Sunday, 29 December 2013

NYPD program offers last chance justice by monitoring teens





NewsHour Weekend takes a look at an NYPD program called the Juvenile Robbery Intervention Program. Its aim is to mentor and monitor teens who have been arrested for a robbery and keep them out of the system. The report's focus is on two New York City neighborhoods.

Friday, 20 December 2013

A Path For Hope: Ending Juvenile Life Without Parole | TakePart.com | Ta...





The passing of SB9 in California was an important step in ending extreme youth sentencing. A Path for Hope celebrates the coalition victory and the hope for change ahead.

Take Action: http://www.TakePart.com/snitch

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

"Kids for Cash" Official Movie Trailer


We are excited to share with you the newly released movie trailer for "Kids for Cash," featuring Juvenile Law Center's own Bob Schwartz and Marsha Levick. This critically acclaimed film will be premiering in theaters in February 2014.

The film chronicles the infamous Luzerne County, PA "kids-for-cash" case and is a powerful indictment of America's love affair with zero tolerance policies, our destructive school to prison pipeline and misuse of the juvenile justice system. The trailer provides the first public glimpse of the movie, which has been described as a gripping and emotional wake up call. We invite you to watch and share with your friends. To quote producer Robert May, "This is an eye-opening, must-see movie for anyone who has a kid, loves a kid or was a kid!"

Find out more about the Luzerne County "kids-for-cash" scandal at www.jlc.org.


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Saturday, 7 December 2013

Lets spread the love on this hoilday and send a christmas card to Cyntoia Brown & Davontae Sanford

 Lets spread the love on this hoilday and send a christmas card to Cyntoia Brown

You can send a christmas card Cyntoia Brown some xmas joy
#410593

28-L-2 Mark H Luttrell Correctional Center 6000 State Road Memphis, TN 38134…



Lets spread the love on this hoilday and send a christmas card to Davontae Sanford
send a christmas card to
Davontae Sanford-684070 Ionia Maxmium Correctionac. 1576 W. Bluewater
highway Ionia,mi 48846 U ARE GOING TO BE WITH YOUR FAMILY,HE CANT”

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Why are so many mentally ill children being held in prison cells?

The spike in psychiatric assessments of children taking place in custody, especially in the south-west, shows a systematic failure
Young inmate looking depressed in prison cell, Portland Young Offenders Institution, Dorset
'The home secretary has said police cells should only be used for psychiatric assessments in exceptional circumstances.' Photograph: Paul Doyle /Alamy
Jeremy Hunt is right to advocate the importance of work experience for politicians as well as managers in the NHS; the health secretary really should try a night in the cells. It would utterly convince him of the need to end the practice of using cells to detain mentally ill children and adults who are waiting for a psychiatric assessment.
Is it conceivable that a 13-year-old child with a suspected broken leg would be held in a police cell if there was no orthopaedic surgeon ready to assess them? Yet on 25 occasions since the start of this year that is, in effect, what has happened to children felt to have an acute mental disorder, in Devon and Cornwall. On three occasions those children were aged 12 or 13. Custody suites are scary places, especially at night and unacceptably so for an acutely distressed child.
It is not the fault of the police, who go to great lengths to try to arrange for psychiatric assessments to take place in an appropriate place of safety, after they have used their powers under section 136 of the Mental Health Act.
These powers allow them to detain a person in a public place, whom they believe may have a mental disorder posing a risk to themselves or others, in order to take them to a suitable place of safety for an assessment. The home secretary has made it clear that police cells should only be used in exceptional circumstances, and yet in Devon and Cornwall alone, 674 assessments have taken place in police custody and only 277 in medical or psychiatric settings since January.
Nationally, 22,000 people were subject to a section 136 last year. The vast majority did not go on to compulsory hospital admission, and it is clear that with better access to community mental health teams many of these assessments could be avoided in the first place. There are long-term implications for anyone who may have to declare that they have been subject to compulsory detention; despite all the efforts to reduce stigma, it is hardly a reference.
Once in custody, the lack of doctors, who must be approved under section 12 of the Mental Health Act, to carry out the further assessments which usually take place out of hours, causes further delays. These delays however are expensive for the police rather than the health service, so there is little financial incentive for the NHS to change their practices, even though it is clearly a distressing ordeal for the person under detention.
Too often health professionals are doing the "system's business", rather than what is right for patients when it comes to caring for those in the community with mental illness. Carers sometimes find it impossible to arrange assessments for family or friends, if a GP, for example, refuses to see someone unless they ask for help themselves (difficult if a person is paranoid and doesn't recognise that they are unwell). Specialists may refuse to assess without that GP referral, and so no assessment takes place until there is an acute crisis and the police are called.
If an individual does need to be admitted to hospital following a section 136 assessment, they then face delays through the lack of available beds. In the last month in Devon and Cornwall alone, four people were held in police custody for such long periods of time that a bed provisionally booked was no longer available once the ambulance arrived to transfer them. The Care Quality Commission has found that in over 50% of psychiatric wards there was 90% bed occupancy and in 15% of wards in excess of 100% occupancy. For children the situation is dire, with almost no provision for assessment in an appropriate medical setting, let alone in-patient beds.
Inadequate funding allocated to mental health services and a failure to provide timely support for this vulnerable group is also placing great strain on the police.
If "parity of esteem" for mental illness is to have any meaning, the secretary of state must insist that there is an immediate end to the use of police cells to assess people in acute distress. Many areas have already achieved it but if there are still 13-year-old children being assessed in police cells in 2014, parliament must act to make it illegal.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/28/mentally-ill-children-prison-cells-devon-cornwall 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The *Times* is on Line One: How to Transform a Media Crisis into Juvenil...





Uh-oh! Reporters are lighting up your phone, and you have a television crew in your lobby. You work every day on behalf of young people in trouble with the law, but now, everything's gone pear-shaped. What do you do?

