Rabiah Burks, 202-822-6700
FAMM Launches #MyMailMatters Campaign in Pennsylvania
The criminal justice group is organizing families to fight for the rights of prisoners to receive real mail.
PHILADELPHIA – The national criminal justice reform group FAMM is fighting to ensure that prisoners in Pennsylvania are able to receive original, hand-written letters, photographs, and greeting cards from their loved ones. The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) instituted a policy earlier this year that prohibits people in prison from receiving this kind of mail. FAMM is hosting a statewide “Call-In Day” on December 18 to urge the DOC to change this policy.
“The scanning of letters and photos is happening all over the nation – that doesn’t make it right,” said FAMM President Kevin Ring. “We want the DOC to come up with a way so that all prisoners are not being punished for the actions of a few people who are receiving drugs through the mail.”
Mail is the cost-effective option for families to stay connected with their loved ones in prison. A 2015 report found that 34 percent of the families studied fell into debt to pay for phone calls and visitation.
“Preserving family and community connections through letters and photos is essential,” said Tanesha Williams, FAMM’s director of organizing & community building. “Over the holidays and beyond, we will be organizing families to tell the Department of Corrections and Gov. Wolf that #MyMailMatters.”
For nearly three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM’s focus on ending a one-size-fits-all punishment structure has led to reforms to sentencing and prison policies in 6 states and is paving the way to programs that support rehabilitation for the 94% of all prisoners who will return to our neighborhoods one day.
FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safeguard taxpayer dollars and keep our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM is helping transform America’s criminal justice system by uniting the voices of impacted families and individuals and elevating the issues all across the country.
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