Obama for Prison Reform

By · Monday, September 29th, 2008

The upcoming presidential election has me very hopeful. Although I cannot vote, I support the candidacy of Barack Obama. I urge all readers who have an interest in the prison system to vote for Obama. Meaningful prison reform is going to require liberal Representatives and Senators. Elect Democrats!

With a liberal Congress, we will see legislation that encourages prisoners to earn freedom. Instead of measuring prisonĀ terms with decades-long sentences marked by nothing more than the turning of calendar pages, Democratic lawmakers will usher in prison reform that includes parole, opportunities to earn more good time, and programs that help offenders emerge from prison as successful, contributing citizens.

I have been incarcerated since 1987. This November marks the sixth Presidential election I have witnessed as a prisoner. The right-wing Republicans thatĀ have alternatively controlled both the legislative and executive branches of government have enacted legislation that decimated opportunities for prisoners to earn freedom. They eliminated parole. They took away funding for educational programs. They reduced good time. They sought a more punitive system that has spawned 70% recidivism rates.

We need a more sensible prison system. Democrats will likely reinstate parole, increase opportunities to earn good time, and sponsor programs that encourage education rather than extinguishing hope. Instead of vengeance, liberal policies will encourage prisoners to earn freedom. I have been working toward freedom for more than 21 years. Under the current right-wing system, however, no mechanism exists for inmates to earn freedom. Such shortsighted policies are not good for America.

For more information on strategies to emerge from prison successfully, I recommend reading my articles on MichaelSantos.net.

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