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Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform


 Special Edition              May 31, 2018               

NH Gives day is almost here - just five more days until the 24-hour giving challenge begins! Please help us make this campaign a success. Please forward this newsletter and share links on your social media.

NH Gives Day is a powerful, statewide 24-hour online fundraising event that is designed to build community, connect donors to local nonprofits and generate excitement about the nonprofit sector. Beginning at 6PM EST on June 6 and continuing until 6pm EST on June 7, Granite Staters will go online to show their support for the nonprofits that make NH so extraordinary.


This $250 prize goes to the organization with the first donor to make an online donation at 6:00 PM on June 6th.

If you plan to donate $50.00 or more you are eligible to receive three gifts.

Every Donor that Donates $50.00 or More

Just Announced!
The Common Man returns for its second year with the $10 Do Good Bonus Card and they are joined by Great New Hampshire Restaurants with a $10 Dining Certificate and Whaleback Mountain with a $10 discount on a full-priced day lift ticket.

Anyone who makes a donation of $50 or more between 6pm on June 6 and 6pm on June 7, is  eligible to receive the following three gifts:

$10.00 Dining Certificate
to any of the Great New Hampshire Restaurants

and you are eligible to receive q
Whaleback Mountain $10 discount on a full-priced day lift ticket. 

Instructions for how to claim the card will be included in the email receipt that you get immediately after you make a donation. You will need to claim the bonus card before 6pm on June 8th by following the instruction in the email.

Donors can collect all three offers with a verified single donation of $50 or more made between 6pm on June 6 and 6pm on June 7. Each individual can claim only one of each offer.  This offer is only available for online donations made through the NH Gives platform to organizations participating in NH Gives. They must have an emailed thank you/receipt that they received as a result of that donation to claim their bonus card.  Instructions for all three gifts will be in an email that you receive from NH Gives.

Follow the directions carefully.
(The above offers are not made by CCJR)
*Must be requested before 6PM on June 8, 2018.
*CCJR Board & Committee Members are also  Eligible for this.

More ways to Win
Donate $100.00 or more

The First Person to Donate $100.00 - $499.99
will win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to
The Capitol Center for the Arts in
Concord, NH.

*This offer is from CCJR and made possible by the generosity of the
Capitol Arts Center.
**CCJR Board & Committee Members are Not Eligible


When you Donate $100.00 or more
you can choose to be a
CCJR Lifetime Member.
Just request Membership Packet

The First Person to Donate $500.00 or more
is eligible to receive a Hilltop Fireworks Party Pack
worth approximately $75.00
See Photo Below

*This offer is from CCJR and made possible by the generosity of
Hilltop Fireworks in Somersworth, NH.
**CCJR Board & Committee Members are Not Eligible

Note: gift cards will be mailed to donors once they send or submit their mailing address.  Fireworks will be available for pickup at a designated time and place.

Please make a tax deductible donation:
Dear Friend, criminal justice and prison reform may be the last charity someone might consider donating to, but it should be a top priority. Crime is very serious and as a society we all want to feel safe in these uncertain times.  The public requires and deserves protection from those would who seek to harm.  We all share the goal of ensuring that there will be no more victims of robbery, drugs, child abuse, murder, sexual crime and more.  It should be society’s primary goal.
At CCJR we want to ensure that anyone convicted of a crime not only receives just punishment but also receives effective treatment. This is important so that when they leave the prison (as most do) they renter society with the tools they need to live an offense free life. We hope you will consider a tax deductible gift to help bring about significant changes to our NH prison system so that it focuses on genuine rehabilitation instead of simply warehousing people.

"Understandably, victim advocacy is far more palatable than the thought of treating a population that most would prefer to exile."  However, the true fact is that punitive barriers such as a lack of rehabilitative, educational and treatment programs raise significant risk factors for recidivism.  Once an inmate is released back into the society the sad fact is that the lack of support, limited jobs, lack of housing and other restrictions raise significant risk factors for re-offending. 

These barriers often negate the efforts of offenders, prison therapists and those inmates who possess legitimate desires to recover and return as productive members of society. In fact, our society may be contributing to future victimization — "just the opposite of our primary goal."

Good people do bad things, and prison alone will never change anyone for the better.  We need people to help stand in the gap and become a voice for logic, fairness, justice and rehabilitation.  Help us advocate for smart practices in corrections that actually work and keep the community safer.

