‘Citizens for Criminal Justice’ to hold meeting Monday night

DOVER — Prison reform, re-entry into society after incarceration and other criminal justice-related issues are open for discussion at Monday night’s quarterly Citizens for Criminal Justice meeting.

Founder Ken Abraham, a Dover resident, said the Delaware-based nonprofit has about 150 active members in the First State, and 6,000 Facebook followers in every state and several countries.

Supporters say they continue to push for more treatment and support for those with drug addictions and mental health issues, people currently incarcerated for too long terms for most non-violent drug offenses due to current mandatory-minimum sentences, in their opinions.

“The criminal justice system treats addicts and the mentally ill as criminals, when they should be considered and treated as the health problems which they are,” Mr. Abraham said.

Mr. Abraham believes in the proposed Delaware Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation Act designed to send defendants to state service centers focused on rehabilitation instead of lockup; they would remain Department of

Correction probationary status, he said, with their progress monitored by the court.

The act is modeled after a 15-year California act, he said, and the Federal Second Chance Act; Delaware will save at least $100 million annually based on some cost and expenditure estimates.

The Delaware Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation Act fashioned by Dr. Floyd McDowell is now in need of legislative support, the Citizens for Criminal Justice said. More information is available online at deinformedvoters.org.

“We’re living in an age of mass incarceration,” Mr. Abraham said. “We’re interested in all problems and issues (regarding criminal justice), but unfortunately too many of the issues are leading to needless and wasteful incarceration.”

More information on the Citizens for Criminal Justice is available online at www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net.

“We need bold political leadership and common sense to correct the problems in the criminal justice system,” said Mr. Abraham, a former Delaware Deputy Attorney General.

“I remember when it worked well, and it can again. At a time when we have a budget shortfall, our criminal justice system is wasting tens of millions of dollars, right here in Delaware.”

Founded in September 2013, Citizens for Criminal Justice is currently conducting a nationwide letter to the editor campaign because “Everyone reads those, including policy and decision makers,” Mr. Abraham said.

The quarterly meeting will begin at 6:15 p.m. in the Luther Towers Building No. 1 activity room at 430 Kings Highway, following a board meeting. The gathering is expected to last about an hour, Mr. Abraham said.

Also on Monday night’s agenda is discussion of the third annual Rally to the Green to be held this fall near Legislative Hall, along with the second annual Christmas Party for Children of Parents in Reentry scheduled for Dec. 19.

For more information, contact Mr. Abraham at 423-4067 or kenabraham313@gmail.com, or Mary Trice at 270-6589 or mary.trice@us.af.mil.

 

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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