Soros Foundation Funding Proposal

June 10, 1999

Presented to:

Soros Fund Management

888 Seventh Avenue, Suite 3300

New York, NY 10106-0001

 

Presented by: .

The PATRICK Crusade, Alabama Headquarters, P.O. Box 1891, Alabaster, AL 35007

Telephone: 704/827-2319

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PAGE NO.

 

THE PROPOSAL

Introduction to The PATRICK Crusade 1

Summary Of Membership 1

What’s in the name? 1

Non-Profit Status 2

Summary of Findings 2

P.A.T.R.I.C.K. Crusade Mission Statement 3

Goals and Associated Estimate of Cost 5

Conclusion 7

THE INDEX AND BACKUP IN SUPPORT OF PROPOSAL

Endorsements By Members 8

Endorsement by CERJ - Campaign for Equity-Restorative Justice 12

Achievements Made Without Funding 14

Current Staff Resources / Resumes 16

Sampling Of Prison Conditions In America 23

Proposed Tasks / Projects 28

April 15, 1999, NYTimes - Soros Giving $15 Million

for Program on Medical Ethics and Money 34

April 16, 1999, NYTimes - CYBER LAW JOURNAL

[pro bono work supported by Soros] 36

NEWSWEEK APRIL 19, 1999 -

It's Time to Open the Doors of Our Prisons 38

APBNews April 8, 1999 - KIDS LIKELY TO FOLLOW

PARENTS TO PRISON Experts Warn of Trouble

With Growing Incarceration Rate 41

Graph - Incarcerations on the Rise 1985-1997 44

Graph - Inmate Populations 1980-1997 45

Graph - US Rate of Incarceration (1997 report) 46

The PATRICK CRUSADE Brochure Insert

 

June 10, 1999

Mr. George Soros, CEO
c/o Gara LaMarche
Soros Fund Management
888 Seventh Avenue, Suite 3300
New York, NY 10106-0001

 

Re: Unsolicited Proposal, Request for Funding

Dear Mr. Soros:

The membership of The PATRICK Crusade has deliberately become very familiar with your work and your concerns over human rights issues in the United States. The PATRICK Crusade is highly impressed with your views and actions in the realm of flagrant human rights violations, Mr. Soros. That is the reason we are coming to you to ask for funding assistance to help us accomplish the goals we've set forth herein. We mean to be very plain in stating that we would like you to help us accomplish some difficult tasks in the area of human rights. Our focus is on the rights of people who are now incarcerated in our nation and who will be incarcerated in the future.

We are most pleased that you are presently funding The Center on Crime, Communities and Culture, and on their web site you state, "Incarceration, the indiscriminate response to these distinct problems, is not always the most appropriate answer. A nation that incarcerates as many of its citizens as does the United States cannot hope to remain an open society. We must find new answers." We completely agree with you and that is what The PATRICK Crusade has been working toward since its inception in 1997. We are in accord with your analysis of the predicament in the United States. The PATRICK Crusade has been working diligently to open the eyes of the public to affect an open society, with only volunteer labor and our members’ personal contributions. Therefore, our scope of work is quite limited.

Our motivation is in seeing American society solidify and strengthen in the values that were at one time the foundation of this country. We believe that mass incarceration is maintained because of monetary interest. The prison-complex industry is BIG business and we cannot fight this alone. In addition, incarcerated people comprise an enormous workforce that cannot be unionized and is not subject to minimum wage and worker safety laws.

We believe in rehabilitation through (1) education, (2) drug and emotional treatment, and (3) restitution. This approach will reduce both recidivism and crime substantially. Our organization’s mission statement attracts well-qualified human rights activists, from all walks of life, to affect the changes that are in dire need in this country.

The PATRICK Crusade team has all the essential qualifications to fulfill each aspect of our goals. We appreciate the opportunity to show you how we can provide the public with quality performance and workmanship and the greatest degree of savings in time and money. A sampling of our membership is listed in the appendix of this proposal.

We proudly present our proposal to you on the pages that follow, and pray you will consider its merits. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

In Solidarity,

PATRICK Crusade membership

 

Sherry L. Swiney (Sweeney)

Executive Director

 

Introduction to The PATRICK Crusade

The PATRICK Crusade was founded in March of 1997 as a human rights organization. We are national and international now. Our membership consists of engineers, scientists, educators, nurses, former law enforcement and correctional officers, university professors, legal researchers and consultants, clergy, Vietnam Veterans, graphic artists, book authors, journalists, probation officers, mechanics, postal workers, secretaries, tax consultants, constitutional activists, grass-roots activists, families of prisoners and former prisoners. We are an eclectic group from many walks of life and thus, we represent a wide range of society.