Not to worry. In this webinar, two communications experts teach you how to plan for media crises and avert them if possible; how to handle them when they happen; and even how you can use them to help you make your case for juvenile justice reform.

Beyond Scared Straight: Teens in New Mexico Meet Real Inmates (S5, E1)




In this scene from the episode Albuquerque, NM: Dance, Bieber, Dance, Teens in Albuquerque, New Mexico meet real inmates and Elijah breaks down, crying.
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Beyond Scared Straight: A Female Inmate Intimidates Teens (S5, E1)




In this scene from the episode Albuquerque, NM: Dance, Bieber, Dance, Yvonne, a female inmate in Albuquerque, New Mexico, intimidates teens on a jail tour, taunting the boys with her fists.
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Saturday, 23 November 2013

15-Year-Old Gets Six Life Sentences?

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 1:27pm
At gunpoint, two 18-year-olds and a 15-year-old robbed a dozen other teenagers at a house party, taking money, phones, and marijuana. No shots were fired, but one of the 18-year-olds struck someone with the butt of his gun.
The crime is unquestionably serious. Witnessing a robbery can cause severe psychological trauma, especially for people younger than 18. For their offense, the two older boys accepted serious prison sentences of 10 and 13 years in exchange for pleading guilty.
But the younger boy, Travion Blount, declined to plead guilty and turned down the prosecution's offer of 18 years in prison. He went to trial, was found guilty, and received a mandatory 118 years in prison, without parole, for 24 firearm counts—each time Travion or his codefendants held a gun to one of the 12 people, the entire group committed two felonies with a firearm: armed robbery and abduction. On top of that, he received six life sentences. His only chance to exit prison alive is through geriatric release at age 60, which is almost never granted. He will most likely die behind bars.
Other than execution, sentencing someone to be behind bars until they die is our most severe punishment, one that we mostly reserve for people who commit the most egregious murders. In fact, many murderers serve much shorter sentences than Travion's: the average murder/non-negligible manslaughter sentence in the U.S. is 20 years in prison. Travion received the same sentence as the 17-year-old involved in the D.C. sniper killings. Should a 15-year-old who didn't physically injure anyone receive such an extreme sentence?
Certainly, what should happen to Travion is a difficult question. Yes, he is responsible for committing an offense that deserves serious punishment. But that does not mean he deserves whatever punishment he receives. We share responsibility for his fate. Sentencing laws do not simply appear on the books. Lawmakers, who represent us, put them there. And we are responsible for making sure these sentences are not needlessly cruel and wasteful. Do-the-crime-do-the-time platitudes don't absolve us of that responsibility.
Intuitively, we understand that punishments can be disproportionate. This is clear at extremes such as stoning women convicted of adultery, cutting off the hands of thieves, or executing people convicted of sorcery. Travion's punishment is certainly less barbaric than stoning, but it is still excessive. Life sentences should be reserved for the gravest offenses; Travion's crime, though terrible, is not among them. And what kind of system have we created when the only way to avoid such an extreme sentence is to waive our Constitutional right to trial?
We cannot simply ignore our extreme sentencing problem. The mandatory minimum sentences that applied in Travion's case are part of a larger picture: for the last four decades, this country has excessively and persistently ratcheted up the number of people behind bars and the length of the terms they're serving, needlessly ruining millions of lives and costing taxpayers billions. Our country's obsession with extreme sentencing has swept in too many people, and it's time to undo some of this damage.
Kids like Travion do not need to die behind bars. We can choose instead not to allow armed robbery to result in a life sentence if no physical injury occurs. We can choose instead not to allow 24 mandatory terms to stack consecutively if they occur in the course of overlapping events. We can choose instead to hold Travion accountable for the significant harms he has caused without treating him with the same severity as those guilty of the most heinous wrongs. We can, and we should.
You can read more about the case and see a step-by-step account of Travion's crime at the Virginian-Pilot's coverage.
For more on extreme sentencing, check out the ACLU's new report A Living Death: Life without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses.
Learn more about juvenile detention and other civil liberties issues: Sign up for breaking news alertsfollow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Beyond Scared Straight: Losing It Al l (S5, E7)


At-risk teens visiting Florida's Charlotte County Jail learn about the undignified loss of privacy and personal possessions once they end up in jail.
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Friday, 1 November 2013

Davontae Sanford



 
Let's Get Together And send some love and blesings Davontae Sanford way for his birthday,his info.Davontae Sanford-684070
Ionia Maxmium Correctional Fac
1576 W.Bluewater Highway
Ionia,Mi 48446
He cant have a birthday cake,his mother cant wake up and hug him and say'' Happy Birthday''He lost 6 Birthdays because of the corruption of DPD and Kim Worthy.Let's get them in the mail-Thankin Advanced-God Bless U-

What is Fair? Examining Sentencing for Youth


The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that adolescents are different than adults. It would seem to follow then that youth are treated as such under the law, including when they are involved in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Yet, issues persist. Kids sit in our prisons facing life without parole sentences for crimes they committed before they were 18. Kids are being tried as adults. Many youth move through these systems unrepresented by legal counsel and if placed in correctional facilities are not provided with the type of treatment and programming for their rehabilitation. This show will explore how states across the country are interpreting the Supreme Court decisions and highlight trends in policy and practice when it comes to fair sentencing, Guests will also share their thoughts on what a fair and effective system looks like that best serves youth and public from national, state and personal perspectives. Guests: Naoka Carey, Executive Director, Citizens for Juvenile Justice; Sharletta C. Evans, Founder, Red Cross Blue Shield Gang Prevention and Mother of Child Killed by Gun Violence; Jody Kent Lavy, Director and National Coordinator, The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth; and Xavier McElrath-Bey,

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Cyntoia Brown



Cyntoia Brown 16 year Old Victim Of Sex Trafficking Wrongfully Charged With 1st Degree Murder.
Sign The Petition · chn.ge/177hdcB

