Soros Foundation Funding Proposal Page 2
"My name is Rick Jackson, and having a wife in prison for life who I'm trying to free, I ran across Sherry Swiney on an internet mailing list about 18 months ago. Both she and I were new to the internet at the time, but both of us have quickly gotten up to speed on using the internet as a tool for getting our stories out.
I now manage both a site for my wife at http:www.freeandrea.org/ and The PATRICK Crusade web site at and promote both individual cases and the larger cause for justice and prison reform on both sites. We have been most effective in generating letters in support of parole hearings, and to bring attention to individual cases of abuse where the media is too shy to cover them.
We have accomplished much in the past year, but with adequate funding could do a thousand-fold more! Thank you for considering The PATRICK Crusade as a worthy cause!"
"There are a lot of good reasons to be a member of The PATRICK Crusade. It is the closest thing to family on the net, for one...Most of the members have a loved one in prison or have suffered a loss at the hands of the criminal INjustice system. We write letters on behalf of each other, sign petitions, discuss different aspects of the prison - industrial complex, and this is all good and even though my blood often boils, it is good to know that you are doing something as a group and perhaps making a difference, at least in yourself.
But the greatest benefit I have received is the constant sharing of information on subjects that are indirectly related to prison reform. It has allowed me to analyze the many issues that we as world citizens face today. We might not all have the same solutions, and our discussions will show that we have differences of opinion, but that never reduces our commitment; rather strengthens us as individuals. I can see a great future for The PATRICK Crusade and envision a magazine/newsletter, conferences, and probably a book or two. I am proud to be considered and accepted as a member."
John Hammar (John Hammar is now deceased. For more information on his tragic demise, see his memorial page.
"Please know that you have my endorsement 100% and that of my Association Pro-Inmates Rights, Inc."
Maria Joanna Pimentel
I found the Patrick Website by accident; the only accident in which I've gained a superior amount of help and information. The support that I've found in the writings of others who are experiencing the "prison life" on the outside of those razor wires is most helpful. Fifteen years ago who would have thought that our prison situation would be so out of hand that we'd need a "PATRICK Crusade." How sad for our country. We need more information to be given to the public regarding the prison situation and I see The PATRICK Crusade as an excellent medium.
Do not let this die!
Through The PATRICK Crusade, I have grown and progressed in many ways, which I can only describe as 'profound'. I have found hope, guidance, support, and understanding. My eyes and my mind have been opened to vital truths and realities to which I was previously blind. This organization is incredibly important to our society and in fact, our world. There are atrocities being committed and allowed to go on, under the guise of justice, and out of ignorance...as well as fear of the unknown. Through The PATRICK Crusade, and with God's help, positive and long-overdue changes can be made...as we join our voices to get the word out to those who do not know, and to affect change. Far too many people see the wrongs, and just sit back and hope things will get better. The PATRICK Crusade takes action to insure things will get better. In my personal life, as well as for the good of 'society', The PATRICK Crusade is vital...and I am honored and grateful to be one of them.
To Whom It May Concern:
I run an organization called Californians 2 Amend 3 Strikes, C.A.T.S. and was surfing the internet about two (2) years ago looking for organizations that were fighting the same injustices as we are here in California. I found The PATRICK Crusade and subscribed to it.
Since that time this organization has become "Family" to not only me but our members/prisoners here in California. This is one of the most dedicated organizations I have seen. When a member or anyone is in need of a support such as a letter or petition on behalf of the injustices going on in the world, PATRICK Crusade does not blink an eye, they respond in support.
Recently I requested letters to the Governor of California and the Senators in support of not only our 3 Strike law here, but my husband and they responded. This is a family of committed dedicated human beings. The people on this list are people who truly care for human beings and get involved and do not just say they will and don't. If we had more people such as those involved with PATRICK Crusade, it would be a far better world to say the least. I implore you to fund PATRICK Crusade as if anyone deserves funding it is The PATRICK Crusade List (Family).
