Protect Survivors of Violent Crime

Target: Alex Chalk, United Kingdom Secretary of State for Justice

Goal: Do not suspend sentences or grant bail to individuals convicted of violent crimes.

The prison population of England and Wales has hit a record level. In response to overcrowding issues, leadership has proposed a number of controversial measures. Actions under consideration include using jails as prison cells and renting foreign prison spaces. Some of the most hotly contested ideas, however, would involve potentially freeing convicted felons.

One proposed solution would send prisoners in the thousands home early with suspended sentences in order to ease the overflowing population. An even more debated idea would allow some individuals who have been convicted of serious and violent offenses—such as rape—to remain free on bail until their sentencing. And since sentencing itself has experienced significant delays, this step could mean convicted criminals are free for an indefinite period of time.

The latter proposal in particular has drawn the ire of women’s rights groups who worry that female survivors of sexual violence could be among the most adversely impacted. Sign the petition below to demand leaders find better solutions that protect victims.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Chalk,

You have defended recent proposals to fix the prison overcrowding issue by claiming that any amendments would only affect “low-risk” prisoners. Yet individuals convicted of serious and violent felonies are reportedly among the populations under consideration for early releases and post-conviction freedoms. Victims of crime are not concerned with the logistics or the justifications. They want to feel safe and heard.

The proposed actions offer neither outreach. Please listen to your colleagues and acknowledge failures. More importantly, do not attempt to rectify them by re-victimizing trauma survivors.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ron Lach


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  • Sven Sorge
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