A Call for Compassion #exonerees #wrongfullyconvicted | SocialAction2014 | Scoop.it
Since 1989, over 1,800 people have been released from prisons because they were found to be innocent. Together, these men and women spent more than 16,000 years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. The criminal justice system wrongfully sent them to prison, but what has society done for them upon release? Too little.Prison leaves people with deep emotional, mental, and physical scars. Readjusting to mainstream society requires people to overcome extraordinary economic, social, and psychological barriers. While difficult for anyone, the struggles of re-entry are intensified for those who were incarcerated for crimes they know they did not commit.Society has taken away years from the wrongly convicted, and while it is impossible to make them truly whole, we must ensure that they receive compassionate assistance to help restart their lives.Thirty-one states in the U.S. and some countries have laws that provide some form of compensation for exonerees. The amount of compensation varies greatly, with many being woefully inadequate. However, most places that do have compensation laws lack provisions for social services. Beyond monetary compensation, exonerees need basic immediate and long-term services to help them get their lives back on track, including health care, housing, job training, counseling, and education.They also deserve an apology—an official acknowledgement that one of the most egregious harms imaginable was done to them by their own government.Let’s work together to ensure that the wrongfully convicted receive the compassion they deserve, and right the wrongs of our past.  Show your support for improving compensation for the wrongfully convicted by signing the pledge below.In order to help people heal from the harms of wrongful conviction, we must be compassionate.  I pledge to stand by the men and women who have been wrongfully convicted, and demand that my community apologize to them and provide them with the compensation and services they need to help restore their lives.