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Carrie Christie

Carrie Christie 
Carrie Christie's photo.
Jerry Brown OKs freedom for woman imprisoned at 16 for killing pimp
The case of former child prostitute Sara Kruzan, now 35, helped get law passed in California against locking up juveniles for life.
http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-ff-kruzan-20131027,0,4493017.story#axzz2isugd7HE

Tags 

Friday, 25 October 2013

Beyond Scared Straight: Undercover Deputy (S5, E2)


Hiding his identity, an undercover correctional officer at Queen Anne's County Detention Center in Maryland shows how everyday clothing can identify gang affiliation.
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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

"Cash for Kids": Firms Behind Juvenile Prison Bribes Reach $2.5 Million ...




http://www.democracynow.org - We turn to the latest news in the so-called kids-for-cash scandal in Pennsylvania, in which judges took money in exchange for sending juvenile offenders to for-profit youth jails. In 2011, former Luzerne County Judge, Mark Ciavarella, was convicted of accepting bribes for putting juveniles into detention centers operated by the companies PA Child Care and a sister company, Western Pennsylvania Child Care. Ciavarella and another judge, Michael Conahan, are said to have received $2.6 million for their efforts. Now the private, juvenile-detention companies at the heart of the Kids for Cash scandal in Pennsylvania have settled a civil lawsuit for $2.5 million. The state has also passed much-needed reforms aimed at improving its juvenile justice system and ensuring such abuses are not repeated. We are joined in Philadelphia by Marsha Levick, chief counsel of the Juvenile Law Center, which helped expose the corrupt judges and represented the families' class-action suit.

"Prisoners of Profit": Despite Widespread Juvenile Abuse, Private Juveni...





http://www.democracynow.org - We look at a major new investigation into how Youth Services International, a private prison company that runs juvenile detention centers, is rapidly expanding its services, despite a record of abuse and neglect over the past 25 years. Despite allegations that include the neglect and abuse of young prisoners and the bribing of public officials to win contracts, Youth Services International has expanded its contracts to operate juvenile prisons in several states. More than 40,000 boys and girls in 16 states have gone through his facilities in the past two decades. This comes as nearly 40 percent of all detained juveniles are now committed to private facilities, and in Florida, it is 100 percent. We are joined by Chris Kirkham, business reporter at The Huffington Post, where he has just published his new two-part investigative series, "Prisoners of Profit: Private Prison Empire Rises Despite Startling Record of Juvenile Abuse." Kirkham explains: "When oversight is not as strong as it can be, companies are only going to be incentivized to do what the government that's paying them makes them do. And so in these cases if the oversight is lacking, if there is not constant monitoring, I think there is an incentive to cut costs and services."

Sunday, 20 October 2013

The School to Prison Pipeline by Advancement Project


Harsh school policies and practices and an increased role of law enforcement in schools have combined to create a "schoolhouse-to-prison pipeline," in which out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, and school-based arrests are increasingly used to deal with student misbehavior, especially for minor incidents, and huge numbers of children and youth are pushed out of school and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. This is more than an education crisis; it is a racial justice crisis because the students pushed out through harsh discipline are disproportionately students of color. Students with disabilities and LGBTQ students are also disproportionately impacted by these ineffective policies.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

ForcesForSara Kruzan

FreedomFighters: Sign & Share! This petition is going to the Governor. Let Jerry Brown know that you support him freeing Sara!

http://www.change.org/petitions/governor-brown-please-free-human-trafficking-victim-sara-kruzan#

#ForcesForSara Tweet it too!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Beyond Scared Straight: Jailed Juvenile (S5, E3)



During the tour, teens are shocked to meet an inmate their age, who details the everyday tedium and terror of life behind bars in Oklahoma County, OK.
Watch More: http://www.aetv.com/beyond-scared-str...
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BeyondScaredS...
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Monday, 14 October 2013

Prosecution Is Not the Way to Save a 10-Year-Old Child

 
By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 3:54pm
When children under 12 engage in exploitative sexual behavior, it is often a result of abuse or exposure to sex acts that they themselves have experienced. These children need mental health treatment and family interventions, not probation and blacklists.
Why then is the U.S. government prosecuting a young boy in federal court for behavior he engaged in when he was just 10 years old? The child, one of the youngest defendants ever pursued by the U.S. Department of Justice, is accused of engaging in sex acts with other young boys on a U.S. Army base in Arizona. Clearly, there are several children here who have been greatly harmed. But involving the criminal justice system in this sad story is likely to do much more harm than good. This is prosecutorial overreach, plain and simple.
This young boy was found delinquent on charges of aggravated sexual abuse against five boys between the ages of 5 and 7. As a result of his conviction, the boy was sentenced to five years' probation, including mandatory psychological treatment. Additionally, he must register as a sex offender in certain states. This label will follow him for the rest of his life: when he struggles to find an apartment that meets sex offender residency requirements, when he has trouble finding a job because of his registration status, and when he is forced to wonder whether he will face ridicule from neighbors, friends, and colleagues who discover he's a registrant. As the ACLU has argued, sex offender registration laws do not prevent sexual victimization and in fact make it harder for law enforcement to focus its resources on the truly dangerous individuals – all while ostracizing registrants and diminishing the likelihood of their reintegration into society. While the mandatory psychological treatment could help this child, the progress he makes may well be undermined by the consequences of having to register as a sex offender.
We struggle to understand how anyone could think that probation, followed by sex offender registration, is the only way to protect other children and save this child. Are these federal prosecutors so fundamentally misguided that they actually believe their actions are promoting justice?
Apparently so. Bruce Ferg, the U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case, stated that he believed that "this is the best thing that could've happened to the kid." He has asked, "What can we do with this child to make sure this doesn't happen again?"
We're glad you asked, Mr. Ferg. Studies show that adolescent sex offenders are more responsive to treatment, and that the overall recidivism rate for adolescent sex offenders, especially those who offend against young children, is relatively low. The truth is that there is no evidence to suggest that the only way to stop a 10-year-old boy from committing crimes is to subject him to the federal criminal justice system as a pre-teen and sentence him to a lifetime of discrimination as a sex offender registrant. One of the goals of our criminal justice system is rehabilitation, and this goal is even more important when the defendant is a child. There are better ways to help this boy than placing him under correctional control.
Fortunately, this child's fate may not be sealed yet. The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is now reviewing his case, and the question on appeal is an important one. The statute under which he was charged bans sex acts with children under 12, but it does not specify how old the offender must be and provides no clear guidance regarding who is the victim and who is the offender when both parties are under the age of 12. The Ninth Circuit is evaluating whether this ambiguity makes the statute overly vague.
This case presents an opportunity for the Ninth Circuit to address fundamental problems underlying our treatment of juvenile sex offenders. Will we do what studies have shown works – treatment – or subject this middle school-age boy to a lifetime of unproductive correctional control? Given that child sex offenders are often victims themselves, treating them like victims, instead of like criminals, is the best way to help them recover and not offend again.
Learn more about juvenile justice and other civil liberty issues: Sign up for breaking news alertsfollow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