Our members are working diligently to correct the nationally embarrassing, heartless and brutal situation that comprises our criminal justice system. We receive hundreds of cases where human beings are run through the court system without due process, where the laws of this land (the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights) are utterly ignored. These people are incarcerated without the benefit of fair trials and they are being swept away, hidden in our dungeon-like prisons to be abused and ignored. The idea of rehabilitation and restorative justice in this country has vanished in favor of punishment. There are ways to reduce crime. Incarcerating and abusing millions of people is not the way to accomplish a reduction of crime; in fact, it will accomplish the exact opposite. In essence, today's criminal justice system creates more criminals, and we believe the motivation behind this is for profit rather than to protect the public.

 

Summary Of Membership

Membership to The PATRICK Crusade began in March, 1997, with two people. Our membership now exceeds one hundred online prison reform activists and several hundred people who do not have Internet access and we are growing daily. We are dedicated to improving the conditions in the prisons and courtrooms in the United States of America. We understand that this is a huge undertaking, but the lives of millions of American citizens are at stake. That’s why we fight so diligently and take great pride any time we achieve even the smallest success. We also understand the importance and cost-effectiveness of providing long-term solutions for the benefit of all.

From the beginning of The PATRICK Crusade, we have never asked anyone for funding. All activities by our members are paid for out of their own pockets. This limits the actions we’ve been able to take. Our goals cannot be met without financial assistance and/or sponsoring from another source.

 

What’s in the name?

Sherry L. Swiney founded The PATRICK Crusade. Her husband’s wrongful and illegal incarceration for a crime he did not commit, was the inspiration for starting this human rights organization. His name is Patrick Swiney - thus, The PATRICK Crusade got its name. Its purpose is to help bring justice - not only to her husband - but to the many others who have also been swallowed up by fraudulent court proceedings and who are also suffering terrible abuses inside the prisons in this nation.

 

Non-Profit Status

Through the efforts of Mr. Frank Leahy, Counselor for The PATRICK Crusade, we are now operating as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization in conjunction with PLAN (Positive Living Advocacy Network) which is a "central" nonprofit corporation, with 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. PLAN, itself, is a shell, an administrative entity facilitating networking and collaboration between all affiliate organizations. For instance, there is a PLAN Community Empowerment Network, a PLAN Community Senior Support Network, including Attorneys' Paralegal Service Group for legal support, Professional Personal Consultants for shared therapeutic services and support, and so forth. PLAN Community Justice Support Network is the activist central organization for criminal justice matters within our communities. PLAN CJSN supports The PATRICK Crusade wholeheartedly, and participates in the work with PATRICK Crusade members.

 

Summary of Findings

The current situation in the United States of America, regarding prisons and the legal process has made America a society that can no longer be respected by the rest of the world. Four and one half million Americans are under some form of government supervision. Almost 2 million people are incarcerated. A small percentage of those incarcerated are classified as violent; the remainder are political prisoners and non-violent offenders. The largest percentage of those incarcerated in the states and federal prison facilities are non-violent drug offenders. We believe those people to be, for the most part, victims of the government's War on Drugs.

While the crime rate has dropped since 1984, the media paints a picture of crime gone out of control thereby keeping the average American in a sympathetic stance regarding this internal war that is waged on Americans by Americans. Politicians can easily get votes by proclaiming a Tough on Crime platform. These same politicians, when elected, support the lucrative punishment industry. The PATRICK Crusade wants the American people to be told the truth regardless of the personal and financial loss to politicians and criminal justice officials.

American taxpayers foot the bill to support the punishment industry. The government's monetarily motivated frenzy to incarcerate is costing society much more than money. It is nothing less than the demise of a free society. Ninety eight percent of all persons charged with crimes do not have a jury trial, but are forced to plea bargain due to mandatory minimum sentencing. The very core of the American legal system has eroded to the point that justice is bought and sold. Government legislates morality, acting as the human rights watchdog to the rest of the world, while it horribly abuses its own and systematically removes our freedom.

The United States Constitution expressly elucidates the separation of powers yet we see the federal government prosecuting cases that are outside the jurisdiction of the federal government. The federal government is alleged to serve as a watchdog over the states where the Supreme Court acts as the fact finder in Bill of Rights cases. However we have seen hundreds of cases where individuals lacked the resources to receive a fair and impartial trial in the states. These same individuals have proceeded to appeal to the Federal District Courts and Supreme Court and have been denied justice.

 

P.A.T.R.I.C.K. Crusade Mission Statement

The PATRICK Crusade is a human-rights organization dedicated to the protection of human rights for all people. We believe human rights should be real for everyone simply because they are human beings.

The PATRICK Crusade consists of a group of people committed to making a peaceful change in the policies and procedures that direct the actions of those responsible for operating our courts and our State and Federal prison systems. Our efforts are directed at educating those who are unaware of the injustices and human rights abuses that occur in these systems every day all across the country. The PATRICK Crusade is aware, from firsthand experience, of the extent and viciousness of these abuses.

