE- ONE MORE TASK SEEMS SO OVERWHELMING-SO YOU DO WHAT IS NECESSARY AND MANDATORY BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO ENERGY FOR ANYTHING ELSE- I HAVE FELT THIS WAY MYSELF AT TIMES-RAISING 6 KIDS AND 2 GRANDKIDS BY YOURSELF IS NO PICNIC-SOMETIMES I AM COMPLETELY DRAINED-THIS IS WHY NC CURE HAS BEEN RECENTLY STAGNANT B/C I JUST HAVE NOT HAD THE TIME AND ENERGY TO KEEP IT GOING WITHOUT SUPPORT BUT WE WILL GET IT BACK OFF THE GROUND-RIGHT DONNA, AC, AND RENEE?)

I AM SURE THAT THERE ARE OTHER ORGANIZATIONS FOR PRISON REFORM IN YOUR AREA--AM SURE OTHERS ON PTO CAN GIVE YOU CONTACTS
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Old 07-30-2002, 12:39 PM
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VERY WELL SAID, Kconner56...
I think this would look good on the back of a PTO T-Shirt.. and ALL OVER THE PLACE..
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Old 07-30-2002, 12:52 PM
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KEN- I AGREE WHOLEHEARTEDLY WITH EVERYTHING YOU SAID. I JUST THINK WE WOULD HAVE TO POST IT ON EVERY DOOR IN AMERICA FOR PEOPLE TO ACKOWLEDGE IT, AND EVN THEN SOME WOULD SIMPLY BALL IT UP AND THROW IT AWAY.

SO..I SAY..KEEP 'EM COMING OFF THE PRINTER, AND KEEP GOING BACK-

PERSISTANCE PAYS OFF
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Old 07-30-2002, 12:55 PM
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AND MAYBE WE AUGHT TO FLASH IT BETWEEN TV PROGRAMS TOO --LIKE AN INFO-MERCIAL--(SP)
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Old 07-30-2002, 02:00 PM
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AT WORK I HAVE A POLICY TO TREAT EACH OF MY CO-WORKERS AS IF THEY WERE GOING TO BE MY NEXT BOSS- MAYBE OUR SOCIETY SHOULD HAVE A POLICY TO TREAT INMATES AND THEIR FAMILIES AS IF THEY WERE GOING TO BE THE EMPLOYER DECIDING IF THEY GET THEIR NEXT JOB!@!!! WHO KNOWS, THEY MIGHT ACTUALLY BE!!!
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Old 07-30-2002, 02:27 PM
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>>>ALL PEOPLE DON'T CARE ABOUT INMATES, BUT EVERYONE CARES ABOUT MONEY<<<

There's the bottom line! Attack the pocket book and you'll get some attention.

The ONE area, that could get the most attention, as I see it, that would bring this "mass" of FREE people involved, together is the injustice of the ..................phone system...........that effect just about every one of there pocket books!

To unite a mass of people there needs to be a simple cause that doesn't reguire major law changes. If a "group" can get or make DOC, to allow inmates too be able to use toll free numbers and or prepaid phone cards, they would see how "united" can get things done and bigger things can be gone after.
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Old 07-30-2002, 04:11 PM
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yes i appreciate your posting CURE's url and i believe in them and many other worthwhile organizations that are doing so much for this cause. what i meant was adressing the statement of those who are overwhelmed and devestated. what i see is so many people who are just that: overwhelmed and devestated. they are not activist, they are not there yet, and what they need is some very small user friendly ways to be given to them to help them know they can make a difference and that there voices are heard. so many people who are affected by having a loved one in the doc are just that: overwhelmed and devestasted and having a difficult time just getting on. being an activist takes time and effort, one i myself am willing to under take, but what about the working mom with little kids, who is just barely surviving? She- or he needs info and tools that readily accessible and easy to use made available so that their voting power is heard without overwhelming them more. i've met many people who are just that, low income people who are just trying to survive, who would maybe do something if it was made available to them. it's just hard for them to know, they don't always have internet and have no idea what resources are available. there should be some sort of system that provides a basic outline of resources to these people.i guess grassroots is the definition here. and so many organizations have such a broad scope that it becomes overwhelming to the little person who just wants to be given one thing they can start with.
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Old 07-30-2002, 05:25 PM
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I understand where your coming from. The problems is in how to reach those people.

Those with internet only have to find one site and most likely the world of information would open to them.

But those that don't, just don't know. Something would need to be done at every court house in the Nation, I think. I don't mean fliers, they have to be maintained. But maybe a poster behind glass with a list of organizations address/phone??

I think the court house would be the one place that ALL could be reached.
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Old 07-30-2002, 06:53 PM
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Sorry guys, I didn't write this, I got it off a prison activist list.---------Ken
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Old 07-30-2002, 06:56 PM
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Any idea who did? Thanks for bringing it to our attention anyways!
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Old 07-30-2002, 07:20 PM
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Imagine 16 million lettters of complaint to the D.O.C. regarding the phone charges!
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Old 07-31-2002, 04:42 PM
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This was written by someone named Melissa Sanders-Rivera, and is making the rounds through reformers circles.

It's such a wonderful and powerful piece of writing!

Menolly
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Old 07-31-2002, 05:02 PM
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Yes, Menolly is right, She gave a guy permission to put it on his website & I'm trying to track her down through him. I will let you know when I hear from her.-------Ken
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Old 07-31-2002, 06:49 PM
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Please do!
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