https://www.aclu.org/blog/criminal-law-reform-human-rights/prosecution-not-way-save-10-year-old-child 

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Sara Kruzan - Join Forces for her Freedom

#29. . . and the good news is that the California Governor officially has Sara's case! The full parole board signed off on her file, and it passed the legal review. It just needs a signature from JB!

Want to express your support of Sara's freedom to the Governor?
1.) Call Jerry: Phone: (916) 445-2841
Leave him a message! Ask whom your speaking with.

2.) Send Mail: Cards, postcards, handwritten letters
Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

3.) Fax It Up: Fax: (916) 558-3160

4.) Email: http://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php
Please email the Governor Of California.

Directions:
Click on this link to email Gov. Jerry Brown: http://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php
Check the, "Have a comment" box for purpose of communication
Choose the Subject: Parole - Governor’s Review
Check the box at bottom of page, if you would like a reply. Of course you do! (share your replies)
Check the "PRO" box...meaning you SUPPORT Sara.

WooHOO,
#ForcesForSara
www.facebook.com/forcesforsara


Friday, 11 October 2013

Cyntoia Brown life begins at 16

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLyenhWOwg8&feature=youtu.be
http://theobamacrat.com/2013/08/07/irishgreeneyes-bodysnatchers-cyntoia-brown-begins-a-life-sentence-

 Cyntoia's story is not unusual, According to the Juvenile Justice Foundation there are at least 2250 juveniles in the U.S. sentenced to life without parole for offenses committed when they were under 18 years of age. Cyntoia Brown of Nashville is but one of them ..


Tennessee State Attorney General, Department Of Justice: Give Cyntoia Brown A New Trial

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/tennessee-state-attorney-general-department-of-justice-give-cyntoia-brown-a-new-trial
at-age-16/

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Lawsuit Challenges Solitary Confinement of Youth With Disabillities





Children are locked in cells for 23 hours a day, given only 30 minutes twice a day outside of their cells, and denied an education. This may sound like a story from a maximum security prison, but it's happening today in Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall.

In this video parents talk about the problems at Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall. One student experienced a mental breakdown after solitary confinement. Another student has fallen farther behind in school because of solitary confinement.

Disability Rights Advocates, Public Counsel and Paul Hastings LLP have filed a federal lawsuit to restore the education and end the discrimination against hundreds of students held at Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall. Learn more at www.publiccounsel.org or www.dralegal.org

What Happened to My Son Should Never Happen Again

 
 
By Grace Bauer, Interim Executive Director, Justice for Families at 4:02pm
Imagine you have a 13-year-old son. And now imagine the worst that could happen to him. I'm a mother, and I've lived through it.
When my son Corey was 13, he was raped by another young prisoner. Cell guards stood by and watched, taking bets on which "kid would win." Corey lost the fight.
After something this horrific happens, kids should get support. Instead, Corey was placed in solitary confinement.
At the time, we actually felt relief when we heard he'd been placed in "protective custody," one of the many names juvenile facilities use for solitary confinement. In those early days we had no information on the damaging effects of solitary. We thought solitary would help to keep Corey safe from the rampant violence in the facility.
Instead, what we have seen since is that solitary hurt my son a great deal.
Once, Corey was an honor roll student who was well-liked by his teachers and peers. But after just a few short months in juvenile detention, he became fearful and anxious. The physical abuse left him with physical scars; but it is the emotional damage, caused by the extreme isolation and exposure to horrific violence at such a young age, that concerns me the most.
When he first came home, Corey was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and deep depression. He would strike out blindly in his waking moments out of fear of being assaulted. He cried out in his sleep and suffered from nightmares. Even our family's love and care could not erase the horror he experienced or heal his wounds.
After this first period behind bars, Corey has returned to juvenile facilities several other times. He has been locked alone in solitary in every facility he has ever been in, often for extended periods of time.
As a mother who witnessed the long-term impact of my son's time in solitary confinement, I know that children should never be locked alone. I feel deeply concerned that the federal Bureau of Prisons has refused to release any information about whether kids under its care are being subjected to solitary confinement for extended periods of time. There could be many more kids, suffering as my son did – we simply do not know. And if we do not know, we cannot help.
A couple months ago, my organization, Justice for Families, joined 40 other concerned groups and sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to ban solitary confinement for children in the custody of the federal government. Last month, Robert L. Listenbee, Administrator of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) responded to our request. In his letter, Listenbee said that DOJ knows that "isolation of children is dangerous and inconsistent with best practices and that excessive isolation can constitute cruel and unusual punishment" and that DOJ "intend[s] to examine the status of Department efforts in this area."
I couldn't agree more that the solitary confinement of children is dangerous, wrong and violates basic human and constitutional rights. And I applaud OJJDP for its commitment to look into the issue. But this should just be the first step. Here's what needs to come next:
  • The DOJ must tell the public about whether and how it uses solitary confinement on children.
  • It must ban the practice for children in federal custody.
  • It must use its power to encourage state and local facilities to do the same.
For my family, seeing the impact of solitary on my son has been devastating. Other families with kids behind bars in federal juvenile detention should have the guarantee that the U.S. government will never subject their children to solitary confinement.
TAKE ACTION: Tell Attorney General Eric Holder to ban the solitary confinement of youth in federal facilities.
Learn more about juvenile detention and other civil liberties issues: Sign up for breaking news alertsfollow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.
https://www.aclu.org/blog/criminal-law-reform-prisoners-rights/what-happened-my-son-should-never-happen-again 

Friday, 4 October 2013

"For Their Own Protection": Children in Long-Term Solitary Confinement


Go to http://reason.com/reasontv/2013/09/26... for links to resources mentioned below and more information and videos.

