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Prisoner Letter Writing Day - Support Prisoner Literacy, Education & Rehab Act

The word is out! Prisoners across this nation are writing letters to
their Senators and Representatives in Washington, D.C. to be mailed
a few days prior to February 14 so that they will arrive on desks on
Valentine's Day.
Many of us regularly contact members of Congress to ask for their
support of the Literacy, Education, and Rehabilitation Act (LERA),
but we haven't been thereódone that. So, we have asked prisoners
to "tell it like it is" and write themselves to their two Senators
and Representatives. Of course, anyone is free to write, but we are
especially calling on prisoners to participate in our Prisoner
Letter Writing Day campaign.

February 14 will be St. Valentine's Day, the day for lovers. AND,
the day we would like our loved ones in prison to flood Washington,
D.C. with mail. We're not satisfied with just a couple of letters.
We are asking for a ton of paper. Each of the 174,000 federal
prisoners has two senators and a representative. If each prisoner
wrote three letters, that would make over a half a million letters
finding their way to the Senate and House office buildings.

Please help us help those 174,000 men and women. Please get the word
to your sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and
sisters, and friends who are incarcerated. Please urge them to write
their legislators. Please get them the addresses of their senators
and representatives. Please make sure they have stamps. Please help
us make a bunch of statements to the legislators

Sample letters have been written for them to use, not word for word,
but as a starting place in putting their own thoughts on paper.
Those letters are included at the end of this message. These sample
letters all mention LERA, but if you'd like to revise the samples
before you send them to your members, please feel free to do so. The
main objective of this letter campaign is to make a show of strong
and unity to the legislators in Washington, D.C.

Thank you very much.

Board of Directors
Federal Prison Policy Project



Sample letter # 1

Dear Senator:

You are invited to come to ___________________________ and tour our
facility and to chat with the prisoners here. You will learn things
are different from what you've been told. You will hear about
prisoners who have been refused medical assistance and so are not in
good health. You will see that we are so crammed into our housing
units that it is impossible for us to write letters, study, or read
without disturbing others. You will be able to look at the food that
is far from acceptable. You will notice that we are not living in
ClubFed, far from such a resort.

Senator, we've been hearing about a bill entitled the Literacy,
Education, and Rehabilitation Act. I sincerely hope that you are
supporting this proposed legislation. LERA will make it possible for
men and women who are deserving and responsible, and are prisoners
who are preparing to lead productive lives when they are released.

What I did was wrong. But, I am very sorry, not sorry that I was
caught, but sorry that I broke the law. I am not the same person now
as the one who entered this prison ______ months ago. I have
accumulated _____ credits and have a ______ GPA. I attend NA
meetings every week. I have a very good work record. I am anxious to
prove to my family and friends that they were right in supporting me
during this difficult time. I want to look my __________ in the eye
and say, "Thank you. I owe you so much. I will not let you down."

Thank you for taking the time to pay attention to what I am saying.

Sincerely,

.....................................................................
.....................................................................
.........

Sample letter #2

Dear Senator:

I am a prisoner at ___________________________________. I have been
here since __________________________________ when I was sentenced
to _____________ months in prison. This is the first time I've been
in trouble with the law. I am one of the 84% of the 174,000 federal
prisoners who are first time, non-violent offenders.

As a symbol of all those people who have stood by me during this
difficult time in my life, I have chosen to write to you on
Valentine's Day, because of their love for me and mine for them.

Mr. ________________, I was forced to leave ____ children behind
when I came here, and I am very afraid for them. I should be at home
with them, guiding them, and making sure that they don't get into
trouble and ending up in a place like this.

I am very sorry for the mistake I made. I was wrong, but now my
family has to suffer because of what I did. That's not right.

I am asking that you help get the Literacy, Education, and
Rehabilitation Act passed into law. LERA will increase good time for
those prisoners who are doing what they are supposed to do and who
is making progress with their vocational or college courses. When
LERA becomes a law, the number of prisoners will be reduced and so
that will take care of the overcrowded conditions, tax dollars will
be spent for other programs in our country, and we will be better
prepared when we leave prison.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Sincerely,

.....................................................................
.....................................................................
........

