I think we all knew that our Texas prisons are not focused on rehabilitation. A year ago I thought prisons were about housing people who had commited crimes. Now, we are discovering that our prison system in Texas has become a huge money-maker for major corporations such as Halliburton. Our prisons are overcrowded and the response is to build more prisons. Of course, then the money can keep rolling in to syndicated corporations; money that is ours.
Statistically speaking, the huge number of prisoners in Texas cannot be accurate. There simply are not that many bad people. We are hearing on National Public Radio almost daily about The Innocence Project and the number of prisoners in Texas who are now being found innocent through DNA testing. That is just a small representation.
I just received a questionaire from my representative addressing building prisons in Mexico to house Texans. How about that! Prison camps in Texas are being exposed that have legal immigrants confined without access to legal representation. Including children.
This plague is destroying families just like mine and yours. This plague will continue unless you and I stop it.
Attached is a letter to Senator Whitmore and Representative Madden. Please take just a few minutes to send these letters.
House Committee on Corrections
Attn: Jerry A. Madden-Chairman
Austin, Texas 73763-2910
Senator John Whitmire
600 Travis, Suite 3400
Houston, Texas 77002
Re: Prison Over-Crowding and Legislature for 2007
Chairman Madden and Senator Whitmire:
As a tax-paying voter and citizen of the State of Texas, I wish to address each of you concerning
At the present time the Texas Department of Criminal Justice system is hopelessly Over-Crowded and understaffed, while simultaneously operating at or beyond the maximum Legal capacity permissible by Law. The 2007 session of the Texas Legislature has NO choice but to address this issue in the upcoming session.
Be it known that I do not want any new prison units built within the State of Texas. We cannot fully staff nor properly fund the ones already in existence. It is time that Texas adjusts their barbaric “throw away the key” attitude with viable Legislation.
I request that Legislation be passed which would reduce the parole eligibility requirements of all offenders serving under the ½ (50%) law from that of 50% minimum flat time before parole eligibility, to that of Serving ¼ (25%) before parole eligibility.
Legislation should be passed which provides for MANDATORY RELEASE for FIRST TIME OFFENDERS (ONLY) which meet their parole eligibility requirements with satisfactory disciplinary Records (which reflects an effort at rehabilitation).
All offenders, regardless of crime or sentencing Legislature, be given both “GOOD TIME” AND
“WORK TIME” to be calculated concurrent with their flat time served and credited toward both
eligibility status and discharge of sentence. (It is time that Texas come out of the “Dark Ages” and
provide some type of incentives for offenders to work and conduct themselves in a manner which
reflects their active effort at self-rehabilitation, (we punish them when they do bad, we should
REWARD them when they do good):
ALL above Legislation should be applied RETROACTIVELY to ALL qualified Offenders.
We, the voting citizens of the State of Texas, have spoken. We ask that our voices be both heard and applied by those whom we elect and pay their salaries. If we cannot get our wishes carried out by those currently in office, then I can assure you that this will be reflected at the upcoming elections.