Activism

28 Organizations Voice Concerns to House Oversight Committee: CJ Reform - CAN-DO Foundation plus 27 justice reform organizations signed the Justice Round Table letter that was sent to Capitol Hill for the Hearing on Criminal Justice and Efforts to Reduce Recidivism   June 28, 2017 The Honorable Trey Gowdy Chairman U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight & Government Reform The Honorable Elijah…
Only 105 Women Have Received Clemency by President Obama - 44 CAN-DO women have joined a very small and distinguished group of women who have received Executive Clemency.  Sadly, only 105 women have received clemency, to date, by President Obama out of 1715 commutations. Obviously, it is still a man’s world. We have identified several women who deserve a reconsideration…
Join the CAN-DO Guardian Angel Program - Amy Povah of the CAN-DO Foundation and Jason Hernandez of Crack Open the Door, have teamed up with additional clemency recipients, such as Ramona Brant, Shauna Barry Scott, Angie Jenkins and more to assist clemency applicants seeking mercy through clemency by launching the Guardian Angel program.  In essence, clemency recipients…
CAN-DO Foundation has a Movement Page on Change.org!!! - The CAN-DO Foundation and Change.org have organized a massive clemency “movement” page, where many of our clemency applicants have an active petition on Change.org/clemency.  This has been an invaluable tool for anyone seeking support for a pending clemency petition.  On August 3, 2016, President Obama granted an additional 214 clemencies.…
Celebs share stories of clemency recipients in #MySentence - Nothing makes all of us at CAN-DO happier than the moment when we learn someone we advocated for is given the greatest news of their life – that they are “going home.”  People like Dicky “Joe” Jackson, who was #5 on the CAN-DO Top 25 men.  Even more exciting are…
Incarcerating US; a socially relevant documentary - New film, Incarcerating US, features Amy Povah’s clemency from President Clinton that inspired her to start the CAN-DO Foundation and why she’s driven to help others seeking mercy through clemency. Women often serve time due to the actions of their significant other: Most people serving 20 years to life for…
Truthout.org Focuses on Clemency and the Guardian Angel Program - Victoria Law, a reporter for Truthout.org has written another exceptional article about clemency and interviewed several of the CAN-DO/Crack Open the Door Guardian Angels who are assisting clemency applicants. “I don’t understand the logic of the denials,” said Amy Povah, founder and president of CAN-DO Clemency, a national organization that…
SIX CAN-DO MEMBERS RECEIVED CLEMENCY on 3/30/2016 - While Amy Povah was at the White House for a convening on Women in Prison, and while several clemency recipients that Amy served time with, such as Kemba Smith, Serena Nunn, and Angie Jenkins were meeting with President Obama, it was announced that 61 prisoners received clemency.  Out of those,…
13 CAN-DO Members Receive Clemency on August 3, 2016 - Watch out 7 minute video of clemency success stories! CAN-DO wants to thank everyone for all your hard work, support and tenacity in this herculean effort to save people from more years, if not a lifetime of suffering behind bars.  With your help, 13 CAN-DO members received clemency in the last…
CLEMENCIES GRANTED ON MAY 5th – FOUR CAN-DO MEMBERS - CAN-DO congratulates everyone on the list – especially Michelle Miles who was #13 on the CAN-DO Top 25 Women, plus Trevis Love, who sent the following email to Malik King – the CAN-DO prison outreach coordinator. “Amy and you sent a very important email out back in early April that…
Seven CAN-DO Members Receive Clemency from Pres. Obama – Dec 18th, 2015 -         Five CAN-DO members on our website and three members not on the site received clemency on 12/18/2015.  We are elated for them and their families who can now start the healing process to overcome the suffering that has claimed too many lives and impacted too many…
Michelle West’s story in Fusion by Casey Tolan - How a woman who’s served 23 years in prison raised her daughter from behind bars by Casey Tolan for Fusion   Please read/share this article on social media and sign Michelle’s Change.org petition. Michelle is #2 on the CAN-DO Top 25.   
