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Mary Diaz of Human Conflicts Org Demands More Pardons and Paroles, Part 3

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"Human Rights Demand" presents Mary Diaz and Human Conflicts Organization. Mary is a prisoner activist who advocates for paroles and pardons. Tell us your opinion by calling (347)857-3293, or you can listen by computer live or hear the archived tape 24/7. Diaz is affiliated with "Human Conflicts," and "LET MY PEOPLE GO" is the motto. Mary lives in Florida, which had over 5,200 inmates who were parole eligible in 2014 but released fewer than 25. Prison investors on Pardons and Paroles Boards may be a barrier to freedom for many rehabilitated inmates. 

Diaz said Alabama's Pardon and Parole Board has become a trendsetter for the rest of the country regarding releases. In Alabama during 2014, the Board considered 6,647 paroles, of which 2,237 were granted. The Board granted 657 pardons of 798 pardons heard and processed 522 voter rights restorations. That is real progress against mass incarceration. Some of the change may be credited to the Southern Poverty Law Center's lawsuit against the Alabama prison system.

Diaz makes a human rights demand: Either release eligible prisoners after they serve their minimum sentences, or show why their parole would risk community safety. Attention: 20 to life does NOT mean life. That sentence means offenders serve at least 20 years and then are released unless there is a good reason why not. Prison profits is NOT an acceptable reason to keep parole-eligible men and women incarcerated. Taxpayers simply cannot afford it, and most are not interested in having a rehabilitated, harmless, geiatric prison population just to enrich prison investors.

Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has, and it never will. ~Frederick Douglass

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