Support for House Bill 135

February 6, 2017
By Rodney Derrickson

Image result for house bill 135I am writing this open letter to the citizens of Pennsylvania, asking for your support of Representative Jason Dawkins’ House Bill 135, “Parole Eligibility for Lifer Sentences.”

This legislation would permit lifers the opportunity to apply for parole and ask the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole to consider lifers who are redeemed and rehabilitated for parole.

Traditionally, lifers bring a degree of stability to Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Institutions, due to their interest in maintaining a peaceful environment. Lifer’s experience and knowledge of the prison environment allows the opportunity to alleviate most situations when the tension is high in institutional settings.

Lifers are normally the prisoners who implement and facilitate programs that are geared to help rehabilitate other prisoners before their re-entry back into society.

Many lifers have committed the ultimate offense against society; however, I ask that you consider the fact that the vast majority of those crimes are not carried out by  experienced criminals. Most frequently, these crimes are triggered by circumstances, domestic abuse, substance abuse, peer pressure, emotional trauma or a combination of these.

Studies have shown that one percent of the commuted lifers released on parole have returned to prison. In addition, commuted lifers have returned to their communities as law-abiding citizens, which demonstrate that lifers can be rehabilitated.

Representative Dawkins’ legislation creates no right to parole any lifer. Each lifer would have to go before the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, which can reject those lifers who do not deserve parole. It would only allow deserving lifers an equal opportunity to apply for parole just like Pennsylvania’s juvenile lifers, and lifers in other states.

I ask that you please support Representative Jason Dawkins’ HB 2135 by writing or emailing your elected state representative, asking that they too support House Bill 135.

Your support would give deserving lifers hope, and a huge incentive to change their lives . Thank You.


Rodney Derrickson is a juvenile lifer, and adviser to Fight for Lifers West. You may send comments to:
Rodney Derrickson #CW6633
SCI Forest, PO Box 945
Marienville, PA 16239.

 

10 Comments

  1. I can only hope and pray that Bill #135 gets passed. I will contact my state representatives to vote for this bill. I have a relative who has been incarcerated for 30 yrs so far, for a crime he didn’t commit. I know that’s what all inmates say but in his case it’s true. He is a model prisoner and has done endless positive things in the prisons he was sent to. I can only pray he can get a release if they pass this bill.

  2. April 27,2017
    I am so glad to have a chance to thank you for presenting such a bill to Help us. My son and nephew have been down for ,24yesrd of a life sentence which neither committed.They come from a good strong family background.Im not sell in health ,can’t travel far at. all due to clostiphobia haven’t seen my son since 1982.So yes I’d like this Bill to go through for other families as well I will pass this on God Bless Thank You.

  3. I support this Bill and urge all my ftiends and familly to do so. We need to beive in 2nd chances. My son is a lifer and i pray this law pasz and give him hope to one day return Home.

  4. I am an advocate for parole eligibility for lifers in pa
    It is outrageous that this state offers no hope
    No opportunity for a second chance for a person who has matured and Changed

  5. My man did commit the crime but life without parole is very harsh. He missed his children and grandchildren growing up. He can enjoy his great grandchildren if we change this bill. 35 years is a long time. We can hope our Govenor Wolf will act on this bill 135 SOON!

  6. I pray to Allah (swa) that this House bill#135 get passed so that people Fathers,sons uncles,etc get a chance at freedom…. my father has been incarcerated for over 25 years for a murder that he did not commit and he ask for justice we ask for justice PLEASE… his name is Lamont Campfield #DE7873 1100 pike st Huntington pa 16654….

  7. The system have to prove to tax payers, they are for the people,the house bill 135 needs to be inforced. This bill represents institutionalization, meaning women and men have been corrected,the programs in most prisons have proven the system work’s.Please support bill 135 !!!!!

  8. I pray that HB135 is passed, so that George Trudel, Inmate # AS-2262 SCI Graterford, may come to his family. He is presently serving LWOP in his 29th year so far, for a crime that the murderer in his case, only served 7 years because he took a plea. 29 years and counting is such an unjust sentence when the murderer, Robert ” Bobby ” Barrett, was freed over 22 years ago. It is awful how our justice system works in the state of PA. My wish is for all Lifers who have been completely rehabilitated, come home finally to their family and friends who miss them beyond words. Pray, Pray, Pray! PLEASE SUPPORT HB135

  9. I TRULY WOULD APPRECIATE IF HOUSE BILL 135 GETS PASSED MY SON HAS BEEN INCARCERATED FOR 24 YRS GOING ON 25 YRS. HE WAS CONVICTED ALONG WITH 2 OTHER GUYS AND ONE GOT 6-12 YRS AND THE OTHER GOT 5-10 YRS, AND MY SON GOT LWOP AND 15-30 YRS ON TOP OF THAT. I NO WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT MY SON WOULD NOT RETURN BACK. PLEASE GIVE MY SON A SECOND CHANCE. REGINALD BLOUNT CF6922 S.C.I. SOMERSET.

  10. My brother has been incarcerated for 26 years. I really hope this Bill passes. He is definitely reformed. Thanks to all who are involved in making this Bill a reality for a lot of our people.

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