Misplaced Priorities: The Full Petition

Misplaced Priorities: Sign Our Petition to Tell America’s Governors to Focus on Education, not Incarceration

America spends too much money sending people to prison, and not enough to make sure they never get there. The result of our misplaced priorities is that too many children, particularly in communities of color, are set on a path to a prison cell instead of a college classroom.

On April 7, the NAACP released Misplaced Priorities, a new report that explores how America overspends on incarceration at the expense of education, and outlines the specific reforms that our states can enact to reverse this trend.

Take Action Now

Join us in calling on our nation’s governors to reset our spending priorities. Your signature will show the strength of our resolve and open the door to real reform in all 50 states.

It is time to stand up together, and say that every child in every community deserves a strong education.

Please invest in our children’s future -- not in imprisoning them. You can set priorities straight in our state by enacting the following reforms:

  1. Eliminate Disparities in Drug Laws: support efforts to eliminate disparities in sentencing between crack and powder cocaine at the state and federal level.
  2. Reform Sentencing and Drug Policy Laws: eliminate all mandatory minimums for drug offenses that help fuel drug imprisonment.
  3. Establish Youth Violence Reduction Programs: support programs and policies which will develop a comprehensive plan for implementing evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies for at-risk youth for the purposes of preventing gang activity and criminal justice involvement.
  4. Create Diversions for Drug Involved Individuals: reform prosecutorial guidelines to divert more people to treatment who would otherwise have served a mandatory prison term.
  5. Shorten Prison Terms: send young offenders who would otherwise receive mandatory sentences to structured programs that help them earn their GED and shave time off their prison sentences.
  6. Increase Parole Release Rates: empower state parole boards to use evidence-based strategies when making decisions to parole prisoners which will improve parolees chances for success and increase parole approval rates.
  7. Increase Earned Time: create reforms that would allow prisoners to earn an earlier release by participating in educational and vocational programming, as well as treatment.
  8. Reduce Revocations of People Under Community Supervision: develop alternative to incarceration programs that will reduce the number of people sent to prison for technical violations.
  9. Reform Reentry and Expungement Laws: support legislation that will close criminal records of certain offenders after they have not recidivated within a certain number of years.
  10. Study the Problem: create a commission that will conduct a thorough evaluation of the state’s justice system and offer recommendations for reform in a range of areas, including sentencing policy, rates of incarceration, law enforcement, crime prevention, substance abuse and mental health treatment, corrections and reentry.
  11. Establish Reinvestment Commissions: create commissions charged to identify legislative and policy avenues to downsizing prison populations and shift savings from prison closures to education budgets.

We are asking America’s governors to make our children and their education a priority in all 50 states. Please make smart and safe reforms to your agenda. This is your chance to put our children on a track to success.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

Sign the Petition Now!