"Why lock somebody up while you're locked up? You're trying to kill their spirit even more," says Michael Kemp, describing his six-month stay in solitary confinement at age 17.

Solitary confinement was once a punishment reserved for the most-hardened, incorrigible criminals. Today, it is standard practice for tens of thousands of juveniles in prisons and jails across America. Far from being limited to the most violent offenders, solitary confinement is now used against perpetrators of minor crimes and children who are forced to await their trials in total isolation. Often, these stays are prolonged, lasting months or even years at a time.

Widely condemned as cruel and unusual punishment, long-term isolation for juveniles continues because it's effectively hidden from the public. Research efforts by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition have struggled to uncover even the most basic facts about how the United States punishes its most vulnerable inmates.

How can a practice be both widespread and hidden? State and federal governments have two effective ways to prevent the public from knowing how deep the problem goes.

The first has to do with the way prisons operate. Sealed off from most public scrutiny, and steeped in an insular culture of unaccountability, prisons are, by their very nature, excellent places to keep secrets. Even more concealed are the solitary-confinement cells, described by inmates as "prisons within prisons." With loose record-keeping and different standards used by different states, it's almost impossible to gather reliable nation-wide statistics.

The second method is to give the old, horrific punishment a new, unobjectionable name. Make the torture sound friendly, with fewer syllables and pleasant language. This way, even when abuse is discovered, it appears well-intentioned and humane.

So American prisons rarely punish children with prolonged solitary confinement. Instead, they administer seclusion and protective custody. Prison authorities don't have to admit that "administrative segregation" is used to discipline children. Just the opposite, actually. It's all being done "for their own protection."

Seclusion? Protecting children? Who could argue with that?

For starters, there is Juan Mendez, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture. Americans are accustomed to the U.N. investigating incidents of prisoner abuse in other countries -- which Mendez has done in faraway places like Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. But increasingly, his inquiries are focused on American prisons.

Mendez spoke publicly about Bradley Manning's deplorable treatment in solitary confinement. Now he is calling on the United States to ban isolation for minors, which he considers, "cruel, unusual, and degrading punishment." It's a recommendation he shares with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology.

The ACLU report, Growing Up Locked Down, is one of the few detailed, comprehensive examinations available. This devastating and detailed look at solitary confinement for minors has led to this online petition that will be presented to Attorney General Eric Holder in October 2013.

Because the prison system is so opaque, reform has been slow in coming. A congressional hearing on solitary confinement, chaired by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) last year, heard testimony from mental health experts, questioned the director of federal prisons, and brought a replica of a solitary confinement cell onto the Senate floor. In recent years, seven states -- Maine, Connecticut, West Virginia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Alaska -- have enacted laws to restrict the use of punitive isolation on young people. As awareness of the magnitude of the problem grows, more reforms are likely to follow.

If we believe that juveniles are inherently less responsible for their actions than adults - and more susceptible to rehabilitation - then it follows that their punishments should be less severe.

Given the severity of the punishment, prohibiting solitary confinement for young people is a first step. The greatest challenge remains demanding greater transparency from a prison system that wields total control over its most vulnerable inmates.

Runs about 13:15 minutes.

Produced, shot, and edited by Todd Krainin.

Still photography of juvenile inmates by Steve Liss. Incidental music by ERH at Freesound.

Go to http://reason.com/reasontv/2013/09/26... for links to resources mentoned above, downloadable versions, and more videos.

Subscribe to ReasonTV's YouTube Channel to receive notification when new material goes live.


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Cell 36 Palestinian children locked in solitary confinement in Israel





wo Palestinian teenagers talk about their experiences of being held in solitary confinement within Al Jalame prison, northern Israel

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Convicted hitman could help clear another man of murder






Convicted hitman could help clear another man of murder
Justice will prevail #FREEDAVONTAE
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Friday, 27 September 2013

Michigan appeals court allows hit man to testify in 2007 drug house killings


 picture from google
A convicted hit man will have the opportunity to testify and possibly clear a young man in a quadruple killing at a Detroit drug house under a Michigan Court of Appeals decision released Friday.
The court ruled that Vincent Smothers could give evidence in the case of Davontae Sanford, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder after the September 2007 shootings of five people in the house, all but one of whom died. Sanford, who has a learning disability and one eye, was 14 years old at the time.
"We're very excited that Davontae will continue to have the opportunity to show he is innocent," said Jonathan Sacks, deputy director of the State Appellate Defender Office, which is representing Sanford.
As police questioned neighbors, Sanford approached an officer and said he had information. After initially denying involvement, he said he and three other people fired into the house, went inside and stole drugs and money. His account was consistent with evidence investigators found but conflicted with some details, the appeals court opinion said. His attorneys contend Sanford cooperated because he wanted to please the police.
Related story: Court suggests it might allow hit man to testify in murder case appeal
Related story: Detroit man allegedly confesses to double life as a hit man
Sanford was charged with first-degree murder but pleaded guilty to four lesser counts during his trial before a judge.
Later, he learned that Smothers had been arrested on numerous murder-for-hire charges and had confessed to the killings in which Sanford had pleaded guilty.
The Wayne County judge rejected Sanford's effort to withdraw his plea or have Smothers testify.
In their ruling, a three-judge appeals panel made no finding about Sanford's guilt or innocence, or whether he should be able to rescind the plea. The judges also said the trial court didn't err by refusing to produce Smothers as a witness. But they said he should be allowed to testify if willing.
The appeals panel also ordered the trial judge to hear testimony from Smothers' attorney about what he told her regarding the shootings, if he waives his attorney-client privilege, and to consider whether experts should be allowed to testify about false confessions and police interrogation techniques. The defense also should be able to examine files dealing with Smothers' other killings and present any evidence helpful in this case, the panel said.
"The Court of Appeals decision does not allow the defendant to withdraw his guilty plea, but it does remand the case back for further proceedings," said Maria Miller, spokeswoman for the Wayne County prosecutor's office. "At this time we have 56 days to determine how we want to proceed with this matter."
http://www.freep.com/article/20130927/NEWS01/309270068/Michigan-appeals-court-allows-hit-man-to-testify-in-quadruple-killing?fb_action_ids=594103013964115&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_ref=artrectop&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map={%22594103013964115%22%3A638951182793152}&action_type_map={%22594103013964115%22%3A%22og.recommends%22}&action_ref_map={%22594103013964115%22%3A%22artrectop%22}

