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  #1  
Old 08-02-2018, 05:12 PM
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Default Help with Midterm Election Choices

Folks, as we near the U.S. midterm elections I am wondering if there is a list of pro-prison reform candidates anywhere? I've looked at Famm but there isn't anything listed there. Does anyone know of any organization that might "rate" candidates based on their reform stances? I figure, if the NRA does it, maybe there might be a list somewhere?!?

An informed voter can make a difference!
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:41 PM
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ACLU has candidate ratings, but they are more towards the general principles of Civil Liberties.

Since a lot of this is state based, you are going to have to do state based searches. Most inmate rights, prison reform, and the like groups do not have near the money that the NRA has, or that private sector prisons have, so you really aren’t going to find an information clearing house on candidates like you will with NRA issues, anti-abortion people, and other high ticket items that have been organized for decades and take money from a lot of sources, not just their membership.

Generally, you can do a lot locally. Most candidates are out stumping or will be out stumping soon. Go. ask the questions publicly. Further, their email is generally available and you can ask your questions that way or get a position paper sent to you.

There is a lot of money in the criminal justice/prison industrial complex. It may be easier to see who is endorsed by private prisons, which judge’s seem to be pro-prosecution, and who,s using the “tough on crime” rhetoric and then vote against them.

The basic party difference also stands with Republican candidates being more pro incarceration, more against programming in the prisons, more into making those convicted of a crime suffer as much as possible.

I haven’t gone into depth here, but some of the links here may get you someplace you want to be

https://www.plsny.org/resources-other-information.html
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:48 PM
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We may have to make our own!

Something that comes to mind is to look up reform legislation and see who sponsored it. For example, the "Dignity Act" was introduced by Cory Booker and five others: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-...ew=closed#tabs

I'd check the same site for the First Step Act and see who the reform advocates are in the House.

You have more power than most people realize in local elections. If someone in the audience at a candidate forum in the primary asks about prison reform, that puts the issue on everyone's radar. Act Locally is often a good rule. If all your local candidates are equally good or equally bad then you could donate to reformers elsewhere.

You asked about FAMM in particular, but you have yet more power in elections to your state legislature, which is going to make more of a difference. Don't ask the candidate's "position", ask what they've done.
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:54 PM
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There is a lot of money in the criminal justice/prison industrial complex. It may be easier to see who is endorsed by private prisons, which judges seem to be pro-prosecution, and who,s using the tough on crime rhetoric and then vote against them.
This is a great angle. Let me add to it.

You probably have a government department with a name like "Public Disclosure Commission" which tracks campaign contributions. See who's taking money from C/O unions and bail bondsmen, and as yourself suggested from CoreCivic, GEO, etc. If opensecrets.org is still around they'd be useful.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:45 PM
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Vote for whomever will get this nutcase out of office! We are becoming an uncivilized country. It is scary what is going on. Whether democrat or not, doesn’t matter but we need people who will bring the country together instead of making it so divisive. Prison reform actually has bi-partisan support but it’s definitely not going anywhere with people like Sessions or other ultra conservatives in office.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:54 PM
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Single-issue voters are doing themselves AND the country a tremendous disservice. That is how we get crappy candidates in place, no matter what letter is next to their name.

Every serious candidate has a website that outlines their platforms. They also do regular campaign events in the area where they are running for office. Get out and meet them. Donate time or money to those whose interests most closely align with your own. Go be a poll sitter.

As to the assertion that the divisiveness is related to the current office-holder, that is bunk. It was happening LONG before the 2016 national elections. And, it is NOT the supporters of the current office-holder that are assaulting persons who were minding their own business and doing nothing other than wearing a hat. Or the minority idiot that decided today to assault the white bus rider. The left would do well to look in the mirror...their own actions are NOT becoming. While they are at it, they could quit doing stupid crap like trying to ban straws...
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by CenTexLyn View Post
Single-issue voters are doing themselves AND the country a tremendous disservice. That is how we get crappy candidates in place, no matter what letter is next to their name.

Every serious candidate has a website that outlines their platforms. They also do regular campaign events in the area where they are running for office. Get out and meet them. Donate time or money to those whose interests most closely align with your own. Go be a poll sitter.

As to the assertion that the divisiveness is related to the current office-holder, that is bunk. It was happening LONG before the 2016 national elections. And, it is NOT the supporters of the current office-holder that are assaulting persons who were minding their own business and doing nothing other than wearing a hat. Or the minority idiot that decided today to assault the white bus rider. The left would do well to look in the mirror...their own actions are NOT becoming. While they are at it, they could quit doing stupid crap like trying to ban straws...
Agree, banning straws has me smh.

