More Than Our Crimes (link), a local group advocating for individuals convicted of violent crimes who deserve a second chance, has published a document titled Bring Control of Parole Back to D.C. The document is being submitted to the DC Council and the mayor as a petition from currently incarcerated DC residents. The petition argues that “control over the parole of District residents should be transferred to a body accountable to the people of D.C.” and not continue to be held by the U.S. Parole Commission, whose congressional authorization is scheduled to expire next year. A link to the petition is provided below.
The group tapped into its network of currently incarcerated DC residents to ask their opinion on the form local parole could/should take, citing the lack of consensus in the activist community. Network members so appreciated being asked their opinion–a rarity in their experience–that they began talking to others in their own prison and other institutions. The resulting petition, written to summarize their feedback, now has about 100 signatures.
They favor a local entity model, assuming such entity would include at least one returned citizen and operated according to a presumption of release. Note that not all of the signatories are or will be eligible for parole.
The survey was done by providing those contacted with a summary of arguments both in favor and against the two options currently being debated: (1) whether the function should given to the DC Superior Court or, (2) whether to create a new, District-controlled entity to provide the parole function.
More Than Our Crimes co-founder Pam Bailey, stated that “The resulting collaborative development of this petition (with only one person opting for the court model) represents a remarkable consensus and exercise of democracy among individuals who are typically discounted, yet are most personally aware and impacted.”
Or, Click Here to view it on the More Than Our Crimes website.