Sample letter #3

Dear Senator:

I anticipate that you will receive this letter on February 14. I
chose to send it for Valentine's Day as a symbol of my love for
those people who have stood by me during this difficult time. I hurt
them very much and I am truly sorry for the pain that I caused. When
I am released from prison, I intend to spend my life making up for
my mistakes. And so, I am asking you to help me do just that.

The Literacy, Education, and Rehabilitation Act needs your support
in its journey to becoming a law, a law that will increase good time
and thus enable me to begin doing what's right.

I hope you have taken the time to study LERA and know that it calls
for rewarding prisoners who are responsible and dependable and who
are advancing in their vocational/college course work. It is not a
blanket release for all prisoners but only increased good time for
those who qualify.

Many of our nation's prisoners are terribly overcrowded and the tax
dollars that it takes for those facilities to operate is a huge
amount; therefore, a secondary result of LERA will alleviate those
problems.

Senator, I don't think I need to remind you that your work on behalf
of the thousands and thousands of prisoners in our federal prisons
will be remembered and rewarded by your constituents. My family and
friends are residents of your state and join me in asking for your
support of LERA.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

.....................................................................
.....................................................................
........

Sample letter #4


Dear Senator:

It's Valentine's Day, a day when people tell one another that they
love each other. My family and friends have been showing me how much
they care about me since I came to prison. They write to me
frequently or send me magazines and card. They also send money for
me to use in the commissary or for the telephone. I really
appreciate all they have done for me. I don't know what I would do
without my family and my friends.

Senator, those people are doing even more. They are working to get
the Literacy, Education, and Rehabilitation Act passed. LERA will
increase the good time for federal prisoners who qualify because
they work hard and they are progressing with their vocational or
college courses.

I am writing to you to ask that you also support LERA. My family,
friends, and I would really appreciate it if you would sponsor the
proposed act.

Thank you.

Sincerely,


.....................................................................
.....................................................................
........

Sample letter #5

Dear Representative __________________________

A few years ago, I would never have guessed that I'd be a prisoner
in the _________________________________. I'd have called someone a
liar who said that I would ever be a convicted felon. I was never in
trouble with the law. And, then something happened. Something
happened? Something? I know what it was. It was I. I made a
terrible, terrible mistake. And, I'm sorry. I apologize to my family
and friends every time I see them. I messed up my life and their
lives. I'm the one who broke the law, but we're all in prison.
That's not right.

Mr. __________________________. I'm writing to you today,
Valentine's Day, to ask that you help me make up for the bad
decision I made. I'm asking that you support the Literacy,
Education, and Rehabilitation Act. LERA will help me right the
wrong. It will increase the good time for prisoners who are good
workers and who are making progress in their vocational or college
courses. It will get me home sooner to be with my family and friends
and so that I can pay back for what my family and friends have done
for me.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

.....................................................................
.....................................................................
........

Sample letter #6


Dear Representative __________________________

You have heard of the Literacy, Education, and Rehabilitation Act, I
hope. LERA will increase the good time for men and women in federal
prisons who are trustworthy, hardworking, and progressing in their
vocational/college classes.

If good time can be increased, there will be less overcrowding and
the money that is being spent on warehousing so many prisoners can
be spent on our problems in our country. It will also make it
possible for prisoners who have children at home to be reunited with
their families.

Mr. __________________________. I'm writing to you today,
Valentine's Day, to ask that you help me make up for the bad
decision I made. I'm asking that you support the Literacy,
Education, and Rehabilitation Act. LERA will help me right the
wrong. It will increase the good time for prisoners who are good
workers and who are making progress in their vocational or college
courses. It will get me home sooner to be with my family and friends
and so that I can pay back for what my family and friends have done
for me.

Thank you.

Sincerely,




"America is the land of the second chance -- and when the gates of
the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life." --
George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, 2004
Thank you, we appreciate your support of this letter writing
campaign. We also would appreciate your financial support. Donate
now using a debit or credit card. The prisoner you love will be
glad you did!