Sunday April 4 1999
To Whom It May Concern:
The PATRICK Crusade is a diamond in the rough for me. My Son is in prison for dealing in stolen property. This property, he traded forhttp://members.tripod.com/~MerlM/index-7.html. I wondered all over the Internet looking for a home and my friend Candyce Hawk introduced me to The PATRICK Crusade. I cannot afford an Habeas Attorney for my Son but thanks to the PC, I have Candyce and another member, Roger Woods, doing the best job possible to help in the filing, possibly even better than a paid for attorney. In addition my health has been going downhill and I was hospitalized for a abdominal aortic aneurysm and subsequently a toe amputation. The overwhelming outpouring of letters, cards and telephone calls was outstanding and helped me maintain my sanity. I can request help from the PC group and everyone pitches in. Much more can and will be done with proper funding.
Merl Moncer (Merl Moncer is now deceased. His fight for justice for his son ruined his health. For more information, see his memorial page.) http://www.patrickcrusade.org/Merl_Moncer.html
I am Gale Ahrens with Just Cause for Legal Revolution who found out about The PATRICK Crusade through surfing the internet. I searched these sites because of myr own commitment to Legal Revolution. With the PATRICK Crusade, I soon discovered a membership chat and action list of kindred souls.
Each member of the PATRICK Crusade is or was a victim of judicial brutality, from the so-called Justice System in this country and what we refer to as the Injustice Cystem. Were a support group to help each other in times of crisis with this system. We are seeking funding to carry out a number of ideas and programs that address everything from nursing the tortured victims of judicial brutality to stopping acts of judicial brutality in progress to correcting present and past errors to rooting out and solving the systemic problems, such as impunity, in the judicial system that have allowed this brutality to flourish.
Our short term goal is to help fight for the release of wrongfully imprisoned citizens, especially Patrick Swiney, who is the reason for the existence of the organization and who is in great danger of dying in prison. Our long term goal as I see it is to dismantle the prison/industrial system spawned by the judiciary with its lawyer agents who also took over the legislative and executive branches of government. Together in an alliance, they bore the prison/industrial system, they fed it and continue today to feed and nurture it. And with what? Human sacrifice like some spooky god out of Aztec mythology. Millions of judicial agent authorities criminalize and swallow up citizens of this county at a rate of about one 100,000 every year, to the point we now have about 2 million prisoners, whom I call prisizens, and growing with no end in sight. If the agents of this machine have targeted you or someone you love as the latest sacrifice, too bad for you. "Evidence of innocence is irrelevant." Guilt or innocence isnt the point, prosecutors frame you when necessary while remaining immune to prosecution for committing any number of criminal abuses. We at The PATRICK Crusade want to put this judicial monster on a diet. But first, we want to purge it of its binge gorge. Then, we want to bind its jaw so that it cant get more of us. And hog-tie its thousands of arms and legs. Then well decide what to do with it. Summers coming. I suggest a barbeque.
I am a man from the Netherlands, a personal friend of Patrick Swiney, I see him as an older brother. Before I was on the Internet, we had the idea, we were raised with it, the USA is a free and brave country, well we know better now. I contact several US citizens, and what I hear from them and found out myself is let's say it nice insane, unbelievable and what we over here strongly oppose. With we I mean me, my wife, daughter and friends over here in the Netherlands and other European countries. And just because of the simple fact we in Europe know about fascism we feel it's our duty to fight this, we are indoctrinated every day with American propaganda via CNN, we read CNN as the Clinton News Network, soaps and other rubbish that's showing us what a great country the USA is. I might be a simple person, but I'm not born yesterday, everyone with a common sense can see the danger that's coming to us, not just in the USA but also to other countries, a good example is what's happening in Yugoslavia, the NATO is bombing a tiny country because they won't listen to Adolph Clinton, the Fuehrer of the so called free world. As you know they called Adolph Hitler the Fuehrer in Nazi Germany. In my opinion the NATO has no business over there, I don't say Mr. Milosovic is right, I just say there's no reason to bomb this country, it only creates a greater danger. In other words, how can we trust the USA with this example when it treats it's own citizens like garbage with justice for all who can afford it, well sorry to say but I don't trust the American system, it's a system we don't want over here and not over there in the USA. What we do want is a system that guarantees equal justice for all, not depending on someone's wallet, independent judges and a human treatment of prisoners, in fact basic rights for all, this can't be asked too much, am I wrong ? Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the people of the USA, why should I, what I do protest against is the way the US Government treats it's own and other people and is trying to intimidate the world. I suppose you understand why I support the PATRICK Crusade, Patrick Swiney is just one example of how the USA treats it's people, a shame and disgrace to all of us. If you might have any questions feel free to contact me via email@example.com.
