FORGOTTENMAJORITY.COM is petitioning Governor Rick Scott to take action to reinstate Parole in Florida for those who have demonstrated a change of heart, pose no threat to society and are not likely to reoffend. Florida has the third largest prison system in the country and any offender who committed a crime after October 1, 1983 is ineligible for parole. The exception includes those convicted of first degree murder and sexual battery. The sun set on those two exceptions in 1995. This accounts for a prison population in Florida that is bulging at the seams, exceeding 100,000 inmates and costing tax payers $2.3 billion annually. There are several dynamics at work here starting with the adoption of mandatory minimum sentencing which may force a judge to impose an extreme sentence that is not commensurate with the crime or the circumstances. On a higher note, providing rehabilitation to paroled offenders would reduce the financial headlock the Florida Department of Corrections holds around the necks of all Floridians. For offenders and their families, no hope of parole means no hope at all. Help us to help those who have served significant time and have shown themselves worthy of that second chance. Our goal is 50,000 signatures but we will meet with the Governor with whatever number of petitions we have already collected. Remember, we can’t do it without your help. Sign the petition, text it, tweet it, put it on your Facebook page and get everyone you know to do the same. You can send your name, address and email (if applicable) to a text-only phone at (904) 254-0582. We will present the on-line and hard copies of the petition to the Governor on August 7, 2012 and will continue to gather signatures until we reach our goal.
Please take a moment to go to search “Ask Your Florida Legislators to Reinstate Parole,” to send the formatted email to your Legislators. All that’s required is a click on the name of your Representative and Senator to tell them that you support the Reinstatement of Parole and to ask where they stand on this issue. If you desire, you may add a personal comment to the email. We must show our lawmakers that there are thousands of Floridians who are passionate about the Reinstatement of Parole, who will not be ignored and who expect their Legislators to take action now.
Information on appointment date and petition status will be posted to the calendar on this site.
Link to Petition: http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/floridaparole
Printable Hard Copy for Distribution: Petition hard copy 2
Feel free to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Petition to Reinstate Parole in Florida
1. Why should I sign the petition to Reinstate Parole in Florida?
a. In any Justice system, sentencing should be fair and befitting of the offense. In Florida, offenders are not rendered fair punishment for their crimes and are locked away for most of their lives for lesser crimes than murder or sexual battery.
b. Your signature supports the chance for those found eligible for parole to reunite with their families and live productive lives. Many inmates have already served several years of an unjust, indiscriminate sentence.
2. Will dangerous criminals be approved for parole?
a. Certainly Not! Inmates that pose a threat to public safety would not be approved for Parole. It is the responsibility of the Parole Commission to approve release for those who are not a threat to society and who are least likely to reoffend. After being released, Parolees can enroll in Re-entry Programs that will equip them with the tools necessary to rebuild their lives.
3. What can I do to help?
a. If you have a loved one in prison, get over your shame and guilt. Realize you’re not alone. There are over 100,000 families in Florida in the same boat. You’ve got to free yourself before you can participate effectively. Unlock your power!
b. Educate people. Most Floridians do not know that there is no Parole in this state. Explain that the process for ending Parole started in 1983 and was completed by 1995. Parole is often mistaken for probation. Click http://forgottenmajority.net/ and search ‘probation’ to clearly understand the differences.
c. Ask everyone you know to sign the petition via every social venue at their disposal; phone, my space, linkedin, blog it, tweet it, skype it. Post it to your facebook @ http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/floridaparole. Use forums, set up rallies, pass the word on the visit park.
d. Click petition slip handouts for a hand-sized, informational copy to distribute when you attend any major function, group activity, special event, luncheon, church service, runs, club meetings, etc.
e. Form small groups and canvass the neighborhood leaving flyers in doors, local stores, laundry rooms and on bulletin boards.
f. Contact someone involved with a prison ministry and ask them to get the word out to their administration and to the inmates they serve.
g. Utilize media to air public service announcements, write letters to the editor of your local newspaper regarding the movement to Reinstate Florida’s Parole.
h. If you reside in Florida, flood the Governor and Legislators with phone calls, emails and letters strongly voicing the Reinstatement of Parole.
i. Organize groups that will commit to calling in to talk radio shows and blog talk radio to express support of Parole in Florida.
4. Do I have to be a Florida resident to sign the petition?
a. No. We want America to know that inmates in Florida are in a pitiful state of hopelessness. We seek support from anyone and everyone everywhere who supports the pursuit of justice for all.
5. Can Florida inmates sign the petition?
a. Yes, they have the largest stake in this process and their involvement insures the participation and support of their family members and friends.
6. Do I have to be a registered voter to sign the Parole petition?
a. No. This petition is not purposed to place an amendment on the ballot. It is designed to show Florida’s Governor and the Legislature that citizens, taxpayers and voters want justice for their loved ones who are the Forgotten in Florida’s prisons with no hope of Parole.
7. Why would my computer only allow some of my friends to sign the petition?
a. The petition site allows up to 7 people to sign the petition from the same computer.
8. How can I sign if I don’t have access to a computer?
a. You can send a text-only message to (904) 254-0582 containing your name, location and phone. Your name will be added to a hard copy of the petition.
9. How can I get hard copies of the petition to hand out?
a. Go to Parole Petition to print copies of the petition.
10. How can I contact the petition author if I have anymore questions?
a. Send an email to email@example.com
Keep us informed of the creative ways you are using to get the word out so we can pass them on. We’ll give you Kudos on the site.