Did you know that Idaho has the 11th highest incarceration rate in the country but a continually decreasing crime rate? The ACLU of Idaho wants to partner with you to recreate the criminal justice system. Check out DJ’s story on our blog and make an investment in changing our broken justice system.
I know the ACLU helps many people in my situation, although I did not know about it until it was too late for me.
My name is DJ. I have been convicted of a felony and was appointed a public defender after my arrest, but they didn’t have time to represent me in our broken system. After struggling with alternative sentencing and lack of representation, I was sentenced and spent six months in prison.
I feel that an alternative program should replace the court and prison system for relatively minor crimes such as mine. For example, I attended Life’s Kitchen in Boise in order to move into the working world. The truth is that prisons do not rehabilitate people. Programs such as Life’s Kitchen do. When someone goes from a life of crime to trying to lead a law-abiding life they often fail because they have no real work experience or the resources for help.
This is what happened to me back when I was younger so I felt I had no choice but to do illegal activities to make money. Because of my inability to pay for a lawyer, I didn’t get represented in our broken justice system. Prison did nothing to help me see that what I did was wrong. These two factors forced me farther into the criminal world. After going through an alternative program, I have been doing great and I sincerely believe the system should give felons a chance at programs instead of condemning them to a long probation period with prison time hanging over their heads if they miss a single requirement of probation.
I know that the ACLU is working to make conditions more just for people like me.
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