Ideas for notes to legislators

By | February 16, 2019

Answering your questions about what to say when you write to legislators. Most important, tell them clearly what you want them to do, something like, “I’m writing to ask you to support SB5819 (Post-Conviction Review)  in the executive session Thursday.” Below are some possible additions, but don’t hesitate to just write your own personal reasons. Those are always very strong. Doesn’t have to be long–2 or 3 sentences are fine.

  • It’s an irresponsible use of taxpayers’ money to keep people in prison when they no longer pose a threat to anyone–especially when our prisons are over capacity. It is also inhumane.
  • Aging prisoners cost four times as much to house and are highly unlikely to commit new crimes.
  • A post-conviction review system would create hope in a hopeless system and motivate prisoners to improve themselves.
  • The most racially disproportionate population of prisoners are those serving very long sentences, This bill would offer us a chance to finally correct that.
  • This bill does not “open the flood gates.” It is about review for everyone and carefully considered release for some. 
  • This bill provides careful consideration of who should be released based on at least 15 years of behavioral data and risk assessment. Right now, there is no review at all before a person is released.
  • There is nothing the legislature could do that would more dramatically change the culture inside our prisons from despair to hope, from apathy to achievement, than passing this bill.

Carol Estes
Prison Voice Washington
206-276-9128