Fred Kolkman Ede
I have come to know the members of The PATRICK Crusade as a group of individuals committed to the service of justice. The sincerity of their words and actions is unquestionable. We as a nation have failed to protect our fellowman from the injustices born out of ignorance and indifference. The PATRICK Crusade stands as a beacon in the darkness shedding light on the hopeless; this same light serves to expose those who would gain from the unjust plight of those wrongfully prosecuted. It is my pleasure to be associated with those who so selflessly put the lives of others before their own. This country and this planet so desperately need the work of those that serve the good in all of our souls.
Mrs. Becky Pardue
I was looking for support and a group that wanted to change the prison system. No one knows or cares about the abuse of prisoners and their families, that is until you become a prisoner. You don't have to be the one behind the razor wire to suffer you only have to love someone behind the wires. I came across the PATRICK Crusade Group - a group that desires to change the system through educating the public, while searching the internet. I subscribed to the group and although I don't contribute much, this group is dedicated to expose and change the injustice suffered. The trials and tribulations many have suffered are so wrong and we all pay for this type of abuse, some more than others. I support the struggle and dedication in this group. If anyone needs help you know you can count on this group. They are trying to save lives and make wrongs right.
My name is Anne Rose-Pierce. I am the Chairperson of ...after seventeen years... an organization dedicated to humanizing corrections everywhere. I have been a member of the P.A.T.R.I.C.K. Crusade for about 8 months. I belonged to another on-line list, and began reading some of the posts from P.A.T.R.I.C.K. members that were forwarded to our list. I was impressed by their content, and decided to join myself. I find their posts to be insightful, newsworthy, and supportive. This is a tight knit group of people who all believe in promoting justice globally, and individually. The members seem to be active in their separate pursuits, but have time to write letters in support of each other when it is called for. I expect to see this unique group of people continue to grow both in numbers and stature as time goes by.
The PATRICK Crusade is not only about Patrick. It is about what is happening in our country today. Cases are passing hand after hand without ever even being reviewed, without ALL the facts being considered by higher courts, and others with those powers in their hands. All this is going on while lives rot in the hell of a lonely and filthy prison cell. Meanwhile, their families are going crazy trying to help them to endure the brutality and madness of a prison system totally out of control. The PATRICK Crusade is headed by Patrick Swiney's wife, out here in the free world, while Patrick sits in a dark, cramped and filthy corner of the prison. Hearts apart - Minds as one - Both working in unison for one thing - Freedom. Patrick has suffered long enough - the time has come to allow Patrick to be justly freed by the justice system that has held the keys to his and his loving wife's lives long enough. I can only pray that Patrick is freed soon.
Siempre En Paz - Always In Peace
BAJITO ONDA: EDUCATION NOT INCARCERATION
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing this in support of the PATRICK Crusade. I joined this organization in August 1998 after having discovered it while surfing on the Internet. I have been active in prisoner and prison related issues for some time but felt rather at a loss as I had not found a group which shared my same goals. In PATRICK Crusade I have found a wonderful group of caring people who work together as a united group to achieve changes in a system gone crazy. If changes are ever to be made in this system I believe PATRICK Crusade will be at the forefront. I have seen them work on cases of individual members as well as work on cases that are of national and international prominence. They are not limited in their willingness to work against Injustice. In conclusion I hope that you will consider funding for this very worthwhile organization. Thank you for your consideration.
LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT PATRICK CRUSADE
June 11, 1999
To Whom It May Concern:
Approximately two years ago, I was granted the honor of meeting Mrs. Sherry Swiney and her husband Patrick who is incarcerated in Alabama. We met while I was working for the National Police Defense Foundation as a pro-bono investigator and paralegal. During my involvement with NPDF I learned about something that most people do not: what happens in the criminal justice system post conviction. What I learned appalled me in many ways.