USA Today interviews Jason Hernandez at CAN-DO VIGIL for POWs at the White House - CAN-DO Founder and President, Amy Ralston Povah has had a busy November – first attending the Koch Institute’s Advancing Justice Summit in New Orleans from Nov. 3rd – 8th and more recently attending the Drug Policy Alliance’s conference in Washington DC. Amy never goes to DC without taking posters of…
STATS on WOMEN IN PRISON - STATS ON WOMEN IN PRISON And Clemency Recipients – 22 CAN-DO members have received clemency – see list below: Although the rate of incarceration for women continues to be far lower than the rate for men (58 of 100,000 women versus 896 of 100,000 men), the number of women imprisoned…
Sign Our Petition Urging President Obama to Free the Top 25 - The Top 25 Women Deserving Presidential Clemency is a list of extraordinarily worthy women whose time in federal prison should end. These women are serving multi-decade and life without parole sentences for non-violent drug offenses. (video & petition link included)
Do’s and Don’ts When Writing to the Pardon Attorney or President - Dos and Don’ts when writing the Pardon Attorney Before you get started, know that timing is everything. We have received no indication that President Trump is interested in granting clemency at this time.  We do not discourage people from filing clemency because one never knows what might happen, but we…
President Obama grants historic 214 clemencies in one day – 7 are on CAN-DO Top 25! -   “I served time with Josephine,” said CAN-DO Founder Amy Povah.  “This was the best news I’ve received since I heard that Angie Jenkins received clemency.  We were all together at FCI Dublin. We spent many hours in the law library, but what I remember most about Josie was her…
Celebs and Clemency Recipients Speak on Capitol Hill, including CAN-DO Founder Amy Povah - The Leadership Conference, ACLU and #CUT50 partnered for a spectacular day on Capitol Hill, March 31st, to lobby for The Fair Sentencing and Corrections Act of 2015.  Listen to speeches by celebs and a panel discussion moderated by Van Jones asking clemency recipients why this legislation must be passed.  CAN-DO…
Video of Lauren Cesal seeking clemency for her Dad, for Craig Cesal -   Watch the video CAN-DO and Earthstream created of Craig’s daughter Lauren asking for her father to be set free. Craig was on the Clemency and Justice Reform Radiothon and due to the prison phone time limitation, was not able to finish, so here is the rest of the story:…
Women of FCI Dublin Commemorate CP14 in a Quilt for Obama - The CAN-DO Foundation reached out to the women of FCI Dublin to engage in a project that would commemorate President Obama’s legacy of compassion in a quilt made by the prisoners, relative to Clemency Project 2014.  Special material reflective of Obama’s African heritage and home state of Hawaii were chosen,…
Watch the CAN-DO video of clemency recipients and applicants - CAN-DO was tasked with the almost impossible job of creating a film for the events surrounding the White House Briefing on Life After Clemency.  CAN-DO and Harm Reduction Productions teamed up with Earthstream Media to produce a video of that would put a face on the invisible lives of prisoners…
Minnie Pearl Thomas in Denver Post – thanks to Change.org and CAN-DO - Malik King, CAN-DO Prison Outreach Coordinator, put Katina Smith in touch with CAN-DO Founder, Amy Povah so she could ask if Katina wanted to start a change.org petition for her mother, Minnie Pearl Thomas who is #4 on the CAN-DO Top 25 Women Who Deserve Clemency.  Katina agreed it would…
Michelle West in Humans of New York and TruthOut.org - Michelle West was featured in Humans of New York and is currently on the HONY homepage for Brandon’s “Inmate Stories” series. Michelle is in a photo with her brother, instead of the original post because a prison guard (in the background) complained and asked that Brandon take down Michelle’s photo,…
Clemency Recipient Trevis Love Credits CAN-DO! - According to clemency recipient Trevis Love, “Amy and you [Malik King] sent a very important email out back in early April that really motivated me and got a new fire lit in me and lots of the guys here at Manchester Camp ….. the email was titled ” tips to…
Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks about the Fair Sentencing Act of 2015 - CAN-DO Founder Amy Povah goes to Capitol Hill  On April 28th, Amy Povah of CAN-DO joined ranks with members of other organizations, including The Leadership Conference, ACLU and #cut50; an initiative of Van Jones’ Dream Corps.  Together they walked the halls of Capitol Hill and stumbled upon Senator Elizabeth Warren of…
Solidarity of NGOs in Open Letter to President Obama - The CAN-DO Foundation joined 135  Non-profit, Non-Governmental Organizations that signed a letter to President Obama seeking his support for a new approach to the war on drugs. 3/10/2016 Dear Mr. President: In April, the United Nations will hold a “General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem” (UNGASS), its…
White House Vigil for Clemency Applicants - On November 19, 2015, the CAN-DO Foundation performed it’s second annual White House Vigil for the many prisoners profiled on our website.  The Associated Press interviewed Jason Hernandez, the first Latino to receive clemency from President Obama and the video was posted on the USA Today website. Unfortunately, when AP…
CAN-DO’s Ramona Brant in Fusion is now free! - Ramona Brant is the centerpiece of an excellent article in Fusion.  She embodies how brutal our current criminal justice system exploits women who are already victims of domestic abuse by tossing them into a conspiracy indictment that will hold a spouse responsible for everything their abuser has done – and…
Video Project - THIS PROJECT HAS ALREADY REACHED ITS DEADLINE AND IS NO LONGER SEEKING VIDEOS CAN-DO has been tasked with making a video of formerly incarcerated people and family members of currently incarcerated people that we hope to share at several events, this year.   The intent is to show how many…
Ramona Brant in Humans of New York – over half a million likes!!! - Ramona Brant is setting social media on fire – this time on Brandon’s Humans of New York blog and Facebook page.   Her image and story has already garnered over half-a-million likes and been shared over 20,000 times.  It is a 4-part piece that begins with this tease: “I met…
PLEASE SIGN WH PETITION – we need 100,000 signatures -   Andrea C. James – Founder of Families For Justice As Healing, CAN-DO and Lifting as We Climb have linked efforts to create a petition on the White House website seeking support for NINE women serving Life Without Parole – all of whom are FIRST offenders except for Minnie Pearl Thomas…
Obama Visits El Reno Federal Prison – Watch His Speech! -  Watch President Obama’s speech at El Reno Federal Prison and other related videos on Al Jezeera President Obama is the first sitting president to visit a federal prison – historic moments that he will be remembered most fondly for.  Future generations will research and learn the truth about how this…
2015 CAN-DO Awards for Extraordinary Advocacy Focused On Ending the Drug War/Mass Incarceration - CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN ORDER TO THE FOLLOWING CAN-DO AWARD RECIPIENTS Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Nora Callahan Founder of November Coalition for her selfless devotion to POWs throughout the 90s to present day.  Nora was motivated to start a prison advocacy group after her brother, Gary Callahan was sentenced to 27…
Women of Danbury honor CAN-DO Foundation and other women! - CAN-DO Founder Amy Povah received a text from Phyllis Hardy, the “G’ma of Danbury” who has become the face of the #FREEHER movement started by Andrea James, founder of Families for Justice as Healing.  It was a photo of an award that the Women of Danbury gave to three recipients –…
How to Enhance Your Chances for Clemency - Tips Prisoners Can Use to Enhance Chances at Executive Clemency These are historic times. For the first time in over 25 years, there is bi-partisan support for meaningful criminal justice reform. For the first time the Supreme Court is ruling on laws that will reduce sentences without “non-retroactivity” conditions that…
CAN-DO Justice through Clemency What Constitutes a Federal Drug Conspiracy? -   Who Can Be Charged? – Anyone who has any type of agreement or knowledge in connection to others who have the intent to commit drug law violations, (whether or not the accused ever participated in the act) can be charged. When two or more people agree to possess, sell,…
