I first came across the Patrick Crusade (PC) website back in 1998. After joining the on-line group list, I discovered many caring, intelligent individuals with the same interest in human rights, specifically pertaining to our (in)justice system. I remember waiting impatiently for each new posting to arrive, since each one gave me food for thought. Over the months & years, those very same members of PC became like a part of my family! To this day, I've enjoyed the PC list above & beyond every other list I've ever been a member of. (Including my own:-) As an organization interested in furthering human rights, the PC has been a guiding force for many people unable to receive pertinent information otherwise. The PC has helped countless people all over the US with various issues related to human rights. There isn't any other organization I hold as dear to my heart as the PC & it's director, Sherry Swiney!
Heidi Jones, California
Owner, PRUP ( www.vip-cali.com)
I've been with the Patrick Crusade prison project since the late '90s. I came back then because they had so much information I needed, so many stories to open my eyes; and I stay now, not only because their information, stories and resources have gotten more valuable to my work, but because Project Director Sherry Swiney and the PC crew has always been there for me and so many others whenever I needed them.
Kay Lee, Florida
Owner, Making The Walls Transparent
The PATRICK Crusade is a dedicated human rights organization based in the United States. Many of the members are also members of other human rights organizations around the world making the PC part of a worldwide human rights information web. The PC focuses on prison reform issues where we see some of the most inhumane treatment in societies. It is not unusual for human rights activists to focus on prisons; prison inmates are a segment of society that is highly stigmatized. It is difficult to garner compassion for those folks who choose not to follow societal rules but it is especially difficult to garner human compassion when there is so much disinformation in society about prisons. The PC works to shatter that disinformation and make society aware that the prison industrial complex, in its current format, is not fulfilling the interests of public policy. Prisons are temporary societies within societies. Inhumane prison societies breed contempt, hatred, and crime; the vast majority of prison inmates will rejoin the larger society. Society should demand that prison administrators take advantage of the opportunity to rehabilitate errants during their prison sentences for the benefit of the larger society. In the meantime, the PC works to hold prison administrators and state and federal authority accountable for human rights violations taking place under their watch.
Candyce Hawk, Washington
Anyone who is involved in the fight for justice not only in Alabama, but on a national level as well has to be grateful for the work of the Patrick Crusade. We of Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty appreciate the Patrick Crusade for the support that it invariably gives us and for its strong voice that demands justice for all.
Esther Brown, Alabama
The P.A.T.R.I.C.K. Crusade is a creative name for a necessary web-site, and provides an outlet for those who have been illegally or unfairly convicted. With the Criminal Justice System not providing even the minimal degree of Justice, more and more people are being unjustly incarcerated, and abused while under the "protection" of the state. Education-- meaning the dissemination of information-- is the major way to correct individual miscarriages of justice as well as a global correction. This is a moral issue, as well as a legal and pragmatic one. The mutual assistance offered by those signed in is a first step toward a hopefully happy individual and collective outcome.
Glenn Larkin, M.D. forensic pathologist, North Carolina
You wanted an opinion on the Patrick Crusade? Well, that can be summed up in one word - DEDICATED. You're professional, and "crisp." Each and every member's viewpoint is respected - even if it's alternate to the main members viewpoints. I don't think that there's any member of the PATRICK CRUSADE that holds themselves as superior to any of the others - that's quite an achievement. It's a fast-moving, smoothly functioning, and informative group. And it does TAKE action, as opposed to just discussion and debate. You get things done - and you care about others as well as Patrick. Patrick Crusade is one of the best groups around when it comes down to ACTIVE Activism.
Debs Barton, UK
Patrick Crusade means a lot to me because, without it we wouldn't have been able to continue working on the Death Penalty and Human Rights in America when our previous Scottish group was over after some years of courageous fights and won cases. Thanks to PC we were able to start something quite new: a new web site, new contacts, new and numerous links, etc. We're a small group here in Europe and especially in France but thanks to Patrick Crusade's name we've been able to attract some European's interest to our cause and recognized as serious. The road is still long to arise but we don't lose hope. Our goal is not to embrace all of the DP cases but to work on specific ones and to win them: a small team has to be humble and to focus on some topics and to win them as far it's possible. It can be done with support and unity.