Americans have always been known to be a kind and generous people, dedicated to a sense of fair play for all. Our politicians are afraid to confront these abuses for fear of being labeled "soft on crime" by their political opponents at election time. American politicians are now more concerned with getting re-elected than helping its citizens or preserving the Constitution.

We want to make it easy for our elected and appointed public officials to do the "right thing" without fear of political demagoguery, or retribution.

Our court system repeatedly puts people in prison without due process. Many of these people are completely innocent. Many are given sentences that are too harsh for the crime they may have committed. Once in prison, prison officials in the most inhumane of ways abuse these people. Our penal system is a direct reflection of who we are as a society. The PATRICK Crusade believes prisoners are separated from society and put in prison as punishment. They are not in prison to be punished further through the kind of abuse that is all too common in most prisons today.

The mission of The PATRICK Crusade is to correct the abuse that is endemic in our prison system. Many of the abuses that prisoners are forced to endure have been common knowledge to much of society and all of the system for many years. Very few of these abuses are new, for things have changed very little in our prison system over the years. Prison authorities regularly abuse prisoners in the most inhumane ways. These officials know they will get away with this abuse because, other than family members, few care about the incarcerated once the prison gates slam shut. The fact that many hundreds of prisoners are released each year, because new evidence shows them to be innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted, should be enough to force an increased awareness of the deplorable conditions in our nation's prisons and courts, but it is not. The problem is much deeper. Prison abuse is compounded by the fact that people are not receiving justice within the court system. Too many innocent people are being taken from their families. This effects us all whether we choose to believe this or not, and anyone could be next!

For this reason, we support a judiciary independent of the political process, and a total reform of public defenders' offices, in order to put them on an equal footing, both financially and qualitatively, with district attorney's offices. We also support the concept of the fully informed jury, the final bastion of the peoples' power over corrupt and arrogant politicians.

The costs to families to obtain justice for these blatant errors in our systems are enormous and completely unnecessary. Families see their loved ones wrongly incarcerated, then they see the abuse and realize the public's apathy when they turn to society for help. Our prisons have become a business, in fact an industry, where stock prices have become more important than human dignity or justice.

Many of our members may even have been apathetic members in society themselves, until they learned the truth firsthand. We want to change our society from one of indifference to one of sensitivity so that people who need help can receive help. Most abuses to prisoners center on their bodies. When we strip a person of all defenses, and put them in prison, we have an obligation to protect them from harm, such protection being impossible for the prisoners to provide for themselves. Instead of providing protection from harm, those on the prison staff intentionally inflict harm on many of their hapless charges. From failing to provide even basic medical care, to inflicting physical beatings that violate every human rights convention in the world, the prison staff, with the full knowledge of the warden, engages in a regular pattern of abuse. There are many jokes in society that are about prison abuse. It is indicative of the scope of the problem, that citizens consider the torture of a prisoner to be a source of amusement.

While PATRICK CRUSADE does not advocate throwing open the prison gates to release violent criminals, we are not in favor of the "lock 'em up and throw away the key" illness that is spreading across the United States of America because such an attitude promotes injustice. Thus, we do advocate a serious and radical change in the current system. We do not support the "punishment industry" because we recognize it as a business for profit, rather than a means to reduce crime. We are in favor of abolishing the death penalty and the entire prison system in favor of other -- provable -- methods for reducing crime. Those methods include education and rehabilitation. They also include reasonable restitution to the victims of crime, which includes the individual and the community.

 

While we advocate releasing even violent criminals, but *ONLY* after they have been honestly rehabilitated and judged IMPARTIALLY not to be a danger to society, we recognize there is probably a small percentage of people who will always remain dangerous to society - who may be *unable* to be rehabilitated. With a reduction in the prison population of 90 to 95%, those few individuals who remain can be housed in a humane environment allowing full contact with family and friends, enabling them to contribute in whatever way they can to a better understanding of the causes of crime. Ultimately, The PATRICK Crusade looks forward to a day when the United States of America has no prisons.

It is our goal to make all abuses known to society so that there will be no further excuse for the cruelty that is committed in our prisons. As a society, our current attitude must change. If your sister were taken away from you, run through a court system that falsely charged her and sent her to prison where she was abused, would you continue to turn your back or put your head in the sand? If your answer is NO then you must take it a step further and see that each of us is your brother and sister, and act responsibly toward righting the wrongs that are being committed against humanity.

