Dear Sir/ Madame:
We have written this letter to urge you to support a new piece of legislation called The Prison Reform and Redemption Act (H.R. 3356). Many in the “Faith Based Movement” have endorsed the development of this legislation. It’s important to note that a significant number of leaders of Black and Hispanic mega churches are included in that number.
Please join us in supporting the development of laws that address perhaps one of the greatest civil rights issues of our generation. We are planning to mount a national media campaign that will highlight our grassroots efforts to help returning citizens with reentry. A popular gospel song says, “ There’s an army rising up: break every chain, break every chain”
Recent polling shows that most Americans support the idea that prisons have a responsibility to rehabilitate individuals so that they leave better than when they were first incarcerated.
* Nearly 80 percent of Americans support reforming the system to focus more on rehabilitation instead of just punishment.
* By a more than 2-to-1 margin, voters believe that rehabilitating incarcerated individuals would do more to prevent and deter crime than making prisons as hard and unpleasant as possible.
We therefore, believe that this is the strategic time to call our nation to recreate and refashion our criminal justice system. New laws, new organizations, and a new level of grass roots commitment is needed to address the inequities in our reentry system. Approaches can vary, but our nation needs to move urgently to fix obvious flaws in our practices and laws.The Prison Reform and Redemption Act is just one bipartisan bill that would enable federal prisoners to participate in individualized, evidence-based programs to reduce their risk of reoffending.
Many Democratic and Republican congressman are “ playing politics” in the name of drafting the perfect law . What’s needed is a bi-partisan sense of urgency. We need the attitude embodied in an ancient adage often Attributed to Lao -tzu ”A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
While the signatories on this letter are advocates in the sanctity of life movement, we know from personal experience that many of our incarcerated constituents have been impacted by abortion, which is a crime against humanity. We believe that since as Rev. MLK said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” this important legislation will help many of those we serve in our ongoing vocations.
Please let us know how we and others in our network can help in your district as we support you in this important and urgent effort.
Evangelist Alveda C. King
Director, Civil Rights for The Unborn
Operation Outcry, The Justice Foundation
Rev. Walter B. Hoye, II
President, The National Black Pro-Life Union