Thursday, 26 September 2013

"For Their Own Protection": Children in Long-Term Solitary Confinement




Go to http://reason.com/reasontv/2013/09/26... for links to resources mentioned below and more information and videos.

"Why lock somebody up while you're locked up? You're trying to kill their spirit even more," says Michael Kemp, describing his six-month stay in solitary confinement at age 17.

Solitary confinement was once a punishment reserved for the most-hardened, incorrigible criminals. Today, it is standard practice for tens of thousands of juveniles in prisons and jails across America. Far from being limited to the most violent offenders, solitary confinement is now used against perpetrators of minor crimes and children who are forced to await their trials in total isolation. Often, these stays are prolonged, lasting months or even years at a time.

Widely condemned as cruel and unusual punishment, long-term isolation for juveniles continues because it's effectively hidden from the public. Research efforts by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition have struggled to uncover even the most basic facts about how the United States punishes its most vulnerable inmates.

How can a practice be both widespread and hidden? State and federal governments have two effective ways to prevent the public from knowing how deep the problem goes.

The first has to do with the way prisons operate. Sealed off from most public scrutiny, and steeped in an insular culture of unaccountability, prisons are, by their very nature, excellent places to keep secrets. Even more concealed are the solitary-confinement cells, described by inmates as "prisons within prisons." With loose record-keeping and different standards used by different states, it's almost impossible to gather reliable nation-wide statistics.

The second method is to give the old, horrific punishment a new, unobjectionable name. Make the torture sound friendly, with fewer syllables and pleasant language. This way, even when abuse is discovered, it appears well-intentioned and humane.

So American prisons rarely punish children with prolonged solitary confinement. Instead, they administer seclusion and protective custody. Prison authorities don't have to admit that "administrative segregation" is used to discipline children. Just the opposite, actually. It's all being done "for their own protection."

Seclusion? Protecting children? Who could argue with that?

For starters, there is Juan Mendez, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture. Americans are accustomed to the U.N. investigating incidents of prisoner abuse in other countries -- which Mendez has done in faraway places like Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. But increasingly, his inquiries are focused on American prisons.

Mendez spoke publicly about Bradley Manning's deplorable treatment in solitary confinement. Now he is calling on the United States to ban isolation for minors, which he considers, "cruel, unusual, and degrading punishment." It's a recommendation he shares with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology.

The ACLU report, Growing Up Locked Down, is one of the few detailed, comprehensive examinations available. This devastating and detailed look at solitary confinement for minors has led to this online petition that will be presented to Attorney General Eric Holder in October 2013.

Because the prison system is so opaque, reform has been slow in coming. A congressional hearing on solitary confinement, chaired by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) last year, heard testimony from mental health experts, questioned the director of federal prisons, and brought a replica of a solitary confinement cell onto the Senate floor. In recent years, seven states -- Maine, Connecticut, West Virginia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Alaska -- have enacted laws to restrict the use of punitive isolation on young people. As awareness of the magnitude of the problem grows, more reforms are likely to follow.

If we believe that juveniles are inherently less responsible for their actions than adults - and more susceptible to rehabilitation - then it follows that their punishments should be less severe.

Given the severity of the punishment, prohibiting solitary confinement for young people is a first step. The greatest challenge remains demanding greater transparency from a prison system that wields total control over its most vulnerable inmates.

Runs about 13:15 minutes.

Produced, shot, and edited by Todd Krainin.

Still photography of juvenile inmates by Steve Liss. Incidental music by ERH at Freesound.

Go to http://reason.com/reasontv/2013/09/26... for links to resources mentoned above, downloadable versions, and more videos.
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Monday, 23 September 2013

Trailer for the documentary feature 15 TO LIFE Kenneth's Story




Website: http://www.15TOLIFEthefilm.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/15TOLIFEthefilm
Twitter: https://twitter.com/15TOLIFEthefilm

Kenneth Young committed armed robbery at 14. He's guilty. He's now facing life in prison. The United States is the only country in the world that sentences children to life without parole. For over a decade Kenneth believed he would die behind bars, until in 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled life sentences for children who haven't killed illegal. Of the more than 2,500 children sentenced to life, many are now eligible for release. Kenneth Young is living proof of a child's remarkable capacity for change. In a state that favors retribution over rehabilitation, we witness this young man's struggle for a second chance. 15 TO LIFE is a story of redemption that begs the question, how should we treat children in the justice system?

What were you like at 15?
 

