To You Prisoners:
Submitting to OHFADS, I notice that there is an exception made regarding prisoners with life sentences. My fellow prisoners, we must not do that. We must have as our goal, relief for ALL prisoners, sentenced prior to July 1, 1996, or we leave a gap which can never be filled.
I personally know of prisoners serving life sentences (that is 15 years to life, and life) who were forced to serve 23 years, and 31 years of continuous confinement before the Adult Parole Authority released these men.
Lifers are no different from those serving 1-year or 50-years. So why do you attempt to treat them differently when we are all in the same boat? We must all pull together if relief is to be expected. Therefore, holding ourselves accountable in this struggle is essential to obtaining a remedy that fits every individual sentenced prior to July 1, 1996. If we consciously, or unconsciously, are holding even a minute prejudice against any prisoner, it will step up to haunt us somewhere, sometime, in the future.
How do we expect to make changes when anyone of us looks down our noses at a lifer, or any other convicted felon? Seriously, we must let respect flow outward to all prisoners situated behind these bars and fences, in halfway houses, and the like. Our best interests lie in S-O-L-I-D-A-R-I-T-Y. However, I don't advocate, nor stress, that you have to love or trust a single prisoner. Rather, we must stay strong. Allow no weak link.
I further caution that every step we take must be legal. Stay clear of ego trips. Nor can we be egocentric. Our mission calls for standards beyond reproach. YES! WE DO HAVE STANDARDS! We simply have not been using them.
I might also remind you that we now, fortunately, have access to the Internet. Use it wisely, because it is better than candid camera! EYES are upon us - millions of eyes. PROTECT that vehicle, because there you'll find many roads to travel. And, in some cases, doors will be opened. Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities! Show them REHABILITATION's pristine side, first, then. . . real CHARACTER! Above all - be HONEST.