But no the divisiveness is much worse now than it has ever been. Im no lefty, but I can honestly say I have never seen anything like this and it saddens me to see our country go to shit this way. Both parties should be ashamed of themselves. There is going to be a big blue wave come November and then the country will be at a huge standstill once again. These people represent all of us. They need to all stop acting like 2 year olds and do their jobs and work together. Time to grow up!
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Old 08-03-2018, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CenTexLyn View Post
Single-issue voters are doing themselves AND the country a tremendous disservice. That is how we get crappy candidates in place, no matter what letter is next to their name.

Every serious candidate has a website that outlines their platforms. They also do regular campaign events in the area where they are running for office. Get out and meet them. Donate time or money to those whose interests most closely align with your own. Go be a poll sitter.

As to the assertion that the divisiveness is related to the current office-holder, that is bunk. It was happening LONG before the 2016 national elections. And, it is NOT the supporters of the current office-holder that are assaulting persons who were minding their own business and doing nothing other than wearing a hat. Or the minority idiot that decided today to assault the white bus rider. The left would do well to look in the mirror...their own actions are NOT becoming. While they are at it, they could quit doing stupid crap like trying to ban straws...
Lets please not nit pick about the crap going on today as a result of the divisiveness of the current climate.

Yes, this has been brewing for quite some time, though a different president would have brought us together, made us see or commonalities, rather than tear us apart.

Do a search for trump supporter arrests and you do not get a pretty picture (trump supporter arrests deals with both arrests of trump supporters as well as those who assault trump supporters, btw).

Single issue, single party support rarely does anything except re-elect Chuck Grassley or elect Steve King (Grassley Im assuming were all familiar with, King, otoh, is the epitome of proud ignorance and bigotry https://www.desmoinesregister.com/st...ing/726134002/).

The political needs of the country are different from the political needs of your neighborhood. Nationally, if you believe that the criminal justice or immigration system need to be fixed, you deal with it through the federal government, including through those who will impact the nomination of judges, and those who will write laws, and those who will appoint the people who enforce those laws. You also deal with it in your state by supporting people who allow your tax money to go towards federal law, immigration, and penal programs. You deal with state and local issues the same way - your local prosecutor and sheriff and police can be the difference between a kid getting sent up for an opioid addiction, or a kid getting help. Further, you city counsel and mayor write ordinances that can actually result in contempt citations and incarceration. Your needs as a neighborhood and a community may differ drastically from those of the nation, resulting in voting republican in one race and democrat in another when you vote the issues relevant to you.

But this is not a great environment these days. People are ruder, cruder, and more violent than in the past, and a lot of it seems to be political in nature. Personally, Id rather somebody rip my hat off than run me over with a car. Personally, Id much rather not have to deal with any of it, or hear people using racially derogatory language, calling the cops on people of color, harassing LGBTQ people, forcing a religion on me (there's a guy with a bullhorn who stands on a street corner telling everybody why they are going to hell, especially those queers and women in pants), but we are in a political climate lately where people use fighting words liberally. And those of you in Texas have a lot of guns.
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yourself View Post
Lets please not nit pick about the crap going on today as a result of the divisiveness of the current climate.

Yes, this has been brewing for quite some time, though a different president would have brought us together, made us see or commonalities, rather than tear us apart.

Do a search for trump supporter arrests and you do not get a pretty picture (trump supporter arrests deals with both arrests of trump supporters as well as those who assault trump supporters, btw).

Single issue, single party support rarely does anything except re-elect Chuck Grassley or elect Steve King (Grassley Im assuming were all familiar with, King, otoh, is the epitome of proud ignorance and bigotry https://www.desmoinesregister.com/st...ing/726134002/).

The political needs of the country are different from the political needs of your neighborhood. Nationally, if you believe that the criminal justice or immigration system need to be fixed, you deal with it through the federal government, including through those who will impact the nomination of judges, and those who will write laws, and those who will appoint the people who enforce those laws. You also deal with it in your state by supporting people who allow your tax money to go towards federal law, immigration, and penal programs. You deal with state and local issues the same way - your local prosecutor and sheriff and police can be the difference between a kid getting sent up for an opioid addiction, or a kid getting help. Further, you city counsel and mayor write ordinances that can actually result in contempt citations and incarceration. Your needs as a neighborhood and a community may differ drastically from those of the nation, resulting in voting republican in one race and democrat in another when you vote the issues relevant to you.