Up until the time that I met the Swineys', I felt very differently about the judicial system, trial courts, inmates, prisons, etc. I had been angry because I felt that prisoners lived as though they were at Club Med vs. a prison. I felt they had too many rights, too many privileges and were living comfortably off of my tax dollars. I had thought that the recidivism rate was so high because former inmates wanted to return to this "Club Med". Although I did not have pro or anti death penalty convictions, because I judged it on a case-by-case basis, I was sick of seeing inmates sit on Death Row for many years, all the while my tax dollars paying for their appeals.
Of course I figured that there must be a few innocent men or women in prison, I did not think that the number was very high. These are just some of the initial feelings I had....and they were to change drastically as I learned, and saw first hand that the system does not always work. Laws currently in place are left with far too much discretion. While one person may get a sentence of probation for a crime, another person with the same conviction may get life in prison. I saw and learned that the 'good old boy network' was not a figment of imagination and that it was alive and well. I learned that prisons are not focusing on reform or stopping recidivism. They are, instead, treating prisoners as cattle....and sometimes worse. I learned that these men and women, incarcerated in our penal system today...many who are going to be paroled & living among us....are being abused in such a way that they have no chance at reform and worse, no chance at living a life as a productive human being.
Of course I realize that the correctional system houses some men and women who should never and will never be allowed outside those walls again. I am, above all, a realist. This fact was not lost on me. However, I also feel strongly that incarcerated individuals should be treated as human beings. I feel that they do have rights and should be treated, not with sympathy, but with empathy. Inmates deserve medical & psychological treatment; food; shelter; protection; to be free of abuse from their caretakers while incarcerated; and fair access to the justice system. These are just some of the things that I have strong convictions about and there are many other issues as well.
I began working with various inmates, doing legal research, going to seminars and taking more college courses. I was determined to learn more about this system we call Justice and I was also determined to do something about the things that needed changing. I realized that the justice system affects each and every one of us, regardless of whether or not we or a loved one has ever been incarcerated. Therefore, as a wife, mother, legal professional and most importantly, as a human being, I joined the Swineys', and the Patrick Crusade, in their crusade for reform of the correctional system.
The Patrick Crusade is an organization that deals with reality, truth and fairness. To me that is the most important and wonderful characteristic of the organization. The Patrick Crusade is not a group of people who believe that all inmates should be set free, that the system always fails, or otherwise extreme in any way. The Patrick Crusade is a group that realizes there are individuals who have done wrong and are rightfully incarcerated; that there are people who have had fair trials and are doing their time for a good reason. Yet, they are also a group that believes that WHILE these inmates are doing their time, they are entitled to certain rights, privileges and humanity as we all are. The Patrick Crusade is a group that realizes, as well, that there are individuals who did not get a fair trial and works towards righting the wrong that was done. In other words, they have attained a happy medium based on reality and fairness. All qualities that are necessary to keep the organization alive, well, professional, and productive
The members of the Patrick Crusade are another plus. They are a tight knit, hard working, very smart and talented group of dedicated individuals. They are fair and honest. They are empathetic and kind. They are working towards a common goal, together, for the betterment of humanity. The members come from all walks of life and socioeconomic backgrounds. There are those, like me, who do not have loved ones in prison; there are former inmates; families and friends who have lost loved ones (by death) while incarcerated and of course there are those who are connected to an incarcerated individual in some way. The organization is a wonderful melting pot of individuals who can and will make some changes that will benefit United States Citizens.
The Patrick Crusade has come so far in its short history already and I know it will go further still. We are all working on various tasks and projects that will go far in making the needed changes. Those changes will not come over night, or in one month, or one year. The changes that are needed will be made in time and with hard work. I feel confident that the Patrick Crusade and its members are more than up to that task and will be successful in their endeavor. I wholeheartedly support them and am proud to work with and among them.
Marla K. Mazoch
Endorsement by CERJ - Campaign for Equity-Restorative Justice
From: John V. Wilmerding <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Monday, June 07, 1999 2:43 PM
Addressed to PATRICKCRUSADE, and sent to the PATRICKCRUSADE and CERJ lists:
Dear fellow 'Crusaders' ...