Why is Reform Needed?
The United States has about 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the prison population. Nearly 2.3 million Americans are incarcerated, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, and another 5 million are serving parole or probation.  That means one in every 31 adults is behind bars or on supervised release. We lead the world in our overuse of prisons. We lock away 730 people of every 100,000 adults, compared with 100 per 100,000 in Europe.
The New Hampshire prison population grew from 394 in 1982 to 2,910 in 2014. That’s more than a 650 percent increase. As of January 2018, the NH State Prison population was 2,159, with another 5,300 on parole and probation.  The corrections budget has more than doubled in the past decade to $107 million, while the state population grew only 31 percent. A major cause was recidivism. The number of parole violators increased 50 percent between 2000 and 2009. The prisons have done too little to prepare men and women for freedom. Worse, there have been no state-funded services for parolees until very recently. Those are still minimal.
The Big Lie: “Rehabilitation Doesn’t Work.”
The simple truth is this. The best practices in education, training, rehabilitation, parole and therapy all help protect the community. New Hampshire needs to make that kind of investment as a wise use of resources. At CCJR we support rational, cost effective programs and policies that reduce crime, slow the revolving door back into prison, make our society safer and give ex-offenders a better chance to succeed.  We believe that rehabilitation better serves and protects the community by helping the released individual become a productive member of society and remain crime free.
Our mission: Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform works for a just, humane, and restorative judicial and correctional system by means of research, public education, legislative advocacy, coalition building, community organizing, and litigation. We support rational, cost-effective programs and policies that reduce crime, lower recidivism, and make our society safer.
Our vision: CCJR seeks a system of justice that protects the community while promoting the rehabilitation of offenders and the well-being of inmate families.

Our goals
  • Advocate for programs that maintain relationships between inmates and their loves ones.
  • Promote alternatives to incarceration which are less costly and more effective than prison, such as fines, counseling, community service, and restitution.
  • Reform the criminal justice process to make it more restorative and less adversarial.
  • Debunk common myths and stereotypes about prison and offenders.
  • Build, empower, and mobilize an active statewide coalition.
  • Serve as a networking resource for prisoners and their families.
  • Oppose mandatory minimum sentences and dangerous overcrowding in our jails and prisons.
  • Address addiction as a healthcare issue, not as a criminal offense, and redirect resources to prevention and treatment.
  • Work to reintegrate offenders back into their families and communities.
Your donation will help our volunteers continue to fight for these important goals.
Donate Now

Legislative Update
Rep. Sytek kills our bill to make Corrections go through the administrative rulemaking process

