Fair Sentencing for Youth

 

   

Archive for April, 2018

News Archive

May 1st 8pm CARES Call is on Commutations and Pardons. Join us!

Saturday, April 28th, 2018

Join CARES for Youth for a candid and informative discussion of pardons and commutations of sentences in California. Our guest Colby Lenz will focus on the  commutation application process and give us insight into recent grants made by Governor Brown. Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 8:00pm. Call: (515) 604-9384. Code: 313882#

Colby Lenz is an advocate and organizer with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners and has worked with people imprisoned in California women’s prisons for the past 15 years. This work includes release support and building leadership among currently and formerly imprisoned people and their families. Colby organizes with Survived & Punished, a national project to end the criminalization of survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Colby is also a PhD candidate in American Studies & Ethnicity at USC where she studies the rise of life without parole sentencing in California, and social movements against life and death sentencing.

 

What is a gubernatorial (governor’s) pardon?

Individuals who have been convicted of a crime in California may apply to the governor for a gubernatorial pardon. A gubernatorial pardon is an honor that may be granted to people who have demonstrated exemplary behavior following their conviction. A pardon will not be granted unless it has been earned. Historically, governors have granted very few pardons.

 

What is a commutation?

Prisoners currently serving a sentence for a conviction by the California courts can petition to have their sentence reduced or eliminated by applying for a commutation of sentence.

CARES Call! Tuesday April 17th at 8pm

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

Writing a letter in support of a proposed new law or for someone who is preparing for a parole board hearing can be daunting. This Tuesday, you will get tips and tools making letter writing easy and your words effective. Once you start, you will find yourself empowered to be more engaged with your community and loved ones.

Join the CARES Call! Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 8 p.m. Call: (515) 604-9384Code: 313882#

Our speaker this week is CARES for Youth’s own Dennis Flynn. He has been a school administrator and teacher, and also has spent a lot of time reading and writing letters in support of a commutation of sentence for his daughter, Kelly, and has written many letters for bills being considered in Sacramento.

 

By the end of the call you will have the tools needed to write a strong letter demonstrating your support for a family member or friend’s release from prison or a bill that would change law.  Then on May 1styou will be ready for CARES Call guest Colby Lenz, who will discuss gubernatorial pardons and commutations.

Stand up for kids. YOUR Reps in Sacramento need to hear from YOU. Take two minutes, and sign a letter in support of SB 1391!

Friday, April 13th, 2018

An important bill that seeks to overturn California’s law permitting 14- and 15-year-olds to be sent to adult court and face adult prison terms cleared a hurdle April 3 when it passed out of the Senate Public Safety Committee with five yes votes and one no. When it came time for those in the audience to express support, more than three-quarters of the room stood and lined up for the mic in a strong show of support for protecting youth from the harm of incarceration and being tried as adults.  During the hearing, Senator Bradford addressed the representatives of the several law enforcement associations that opposed the bill, “If this was your 14- or 15-year-old, what options would you want for them? And I guarantee you wouldn’t want them in an adult court, you wouldn’t want them in an adult prison, and I stake my life on that,” and announced his support for the bill.He went on to say, “…[A]gain, these are black and brown kids who are being suffered and being sent to prison like this… [T]hey belong in a juvenile court, not in an adult court, not in adult prison and… as Senator Lara stated, let’s talk about the trauma that has impacted many of these young folks who are on the wrong path.  What has happened in the home, what has happened in the community? …[S]tudies… have shown some kids from 12 to 14 have the same symptoms as individuals that have gone to war, because of the trauma and violence they see in their communities. To sit here and say they are ready to go to adult prison, I just find that absurd and I would strongly support this bill and I hope I can be added as a co-author to this measure as well, and only ask for more common-sense legislation as we move forward.”As common-sense as this bill seems, the law enforcement opposition means it will have a difficult time being passed if senators and assembly members do not hear from people. It will be heard next on April 23rd in the Appropriations Committee. This is the time to act, and to tell your Senator and Assembly Member that they must support this bill! Head over to the Take Action page to sign letters in support of SB 1391, it will take two minutes out of your day.Spread the word about SB 1391 and help us protect the lives of 14- and 15-year-old children.