Veronique Bessonnet, France
Justice Watch Interntional
I would like to thank Sherry Swiney and the Patrick Crusade for all that you have done in my son Brian's case. I will be forever grateful. Brian is so very grateful as well. I will never forget how you taught me all about the computer as well as the injustice system. I do not know where we would be today without all of your efforts. And Patrick's as well. Thankfully Brian is home now and well on his way to becomming a Patrick Crusader :-). He wants to start speaking to youths about his journey through the unjust system and try to make them understand that life is too precious to be going in the wrong direction. He just came back from California, and decided that he wants to start talking to youth groups. I will always be proud to be a member of the Patrick Crusades. I am attaching a picture of our visit with Sherry. Cheryl Woods, Florida
I think the Patrick organization is responsible for opening the eyes of more people to prison reform than any group I have been a member. A lot of organizations are afraid to "rock the boat" and won't speak out of the injustices in our so called justice system, nor will they speak out on the abuse that men in prison are subjected to here in America. Most people are afraid to speak out in fear of retaliation, but the worse thing they can do is to be silent. Silent is not a word to describe the Patrick Organization; vocal, courageous, informative, generous, helpful........get the idea. God Bless Sherry Swiney for her never ceasing hard work and Patrick for his continued strength.
Pam Thrasher, Alabama
In 1997...it could have been a year earlier or later...I had just become acquainted with the Internet, having purchased WebTV. I quickly discovered mailing lists, so I did a search to see if there were lists where people discussed the problems unique to those having loved ones in prison. At the time, I was married to a woman (Andrea Mims) serving life for the killing of an abusive husband. The pain and stress one goes through living in that type of relationship is something that can never be understood by those who haven't been there.
On one list I did discover, I found Sherry Swiney (aka Taoss!), who was fighting to save the life of her husband, Patrick Swiney, for whom this site is in part named. Since none of the existing lists allowed for the types of discussion we wanted (most were for posting announcements), Sherry began an experiment in the founding of the Patrick Crusade list. With a lot of trial and error, a list, later to be followed by a web site was founded. The site continues to grow, and the movement itself has been noticed around the world in the ensuing years. And, although my efforts to free my wife were unsuccessful, and my marriage ended, I have never been able to turn my head away from the terrible injustices done in the name of keeping the public safe.
Best of all, we see signs from all over the country that the mentality that led to the prison-building boom of the 90's is losing public support, and many walls may soon come tumbling down. If you want to be truly on the cutting edge of societal evolution, this is the place to be...so dont Rush off!
Rick Jackson, Florida
Candyce Hawk - In Memory - Candyce Hawk, born January 27, 1953, passed away on May 22, 2010 after battling cancer and pneumonia. Candy was one of the first members and supporters of the Patrick Crusade and was a true friend. In the words of Dr. Glenn Larkin, "Candyce was an intellectual giant, and fully dedicated to the pursuit of justice. Her logic was impeccable and although she and I disagreed on tactics, it was always respectful and her responses logical and pragmatic. Her insight was universally accurate. Her loss is a personal blow, as well as for those in the Crusade. Sleep in peace, and let angels guard you in your rest, but keep giving em 'ell." Candyce passed away in her sleep but not before being able to say good bye to her beloved son, Zach. We love you Candy and we will miss you always. Thank you so much for all you contributed to the Patrick Crusade.
Patrick Swiney - In Memory - Patrick Swiney passed away on July 28, 2009 in the infirmary at Donaldson Prison in Bessemer, Alabama. His case of actual innocence prompted the creation and development of the P.A.T.R.I.C.K. Crusade, an international organization which is dedicated to human rights for everyone.
Ann Rose Pierce - In Memory - November 30, 2005 - Our good friend and staunch activist has passed away and we will all miss her so very much. Ann founded After Seventeen Years - also known as the Oregon Prison Information Page. Please click here for the obituary and Ann's life story.
Peter Benenson (Amnesty International Founder - February 25, 2005. He was 83 years old. Amnesty is known universally by its candle in barbed wire. Peter Benenson's mind was always fixed on what had not been accomplished and the countless victims still to be rescued. "The candle burns not for us," he declared, "but for all those whom we failed to rescue from prison, who were shot on the way to prison, who were tortured, who were kidnapped, who ‘disappeared’. That is what the candle is for."
Pam Gaston - In Memory - December 20, 2004 - Pam Gaston, a loved fighter against government slavery of the free people died between 4 & 8 AM Dec. 20th 2004. Pam was a long time leader in the fight for childrens rights against abuse by the corporate state and maintained the web site, A Voice For Children.
Maurice Carter - in memory - a man who brought love and healing to others, passed away on October 29, 2004. He shall forever be remembered for the special soul he was. Long may he live in the hearts of so many who were touched by his life.
Memorial For Merl Moncer - October, 2004 - Merl is a former Patrick Crusade member and dearly loved by many. He left the PC when he became ill. The fight to save his son disheartened him more than words can express. Merl is the father of Michael Moncer who is serving a 35 year prison sentence for being in possession of stolen car parts. To read Michael's story click here
Eugene Mallove -- In Memory - May 14, 2004 - Science writer Mallove slain in Norwich (Norwich Bulletin, Conn.; May 16, 2004). June 9, 1947 - May 14, 2004 - Standard bearer of the Cold Fusion torch, editor of Infinite Energy magazine. Taken from us.