 In this outtake from the film 15 TO LIFE Kenneth's Story, lawyers Paolo Annino and Corinne Koeppen prepare for Kenneth Young's resentencing with one of their key witnesses, psychologist Randy Otto. 15 TO LIFE Kenneth's Story - test screening reactions
Check out what students had to say after a recent test screening of 15 TO LIFE Kenneth's Story at Humber College in Toronto, Canada.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

RBG| School to Prison (A Press TV Clip)




RBG Communivcersity on "Stop the School-To-Prison Pipeline"
http://www.scribd.com/doc/99844052/RB...
Criminalizing the Classroom Report-NYCLU
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3Sb6...--

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Juvenile Justice: Community-Based Alternatives




All kids make mistakes; some get in trouble with the law. Instead of having a chance to learn from their actions, though, they're often sent to costly, dangerous facilities that make them more likely to commit new crimes.

What else can we do? Plenty. Many cost-effective program options, known as "community-based alternatives," have already been developed and tested that serve youth safely in the community instead of incarcerating them in jail-like facilities. Many alternatives have also been developed to divert youth from almost any point in the juvenile justice system.

Learn more at the Juvenile Justice Resource Hub: http://www.jjie.org/hub.
Youth Justice Leaders of Tomorrow - Institute Fellows 2012-2013
 The National Juvenile Justice Network's Youth Justice Leadership Institute (YJLI) is designed to help emerging leaders of color in the youth justice reform movement to develop and expand their skills as leaders and advocates. In this video, fellows from the 2012-2013 reflect on their experiences in the Institute and explain why they've dedicated themselves to youth justice system reform. Featuring: Jody Owens, Tanesha Ingram, Helen G├índara, Rashad Hawkins, Teresa King, Delores Moody, Carmen Perez, Madeyln Roman-Scott, Rudy Soto, Erika Stallworth, Diana Onley-Campbell, and Sarah Bryer. Video produced by Yenu Wodajo.

Freedom To Begin Gift Card Campaign!




Freedom to Begin!
Sara Kruzan’s Gift Card Campaign
*Brought to you by Sara’s “Official” Team*


Freedom Fighters, though she cannot go back and make a brand new start, Sara can still begin a new chapter of her life with our help and support!

And trust us, she is ready! Once released, Sara will leave over 19 years of a life of incarceration behind her. She will exit the Central California Women’s Facility with, literally, the clothes on her back. Let’s help pull her up and give her a chance for a fresh new beginning.

Forces for Sara believes that we should "lift as we climb." Help us lift Sara! 

We can all agree that, whatever personal belongings we had when we were 16 years old, wouldn't do much to help us in our lives today. Imagine having far less than that, at 35.  FreedomFighters, here is your chance to help Sara get a jump-start on her new life out here.  Here is your chance to give Sara a personal gift of love and support from you.

Introducing Team-Sara's Homecoming Gift Card Campaign:

We ask you to think about the things YOU would like to give Sara to welcome her home. Make your contribution in the form of a Gift Card of your choice and value. A gift that expresses what we all wish for Sara; a helping hand, and a way for her to finally experience the joy of being able to choose for herself.

There is so much that is needed.  We've started a small list of suggestions but hopefully Sara's Freedom Fighters will have some more great ideas to add to the list.


For Anything & Everything
-- Visa/ Mastercard Gift cards : 
http://usa.visa.com/personal/cards/prepaid/prepaid-card-online.html

--Target : target.com


Furniture
-- Ikea: ikea.com/us
To purchase an Ikea GiftCard, please call:
Americans : 1-800-434-IKEA , your credit card number, value, and IAMSJK address for shipping.
Foreigners : + 1-888-888-4532 and give them the same info as above



Make-up
--Sephora : sephora.com/giftcards
Foreigners call: +1 877-737-4672

-- MAC: maccosmetics.com
If outside the USA - cannot purchase :(

Entertainment
-- Ticketmaster: ticketmaster.com
-- Books (Amazon) amazon.com
-- SoCal Amusement Parks


Clothing
-- Macy’s: macys.com
If outside the USA - cannot purchase :(


Chilling
-- Starbucks: starbucks.com/cards


Freedom Fighters, please add to the list. Most companies will let you purchase Gift Cards online, so just as Sara's physical freedom has been obtained by supporters who have acted in total disregard for their physical distance, your helping hand can still reach her, no matter where you are.

Please include your email address when sending your gift. Sara’s team will send you a confirmation email that your donation made it and to thank you of course! All gifts and gift-givers information will be logged for Sara’s  perusal (so that she knows where to send the thank you note).


Please send your gifts from the heart to I am SJK’s mailing address:

 

 I am SJK ~ TeamSara
7918 El Cajon Blvd
Suite N-265
La Mesa, CA 91942
USA




If you have any questions or ideas of your own...please feel free to email Sara’s team at: forcesforsara@gmail with GIFT CARD CAMPAIGN as your subject line.


*This is an effort being made on Sara's behalf from her team. As her friends and part of her transitional support team, we would like to ensure her a happy, healthy transition back home and welcome you to join forces with us to make it happen.


United for Sara’s Freedom & Happiness,
~ Forces For Sara


I am SJK: www.IamSJK.org
FB: www.facebook.com/forcesforsara


Saturday, 14 September 2013

Juvenile Justice Reform





Reginald Dwayne Betts of the Campaign for Youth Justice discusses how studying brain development can help reform the juvenile justice system. Betts imparts his own experience on how difficult it is for juvenile offenders to re-enter society

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Protect the Innocent, Davonte Sanford




There seems to be some retaliation against Davonte we will keep you posted !