Regarding Anne-Rose's comments on Lil Wildflower's post, I want to be the first person to bow to PATRICK Crusade's achievements in setting up this list and working to build up a movement based upon the purpose of this noble organization. I especially want to draw attention to Sherry Swiney's extraordinary leadership qualities -- and to those of so many of you, including Anne-Rose and Lil Wildflower and so many others, all of whom have discerned their true callings and built organizations around them.
Each of us has our own calling or true vocation (I believe these are given to us by G-d) and hold part of the solutions to our own problems. Because of the ways each of us suffer, we derive our own unique individual approaches to the larger problems. We each are able to give based upon our own personal gifts and limitations. And the noblest task of maturity is the discernment of one's true calling.
This is true for organizations as well as individuals -- each one has its own mission (meaning: work). The best 'mission statements' describe -- at least in general terms -- what people do as part of their organizations' work. Over time, CERJ has scaled back its initial hopes and expectations about what we might be able to do initially -- we now concentrate upon coalition-building and maintaining the CERJ list, which is now over 700 subscribers and is targetable by jurisdiction (state, country, etc.). Rather than trying to be all things to all people, we are trying to do a few things well.
CERJ is dedicated to a coalition perspective -- we have no other reason for existing. CERJ -- like PATRICK -- is based upon the premise that all organizations that are struggling AGAINST something (and we know we are!) have to propose something positive in the place of what we are struggling against. Human beings have an innate propensity for violence, and our Divine calling (or whatever you want to call it if you are not spiritually-minded) is to advance ourselves as a species to the point where we no longer harm others -- or the Earth -- where we realize that we have charted and successfully followed a course toward our own humanity, and that this means something intrinsically *good*.
By and large, punishment-justice today is a problem found most in the English-speaking nations. In our own particular cultural tradition, it dates from the Norman Conquest in 1066, when justice became the "King's Justice" and people were found "guilty" meaning they were "gilten" -- able to pay fines to the Norman Kings' treasuries -- thus state-driven criminal law as we now know it was instituted solely to pay the Norman Kings' occupation armies. Punishment-justice, or state-driven justice, remains a tool of conquest and domination to this day, and today it has risen to the level of a holocaust against peoples of color, the disadvantaged, and (as with Patrick Swiney and myself) anyone who disagrees with the system.
Many other cultures have Restorative Justice (and words for it) built into their cultures and languages, but in our culture, we have to overcome a grave aberration -- the fact that 'justice' to most people no longer embodies mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and victims' recovery. CERJ has taken as its task the re-positioning of justice itself in the marketplace of ideas. Most cultures, from the Chamorro people of Guam to the Germans to the indigenous Africans to the Navajo, have words for justice that mean "building the good", "making things better", etc. -- all centering around goodness as a virtue, and kindness, consideration, and consensus as qualities and practices leading to the greater good -- the well-being of the community.
I offer the Campaign for Equity-Restorative Justice to The PATRICK Crusade as a tool for reaching our common goals -- as a rubric or matrix for coalition- building -- as the creation of a highly-skilled organizer that is designed explicitly to benefit other organizations, rather than itself. We are also known as the Coalition for Equity-Restorative Justice -- this is in our By-Laws. We have limitations like any other organization, but our strength is in the firmness of our vision for coalition-building, and in the linking of the *negative* messages and awarenesses that we must be building to the *positive* ones that will keep people from the natural reaction of reeling back into denial and avoidance when they think or feel like there are no *solutions*.
The PATRICK Crusade has persevered and prospered based upon the genius and defiant determination of Sherry Swiney (Taoss), our founder. Sherry also serves as the CERJ Coordinator for Alabama, and I am sure she knows as well as anyone that this is a field (and CERJ is an organization) that is wide-open to anyone willing to commit to the larger goal of coalition-building around positive public policy objectives. CERJ is an international non-governmental organization -- in the next year we will hopefully be founding and establishing a National organizational effort in the Washington, DC area -- the leadership there will emerge as it is meant to -- by the coalition's organic and synergistic processes. I will not be the National Coordinator.
