Ex-Offender Nation is a membership organization of people alarmed by the criminal
justice system. Increased prosecution, lengthy sentencing of first time and/ or non- violent offenders, poor conditions in prisons and little to no opportunity for ex-felons, caused like minded people to come together.
Congress is creating new laws and not repealing any old, outdated or vague laws. Prosecutors have tools to make doing almost anything in America illegal. As a result of there being no oversight of prosecutors, many Americans face devastating arrests. Politicians are putting money into the building of prisons for financial reasons.
Ex-Offender Nation is committed to bring to light the problem of overprosecution, oversentencing, overincarceration and overcriminalization. The American public needs to have a good look into the American criminal justice system. And it needs to see it from the point of view of those arrested, those incarcerated and those re-entering life.
The voices of millions of felons and ex-felons will be heard through the pages of www.exoffendernation.com and we will work to insure a change in the criminal justice system.
Ex-Offender Nation was born out of the experience Evie Litwok had with the criminal justice system. Arrested in 1997, convicted 12 years later in 2009, incarcerated in 2010 and ordered released in 2011 by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Evie lost 14 years of her life fighting with the United States Government.
From the moment of arrest, life changes. The arrest warrant marks the death of your life as you knew it. The government does not think you are innocent and proceeds to prove your guilt. They have the tools, the money and the means to put anyone away.
In America today, prosecutors are armed with 4500 laws and 300,000 regulations from which they can indict anyone. Prosecutors chose who to arrest.
Roughly 65 million Americans have been convicted of a crime. Approximately 2.3 million Americans are in prison today with the majority being non-violent offenders. First time offenders with no history of crime can be sentenced for up 20 years in prison for the mere "association" with someone who is a criminal. Judges across America look at first time offenders, with no record, and openly say, "you are going to prison because you should have known your boyfriend was selling drugs" and/or "you should have reported this crime to the police."
If you have not experienced prison, you cannot understand the pain of being there a single day. The humiliation starts when you walk in and have to strip naked in front of a correctional officer. The dehumanization process begins immediately and you are no longer a person, you are a number.
For 2.3 millions of Americans incarcerated today, it is not only the dehumanization and poor conditions which destroy you, it is the collateral damage to the family and extended family members. A single incarceration disrupts the lives of everyone around them. Almost 10 million children have one or more parent in prison or under supervision. Wives, husbands, significant others, children, parents, grandparents and extended family are devastated.
In a country where politicians run campaigns based on family values, they offer little help to those families whose lives are turned upside down due to an incarceration of a loved one. Families break up, are financially ruined and children grow up not knowing one or both parents.
By continuing to enact new laws instead of repealing old, outdated and vague laws, the very politicians who profess the importance of family values are instead continuing the cycle of increased incarceration and therefore increased destruction of family.
In addition, the financial crisis has led many Senators and Congressman to lead the charge for building prisons in their district. Pork barrel funding for new prisons is the economic answer for many politicians. Does this mean these same politicians hope for an increase in incarceration so they can employ more people in their district? Does it mean politicians have no incentive to take a hard look at the problem of overcriminalization because they would rather have their employment statistics go up?
Ex-Offender Nation is a movement to stop the "arrest of America." Currently one in every five people in this country is arrested. There is no oversight for prosecutors and they are immune from prosecution. Many wrongfully convicted people, both violent and non-violent, are and were in prisons.
Nothing changes "quickly" in America but things do change. It takes a movement to change laws. It took hundreds of thousands to stop the war in Vietnam. It will take the same number of people to hold prosecutors and the criminal justice system accountable.
We need your membership in our organization. Please join in our efforts at http://www.exoffendernation.com/membership.aspx
President, Ex-Offender Nation