Miquelle West Introduces Amy to Russell Simmons - Meet My New BFF  by Amy Ralston Povah On April 26th, Miquelle West, fashion stylist extraordinaire for Sean Combs company, Revolt TV and daughter of drug war lifer, Michelle West, came to Malibu so we could finally meet in person.  This woman is so amazing, so talented, so wise beyond…
Remember Our Pot Lifers This Fathers Day!!! - This Father’s Day, please pause to reflect upon the fathers in prison, or those who might be a father, if they were not in prison.  It’s time to bring our POWs home.  Life for pot is a disgrace upon the principles in which this country was founded.  We are supposed…
Larry Duke is Free After Serving 26 Years on a Life Sentence for Pot! - We just got word via email from life for pot prisoner Larry Duke that he has gotten an immediate released. he received a compassionate release.  He served 26 years on a Life Sentence for Pot! Many people have been asking exactly what Larry filed to get his Sentence Reduction.  Below…
Increase Your Publishing Chances When You Write a Letter to the Editor - Letters to the Editor are an important tool in building public awareness for your cause. They also tell the publication that public wants to see more coverage on a particular topic. So why not take a few minutes, write a letter to the editor, and let your local publications know…
Amy in Action – CAN-DO Founder Amy Ralston Povah - Amy Ralston Povah Goes to DC – 2014   Amy Meets Gore Vidal Amy spoke to the iconic Gore Vidal about her CAN-DO Foundation. Vidal was outspoken about ending the drug war and congratulated Amy on her efforts to raise awareness to the horrible plight of mass incarceration. Rosary ceremony…
Life for Pot — Beth Curtis’s Top 10 Marijuana Cases Deserving Clemency -   Life for Pot Founder, Beth Curtis, Offers a Suggestion for Clemency To: President Barack Obama Attorney General Eric Holder Deputy Attorney General James Cole ADDRESSING A PROPENSITY FOR OVERINCARCERATION: CLEMENCY AND THE WAR ON DRUGS Grant a systemic or group Presidential Clemency to a unique category of nonviolent federal…
100th Anniversary of the First Marijuana Raid - CALIFORNIA NORML and COALITION FOR CANNABIS POLICY REFORM held a press conference on the LA City Hall steps to mark an infamous day in history: September 8, 2014 – The disastrous legacy of the war on marijuana will be addressed at a press conference to mark the 100th anniversary of…
Robin Shoulders – Received clemency 3/30/16 - Robin Shoulders sent this letter to CAN-DO that she would like to send to President Obama. Dear President Obama, First off I want to say thanks for my clemency! As of now I’m overwhelmed but had faith that you would grant me mercy. Faith is what I have lived on…
209 Clemencies granted by President Obama on 1/17/16 – 3 from Top 25 - Congrats to CAN-DO Members,  Deneise Quintanilla, Lazaro Moreno and Andres Torriente received clemency today! WASHINGTON – Today, the President granted commutation of sentence to 209 individuals and pardons to 64 individuals: The President granted commutations of sentence to the following 209 individuals: • Pablo Abrugar Abulencia –Silver Spring, MD Offense: Conspiracy…
Teresa Mechell Griffin Received Clemency on June 3, Serving Life Sentence - I have 4 children, and 2 grandchildren with one on the way. My baby girl, who is now 23 years old, has autism and needs care around the clock. I have almost spent half my life in prison and I feel I’ve used those years productively.
Clemency recipient Robert Anderson calls CAN-DO staff Malik King and Amy Povah - Congratulations to Robert and his daughter Anna! Message from Robert to CAN-DO Prison Outreach Coordinator, Malik King: GOD IS GOOD! NO I DIDN KNOW THIS WAS COMING BUT I TRUSTED IN THE LORD..I’M GOING TO THE HALFWAY HOUSE…APRIL 7 16..YES I’VE A STRONG SUPPORT SYSTEM…YES I SEE ANOTHER ONE OF…
Anita Gage Is NOW FREE After 24 Years!!! - Anita Gage walked out of federal prison at Victorville today, Monday, Sept 28th, 2015 after serving over 24 years on a 30 year sentence!  Amy Povah was able to talk to her and said, “Hearing Anita giggle was the best sound ever! She was with family, eating at a restaurant…
Therese Crepeau is FREE at LAST – Thanks to Drugs Minus Two! - CAN-DO NEWS – 2 Point Reduction Really Helps Some Inmates! Congratulations to Therese Crepeau, who walked out of prison today after serving 21 years on a 26 year sentence thanks to the  new 2 Point Reduction program..  We can’t wait to hear all about her freedom day and reunion with her…