That is what The PATRICK Crusade intends to do. We will expose the injustices in our courtrooms and the abuses in our prisons to ensure that everyone receives their basic Human Rights. By spreading our knowledge to society and to elected officials we intend to succeed with our goals. There are millions of us who are effected now and sadly, only hundreds who do care. Those of us who care are becoming more organized and we are ready to act prudently and responsibly through our First Amendment rights and our voting clout.

To the elected officials, we say "Ignore us and you are out of office". To society, we say "Ignore us and one day you too may find yourself stripped of your dignity by a rogue system that has gone completely out of control". To all, we say "Listen to us with wisdom, do what is right and you will continue to enjoy that which you hold dearest to your heart, for your very freedom is at stake if you do not heed these signs of our times".

Goals and Associated Estimate of Cost

Our goals are many and we recognize that to be most effective in these, we need to prioritize. We have listed our top four (4) priorities below, together with a projected estimate of costs associated with reaching these goals for the betterment of American society. To properly estimate an appropriate structure, we have estimated the cost for (1) first-year startup and operation, and (2) the cost for full-time qualified staff who are willing to resign from their current professional job status to provide their full-time efforts to the cause. With our plan stated below, we anticipate being autonomous after the first year.

Goal #1 - Investigation Team

Reports of abuse need proper follow up and response. This would be accomplished by investigative research available through email, US mail, telephone calls, and so forth on a full-time basis. Our investigative researchers would compile their data and pass the information to our first line investigators, who would visit specific prison facilities for first-hand review and verification of the allegations presented to us.

Our second line investigators would be assigned to visit prisons across the country on an ongoing basis. They would speak with inmates and staff regarding humane treatment of prisoners. The purpose of this number of staff members is not only to accomplish the work but to provide documented evidence of reports from prison officials. We have found through our work that officials often make statements that they later deny. Because this team would be sent into rather hostile environments, they would have to be sent in pairs. We are not anticipating hostility from the inmate population but from prison officials who publicly declare that they do not require or desire oversight from the public.

2 investigative researchers

2 first line investigators

2 second line investigators

Total 6 persons @ $40,000 - $60,000 per year salary = $300,000

Goal #2 - Research, prepare and produce PATRICK publications (Newsletter, Magazine and Brochures)

Getting information to the public and into prisons is essential if we are going to be successful in helping change the system. By publishing court proceedings, pending cases accepted by PATRICK CRUSADE, pending legislative issues, known and confirmed atrocities in the judicial and prison system, what can be done as a citizen, membership growth, and so forth, many more eyes would be opened to the injustices we are seeing. We would begin with a simple newsletter on a quarterly basis. Later, we would increase our staff to produce a mainstream magazine. Revenues from the sale of our newsletters and magazines would be used to increase the publications staff so that continued research and responsible reporting would be possible. Publications to prisoners would be at no charge to the prisoner. Donations received would be used directly for the publications.

1 technical writer and production specialist @ $50,000 annual salary

Production costs $2,000.00 per year

Postage costs $500.00 per year

Goal #3 - Legal Assistance to handle the cases of illegal or unjust incarcerations

We have encountered many people in American prisons whom we believe have been incarcerated for their political views or for lack of funds which limit the quality of representation. We realize that the resources would be stretched very thin with this staff and see the need to expand this department more quickly than the other stated goals.

1 lawyer @$90,000 + 2 technical staff @$40,000 each = $170,000

Goal #4 - Fundraising

Fundraising would be the backbone of our success. We would have a qualified fundraising specialist on staff for this effort. Donations, fund raising and revenues from products such as our newsletter and magazine would need to come to an average in the neighborhood of $450,000 per annum. This figure takes into effect that startup and implementation has been completed, that production costs would continue to increase due to inflation and further outreach, and a potential for increased staff as the organization grows.

1 fundraising specialist @$50,000 initial investment for the first year. Thereafter, this position would become self-supporting as well as supporting at least 2 technical support full-time staff.

First year startup and implementation is estimated to be between $550,000 to $600,000. We anticipate annual operating costs to drop once implementation has been completed. Due to the fundraising project implementation, annual operating costs could drop by as much as $125,000. Of course, production costs would continue to increase due to inflation and furthering outreach. After startup and implementation, an annual operating budget of $450,000 is expected.

We ask for your assistance in the first year startup and implementation.

Conclusion

The PATRICK Crusade is dedicated to seeing an end to injustice in the United States. We are dedicated to exposing the monetary motivation behind the punishment industry and we are determined to bring back a sense of community and responsibility.

We hope members of the Soros Fund Management will consider the merits of our proposal. Our citizens are being systematically removed from their families, children are being orphaned and welfare applications are increasing by this government's obsession to incarcerate Americans. If we do not work toward our goals of restorative justice today, then tomorrow we may see 50% of Americans in prison and the other 50% hired to guard the prisoners. Thus, all Americans will be 100% invested and dependent on the government for survival. That is not the American way.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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