Rep. John Sytek helped to scuttle SB 373 this month, our bill to force the Department of Corrections to get its policies approved by lawmakers as formal administrative rules. The legislation easily passed in the Senate. Here is a link to the bill.  
Sytek did his best to kill a similar bill last year, HB 192, when he chaired the subcommittee on the bill. The six-member group defied him and retained HB 192 to make sure Corrections goes through rulemaking before the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules. Today only Corrections and the Parole Board remain free of any statuary requirement to get their policies vetted and approved by lawmakers.
Rep. Sytek has several times publicly denied having an ethical conflict on both HB 192 or SB 373, despite being married to Donna Sytek, the head of the Parole Board.  We at CCJR wrote and found sponsors for both bills because the Parole Board for many years deferred to the Department of Corrections on every decision to parole or retain a convicted sexual offender. 
Your read that right. Corrections never gave the Parole Board enough information to make its own informed votes on these inmates. That was the key finding of a performance audit of the sexual offender program in 2016. We worked with lawmakers for two years to obtain that scathing audit. You can read it on line here.
SB373 sailed through the Senate on the consent calendar this winter with crucial support from Helen Hanks, the new commissioner of corrections. She opposed HB192 last year. Hanks launched the formal rulemaking process two months ago on the first 120 pages of Corrections rulemaking, which got approved.
We await future public hearings and JLCAR votes on prison rules for the sexual offender treatment program inside the prison, for probation and parole supervision in the community, for the sex offender treatment program outside the walls, for the placement of women in the men’s prison, and for the use of tiny cages for dangerous prisoners during group counseling. 
Below is the legislative calendar blurb against SB 373 written by Rep. Sytek. 
 SB373, requiring rule making by the department of corrections. INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE. Rep. John Sytek for Executive Departments and Administration. This bill is substantially the same as HB192, which this House referred for interim study in January. Both bills would require additional rules of the Department of Corrections (DOC) to be subject to RSA 541-A, and the formal rule making process, through JLCAR. This bill required internal process rules, such as those for inmate behavior, be subject to RSA 541- A, and the committee was not convinced that these rules were appropriate for this process. The majority was convinced that this bill was unnecessary since it duplicated the provisions of HB192. Further review of that bill in interim study will ensure that the DOC implements its commitment to update its rules expeditiously, and that effort is progressing. Those who voted against the Inexpedient to Legislate motion wanted to be certain that the DOC maintains its rate of progress and that the legislature would continue to monitor the situation – a kind of belt and suspenders approach. The majority felt referring two very similar bills for interim study would be redundant. Vote 11-7.
He failed to mention that the 2016 performance audit of the sexual offender treatment program was sharply critical of the Parole Board fore failing to do its job. .I have discussed that report with Rep. Sytek, I gave him a copy of it, and he should be familiar with it. All members of his committee received a copy last year.  
Page 33 of the audit says that Donna Sytek and her colleagues always took the advice of a secretive board within the prison called the Administrative Review Committee. It was functioning as the real parole board for sexual offenders. Both HB192 and SB373 would have corrected that problem. Here is maybe the key passage from the performance audit. 
“Adult Parole Board members reported the type of information relayed to Board members when considering a sexual offender for parole could be improved. For each sexual offender completing the Intensive Sexual Offender Treatment (ISOT) program, the Board received a list of recommendations for further treatment or restrictions which were eventually incorporated as parole conditions. For example, based on the offender’s crime, it was not uncommon for SOT clinicians to recommend restrictions on computer, internet, or social media use; prohibitions on frequenting specific places; or further counseling for other underlying issues.  While all Board members stated these recommendations were helpful, members also reported other information such as the sexual offender’s assessment scores, treatment progress, level of participation in treatment, and whether they showed signs of accepting responsibility for their crime would also be helpful for making parole decisions. However, this information was not directly provided by the ISOT program.” 
That is an amazing paragraph. For years the Parole Board never received a convicted sexual offender’s assessment scores, treatment progress, level of participation in treatment, and any signs of accepting responsibility for their crime. SB373 would have stopped the Parole Board from abdicating in its job.
Donna Sytek has assured me the Parole Board now receives all that missing information, and one must believe her. But the failure of the Parole Board to fulfill its lawful job for years caused enormous harm to nearly one third of the male prison population. According to the audit report, 200 sexual offenders stayed in prison past their minimum sentences every year for four years. . We have reason to believe most of them never reached the Parole Board before their minimum terms expired. 

Click on the link below to read a list of inmate criticisms of the sexual offender treatment program that we received in June of 2016 To read the rest of this article and the inmate comments CLICK HERE

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June 2018 - We recently added two new board members to our team, Melody Bourgeois and Leann DeHart.  There is one seat left.  Please click the purple icon to learn more about the open position.  Click the blue Become a CCJR Volunteer icon below to email questions and/or volunteer.

There are also positions open in the following committees: Membership, Financial and Fundraising, Social Planning & Events, Editorial and Public Relations. Some of these positions are posted now, others will be soon.

Please use this link  to update your contact information:
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Entering or reentering your information will update your contact info for our database.

Help make a difference.
Become a member of CCJR-NH. 
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Yes!! I want to support New Hampshire Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform and become a member today! 

When you join CCJR-NH you support the important work that we do and we keep you updated with newsletters and emails. You will also receive Action Alerts and updates on pending legislation and CCJR-NH campaigns on the local and national level. Your annual membership payment is vital to the ongoing work and effort of Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform.

Membership categories (other than Life-Time) are good for one year and are renewable annually. (Membership status is considered inactive without the payment of annual dues.)

NOTE: Membership lists are held strictly confidential and are tax-deductible.

Renew Your Membership Now Click here
Please send in your annual membership payment. All categories other than Life Time are renewable annually.

With almost 400 members it is an overwhelming task to contact each and every member on their annual renewal date.  To simplify the membership fee system the board voted on March 28, 2017 to implement a new policy.  We are asking every member “to submit their annual membership fee between January 1st and March 31st in order to maintain active member status.  Since we are beyond the renewal window this year we are asking all of our members to send in their renewal fee now.  Please take care of this as soon as possible.

Membership dues and generous donations allow our volunteers to continue the important work of criminal justice reform in New Hampshire. To renew your membership click on the icon above and choose the category that applies, Individual, Prisoner, Family or Organization.  In the "Tell Us Where you Heard Us" block, please mention that you are renewing your membership.

Did you know that for a one time gift of $100.00 you can become part of the Life-Time Membership Club?

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