But this is not a great environment these days. People are ruder, cruder, and more violent than in the past, and a lot of it seems to be political in nature. Personally, Id rather somebody rip my hat off than run me over with a car. Personally, Id much rather not have to deal with any of it, or hear people using racially derogatory language, calling the cops on people of color, harassing LGBTQ people, forcing a religion on me (there's a guy with a bullhorn who stands on a street corner telling everybody why they are going to hell, especially those queers and women in pants), but we are in a political climate lately where people use fighting words liberally. And those of you in Texas have a lot of guns.
Thank you. Spoken much better than I can ever say! Our judicial system is being stacked with very conservative judges, so there are a lot of long-term implications with this presidency.

My kids just returned from a service trip in Washington DC for two weeks. They saw things they had never seen before. It was good for them. Besides the community part of the trip and hearing stories of the homeless and helping them and whatnot (that we've done here), they really delved into some of that there, they also lived in a dorm with 800 students there from some conservative Trump movement. I think that experience was very eye opening for my kids. Some of the hate that was spewed towards them from some (not all) of this group. My kids were part of a Jewish youth group. Some of the kids from this conservative group had never met anyone jewish in their lives before. Their comments my kids said were scary. My kids are not sheltered, but unfortunately, they have not had to deal with this as head on where we live, but I have told them, this is reality and that when they go to college in a year, this is what they will face.

They walked in a gun control march last April, it was a proud parent moment. That they care about the future and are forming opinions and things to fight for, but it is scary as hell that at 17 years old there is this feeling that the country is moving backwards and there is all this hate that they will have to deal with, so much more than I ever have had to.

We need to get along and live in a civilized society. I am amazed that my husband tells me the majority of the inmates with him are conservatives and love Trump. I still can't understand that. He has done nothing for them or prison reform. While I can't stand Grassley, (we used to live in IA) I am impressed he is pro reform, however, that doesn't help if he is pushing for a bigger change and he of all people can't get more people on board for that! Durbin (great senator) I can understand not being able to get Repubs on board, but the fact that Grassley can't. I wish they would just agree with what the current bill is and then later push for furthering it. LIke I've said previously, baby steps!
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Old 08-03-2018, 01:47 PM
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The ultimate in better prison conditions is not to be in prison, so look for DA candidates who believe in services and diversion programs.

There's _lots_ of things to look at in a candidate's record. What do they think about drug laws? Fixing the mental health care system? Getting jobs to where they're needed or getting people to where jobs are? Anybody with good ideas about those is going to reduced the damage from the prison system even if they don't have "prison reform" on their platform.

This has stopped being a left/right argument. The Koch brothers are pushing criminal justice reform. American Conservative magazine just had a good long article about how the current system offends many conservative values. The Republicans in my state legislature helped get the DOC ombudsman created. Checking the R/D/L label isn't going to answer the OP's question these days.
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Old 08-03-2018, 05:20 PM
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The ultimate in better prison conditions is not to be in prison, so look for DA candidates who believe in services and diversion programs.

There's _lots_ of things to look at in a candidate's record. What do they think about drug laws? Fixing the mental health care system? Getting jobs to where they're needed or getting people to where jobs are? Anybody with good ideas about those is going to reduced the damage from the prison system even if they don't have "prison reform" on their platform.

This has stopped being a left/right argument. The Koch brothers are pushing criminal justice reform. American Conservative magazine just had a good long article about how the current system offends many conservative values. The Republicans in my state legislature helped get the DOC ombudsman created. Checking the R/D/L label isn't going to answer the OP's question these days.
Poverty, head start and early childhood education for the poor, school lunch and breakfast vouchers, and after school programming to try to countermand the effects of parental incarceration on the young, as having an incarcerated parent greatly increases the chances of children becoming inmates themselves.

Zero tolerance drug policies, school safety officers where the emphasis is on expulsion and involvement in the juvenile justice system, zero tolerance weapon policies when it comes to knives (what is art and music without the ability to use a knife? I used one to cut reeds in elementary school, junior high, and senior high. Cant imagine not being able to care for my reeds and play a concert without a blade of some sort), increased funding for the arts and girls sports (both keep kids out of trouble and girls sports keep girls out of trouble more effectively than a lot of programs), smaller class sizes, more support staff - all will allow kids slipping through the cracks to be caught and helped rather than find themselves charged as adults.

I mean, the list goes on and on. Depending on whether you want to help prevent people from going down the criminal justice system road, help them in prison, or help them on release - it touches on just about every aspect of public spending and legislation.
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Old 08-03-2018, 06:45 PM
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HELL yes!
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