CERJ's main limitation is our inability at the current time (basically because of list bandwidth considerations) to respond to most individual case needs and priorities. Even in life-or-death situations, CERJ sometimes has to bear in mind that great numbers of people on our list join hoping to get information on Restorative Justice and learn about the methods, and experience has told us that these people quit in droves when we start publicizing lots of individual cases. So we publicize cases when they have a 'class-action' aspect to them or occasionally as examples of conditions affecting great numbers of people. And we occasionally make exceptions as well for the loved ones of CERJ activists, because this helps build our determination and spirit as an organization. But intervention in individual cases must remain a side focus for CERJ, and a small percentage of our list traffic -- it can never become our mainstay, because of the 'poster child' syndrome where individuals can become over-identified with movements and needs that they exemplify, with the movements (everyone else with similar needs) suffering as a result.
We can be forgiven for falling in love with one another in this movement, though -- I love you all. And I believe that once someone sees the truth of what we are talking about and giving our lives for, they can never turn away -- for anyone with a heart and a conscience, the quest for justice is fated to become as dear to them as life itself. Affluence, the trappings of success, the approval of one's family, the appearance of 'normalcy' in one's life -- all these things gradually fall away as people become aware of your radical calling to change society. We must support one another, as we are in a quest for survival, not only our survival, but the survival of humanity's humanity itself. Nothing less will do -- without our humanity, life is simply not worth living.
John Wilmerding, Gen'l Secretary | E-Mail: <email@example.com> Web: http://www.cerj.org
*CERJ* International Secretariat | ICQ: "CERJ" at 18723495
We are the prisoners of the prisoners we have taken - J. Clegg
You must *be* the change you wish to see in the world - Gandhi
Achievements Made Without Funding
The PATRICK Crusade has accomplished quite a lot with no money [see case summaries below]. In addition our membership was represented at "The Prison to Community Initiative" sponsored by The Institute for World Spirituality, held April 29 to May 1, 1999. Our graphics specialist has created a color brochure [see sample in the appendix of this proposal] which will be distributed at this conference. In addition, PATRICK Crusade has its own domain, website master and e-mail list mistress. We utilize the latest technologies available to help bring forth the accomplishment of our goals for justice in America.
We routinely assist with letter campaigns and petitions on numerous cases, many of our articles have been published in local newspapers, and one of our members is preparing for an interview with 60 Minutes to discuss the 3 Strikes Law in California. We are happy that we have made an actual difference in many lives.
But we need a financial boost. Just imagine what we could accomplish with first year startup and implementation funding! Our members currently work regular full-time jobs, dedicating their off-work hours to the fight against injustice. Thus, we all experience a sense of frustration because there are so many injustices and so little time and money to devote to ending the atrocities against American people. Obviously, our government is loath to listen to us because we do not have sufficient clout to be adequately heard. But, with the funding we need, that will change dramatically. Our members who have indicated a willingness to work on The PATRICK Crusade staff on a full-time basis, are professionals from varying disciplines and fully qualified for this cause. Their professional skills are listed in this proposal. And they already have "applied" experience - using their skills and work ethics - toward promoting restorative justice in America.
"Hi All You Wonderful Patrick People!
I had a letter from Floyd today and it seems that on Friday they gave him his bus ticket out of High Desert. He should have left today so tomorrow I will start the phone calls to track him down. He is supposed to be going to Pelican Bay but sometimes they divert them to Corcoran or Folsum first for a week or more. So we shall see. But he told me to thank you all so very much for all your support. He knows as well as I do that it was all the letters and positive energy coming from all of you that made them decide they better
Get him out of there. Thank you all so very much from the bottom of my heart."
Linda [PATRICK Crusade Member]
"While The PATRICK Crusade by its titles implies a narrow agenda, nothing can be farther from the truth. Their arms of concern spread from one corner of this country to the next. In my personal experience I have received an outpouring of support and understanding when I felt completely alone in my battle against such powerful odds. The strength and good in their works can not be understood until it touches you personally. I have been touched and empowered by my friends of The PATRICK Crusade. I thank God for them." Mrs. Becky Pardue, husband Michael incarcerated 25 years, 11 months for crimes he did not commit.
These are but a few cases with which we deal. They are presented here to represent the work we do for the good of all. Each and every case of injustice and abuse is important to The PATRICK Crusade members. Members work tirelessly to fight for the God-given and Constitutionally protected rights of all prisoners.