We call on people all over  who love Truth, Justice and equality To stand with Davonte Sanford We need to hold those accountable to protect the Innocent, Davonte Sanford


 make phone calls to the Governor of Michigan  
PHONE: (517) 373-3400
PHONE: (517) 335-7858 - Constituent Services
FAX:(517) 335-6863
Executive Office Staff List 
Governor Rick Snyder
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, Michigan 48909
Northern Michigan Office
234 West Baraga Avenue
Marquette, MI 49855
(906) 228-2850 Washington D.C. Office
444 N. Capitol Street, Northwest
Hall of the States, Suite 411
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 624-5840
Other Requests
Flag Honors
Flag Request FormGov. Rick Snyder announces the appointment of Jackson County Sheriff Daniel Heyns to the post of corrections director in Lansing.
Daniel Heyns, Director
Michigan Department of Corrections
206 E. Michigan Ave.
Grandview Plaza
PO Box 30003
Lansing, MI 48909


 
 updates 7/9/2013
The guards broke his TV,pour water in it and broke his knobs,pour water,babypower over his clothes

Monday, 2 September 2013

Unlocking Hope: Juvenile Life Without Parole Sentences in Michigan





Despite recent rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and Michigan courts declaring that sentencing children to mandatory life without parole is unconstitutional, 360 people still sit in Michigan prisons for crimes they committed when they were too young to drive, vote, or graduate high school.

The reason? Michigan's harsh, outdated laws need to be amended to allow judges to determine appropriate punishments on a case-by-case basis and to guarantee a fair opportunity for parole for young people serving these unforgiving sentences.

That's why we're urgently calling on legislators to push for reforms that will allow Michigan to join the global consensus that children cannot be held to the same standards of responsibility as adults.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Nancy Day via Change.org: "I Regret Our Verdict."


Click to visit the original post
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By Jueseppi B.
Tyra Patterson was 15 years old when she was handed a life sentence for robbery and murder. I know this because I was on the jury that convicted her. But I just found out about evidence that wasn’t presented at the trial -- and I believe it proves that Tyra is innocent.
I recently heard a recording of the 911 call that was placed the night of the crime and was shocked to discover that it was Tyra who called to help the victim.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Guilty Innocent





The Guilty Innocent is in Print at:
https://www.createspace.com/3917769
Get the eBook at: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/249542
or Amazon.com 

Torey Adamcik has never been in any kind of trouble
when he was arrested September 27, 2006 and
charged with first degree murder and conspiracy to
commit first degree murder along with another 16 year
old boy, Brian Lee Draper (Unbenounced to Torey,
Brian had a Long history of violence). Torey went
to trial on May 31, 2007 and was found guilty June 8,
2007 on both counts. Brian's was also found guilty on
both charges, on April 17, 2007. Both teens were
sentenced together August 21, 2007.
Torey has always denied that he had anything to
do with hurting Cassie and was unaware of Brian's
intentions. Torey was play acting on the video tape,
saying things that he knew Brian wanted to hear.
The 30 minuet tape was made in the two days before
Brian killed Torey's freind, Cassie. Torey was never
part of any conversation about hurting anyone, except
on this tape Brian made. Torey said he does not even
remember what all was said on it, he was just talking
and going along with Brian. Torey said that he was
tricked. Brian told Torey, lets take out the humorous
parts and leave only the dark stuff, then he told Torey
prior to restarting the videotape to "say scary stuff". Brian
tricked Torey, that is it, nothing more. Torey is innocent.
There is no physical evidence linking Torey to
the crime. Torey deserved a fair and unbiased trial,
and as we feared a life sentence was handed down on
August 21st by this judge. Torey didn't harm Cassie in
any way, he did not know Brian was capable of such
violence and rage, and he does not deserve to be in
prison let alone life without parole. He's already
spent over 2 years locked up in isolation in adult only
jails (he's allowed out of his cell for only 1-2 hrs
per day). This is cruel treatment of a 16 year old boy
who is innocent of the charges against him.


http://www.kpvi.com/Global/category.asp?C=97828&nav=menu546_2_5
Jury members admitted to seeing this key
evidence before Torey's trial. Torey was convicted
before he ever reached the courtroom. This videotape
is on the local news station website at:
http://www.myspace.com/wrongfulconviction
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=1080035825&ref=profile
http://triedasadults.org/

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Letters To Jerry: Last Campaign For Sara J. Kruzan's Freedom




FreedomFighters: This is it! The last campaign ever, one last push for the release of Sara J. Kruzan. 

Details: Please email the Governor Of California. The only rule is to be polite; you are a represenative of SJK. After your email, feel free to make phone calls, send postcards, handwritten letters, etc . . .

Directions:
  1. Click on this link to email Gov. Jerry Brown: http://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php
  2. Check the, "Have a comment" box for purpose of communication
  3. Choose the Subject: Parole - Governor’s Review
  4. Check the box at bottom of page, if you would like a reply. Of course you do! (share your replies)
  5. Check the "PRO" box...meaning you SUPPORT Sara. 
Please feel free to copy and paste the letter below. You can use it verbatim or as a template.


In Unity,
~ Forces For Sara 
P.S. Are you ready? Let's do this - one last time. 

_______________________________________________________________________

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160


To:  Office of Governor Edmund "Jerry" Brown Jr.

RE: Sara Jessimy Kruzan
CDC# W-59700
Grant Parole & Immediate Release

On June 12, 2013 the California Parole Board found Sara Jessimy Kruzan suitable for release. As a victim of human trafficking who has served her sentence of 19-years, Sara deserves to be freed right away. We, the people, ask you Governor Brown to approve the parole that was granted to Sara Kruzan.

Here is Sara in her own words: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR7mno6p9iQ

Sara Kruzan’s release from Central California Women’s Facility will be California’s gain. Sara has already helped thousands around the world.

I, [ insert your name here ], the below signed support Kruzan's transition to life as a free woman and request your signature to speed this process. Thank you in advance.

Respectfully,
[ insert your name here ]
Title, Organization, Affilations

[your contact information here]


Sara Kruzan’s campaign for freedom is supported by:

I am SJK (Sponsor)
Human Rights Watch
Dr. Phil
Jada Pinkett-Smith, Don’t Sell Bodies
Mira Sorvino
Demi Moore
Senator Leland Yee
Over 27,000 people on Change.org
And countless other organizations & individuals around the world

https://www.facebook.com/notes/sara-kruzan-join-forces-for-her-freedom/letters-to-jerry-last-campaign-for-sara-j-kruzans-freedom/532585266791007