CAN-DO Justice through Clemency

Clemency for All Non-violent Drug Offenders

Activism

NBC interviews Robert Shipp’s sister, Veda to discuss the First Step Act - When NBC called CAN-DO seeking names of people who would benefit from the First Step Act, CAN-DO President Amy Ralston Povah had just the right person – Robert Shipp.  NBC wanted to film family members of incarcerated people who would come home soon, if not immediately due to the passing of the First Step Act, signed into law by President Trump on December 21st. Amy met Robert’s sister, Veda Ajamu, in 2014 while attending an event in Washington DC.  She was moved by Veda’s passion to raise awareness for her brother who was serving a life sentence.  Later, his sentence was reduced to 30 years due to Amendment 782.  Unfortunately .....
Sign our petition to FREE ALL POT PRISONERS! - The CAN-DO Foundation has submitted a list of clemency candidates to the White House. One list was comprised solely of 22 people serving time for marijuana-only offenses.  Most of these individuals have already served over 10 years and Antonio Bascaro has served 38 years for a first time pot offense!  This is an outrage that must be corrected, posthaste. Please sign and share our change.org petition with your network so we can bring these people home. We believe President Trump’s next act of mercy should come swiftly for everyone serving federal time for marijuana drug cases.  Not one person in the history of our nation has ever overdosed on marijuana. .....
CAN-DO’s official statement regarding BOP Book memo - The CAN-DO Foundation has been notified (May 3) that the BOP has finally issued a statement regarding the BOP Book policy which will be suspended.  We are not convinced it has been “cancelled” so we wait to see what the new memo says. Ann Marimow at the Washington Post wrote the latest update on the BOP Book memo, entitled,  Federal prisons abruptly cancel policy that made it harder, costlier for inmates to get books  Initially, CAN-DO worked with reporter Lauren Gill who broke the story in In Justice Today about the BOP Book memo that is already in effect in federal prisons such as FCI Victorville_memos and FCI Atwater.  FCI Coleman .....
CAN-DO Foundation communicates directly with every prisoner on our site - Since 2000, Amy Ralston Povah, president and Founder of CAN-DO Foundation has advocated on behalf of others seeking justice through clemency.  The CAN-DO Foundation website does not collect or compile the information on this site by surfing the internet.  We communicate directly with almost every prisoner and/or their family members on the CAN-DO website.  In addition to the prisoners profiled on this site, we communicate with approximately 350 prisoners serving time in federal prisoners.   If you are interested in being put in direct communication with a prisoner on this site, or wish to focus on a particular case, please contact us, using our contact link. We also have a .....
CAN-DO applauds President Trump’s first commutation! - The CAN-DO Foundation is overjoyed by President Trump’s first commutation of sentence to Sholom Rubashkin, an Iowa kosher meatpacking executive.   This is remarkable for two reasons.  It’s very rare for a president to commute a sentence in their first year in office.  President Obama, who granted a record number of commutations, only granted one in his third year in office on November 21, 2011 to Eugenia Marie Jennings.  He did not grant any more until his second term on December 19, 2013 to eight individuals, all convicted of drug crimes.  We hope this is an indication that President Trump is interested in granting commutations to numerous individuals who have paid their price .....
CAN-DO Survey! Federal halfway houses - Responding to outcry from prisoners who’ve been devastated by their half-way house dates being pushed back, (even the day before some were set to release) CAN-DO performed a survey to verify this is not happening to “only 1% of the total number of beds under contract”  as stated by a BOP Spokesperson who misled Reuters when questioned about this issue.    To date, 16 halfway house contracts have been cancelled and the maximum amount of half-way house time awarded to most prisoners is now 4 months, instead of 6-12 months. Half-Way House Survey Questions 10/22/17 CAN-DO asked the following questions and below are the answers from only a small percentage of prisoners .....
CAN-DO Petition: Reduce Sentences of Incarcerated CA Firefighters is on FIRE! - CAN-DO has launched a new change.org petition seeking clemency from Governor Brown for prisoners who risk life and limb to save the lives and homes of other California residents.  We are thrilled to see it gaining so much momentum because these prisoners deserve to be rewarded for their heroic acts. We predict to hit 50K signatures by Monday, November 6, 2017!   Help us get there. Help us reach our goal of 25,000 in one week to show Governor Brown how much appreciation the residents of California have for prisoners who have gone far beyond the norm to prove they deserve a second chance by demonstrating exceptional conduct worthy of .....
CAN-DO endorses clemency for California female fire fighters who risk life and limb… - The CAN-DO Foundation believes that incarcerated female firefighters should receive clemency from Governor Brown for displaying extraordinary character in the face of dire circumstances.  Rehabilitation has long been an incentive to reduce a prison sentence and we can see no better opportunity than this, to set an example by rewarding these women with their freedom in return for their bravery, hard work, and for saving the state of California millions of dollars.  If California’s budget and residents benefit from this program, then it must be a two-way street. As reported in The Mary Sue: NBC News reported that roughly 3,800 inmates (13 percent of California’s firefighting force) are enrolled in .....
CAN-DO has a new petition on Change.org – PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE! - We have started a new petition on Change.org seeking support for a reversal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions directive to escalate the drug war, seize more property, treat the opioid crisis as a criminal issue and allow the DEA to hire their own prosecutors!  He is determined to grow the already bloated prison industrial complex and undo the incremental progress we have made over the last 10 years! We must push back by raising our voices against any return to the ‘tough on crime’ battle cry of the late 80s and 90s that has cost taxpayers billions of dollars with no positive results to show for such a colossal waste of .....
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 who are featured in this video produced by Harm Reduction Productions for the CAN-DO Foundation and the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls Lets #FREEHER by supporting clemency for more women! Names in red are CAN-DO members. 1. Jasmine Allen 05/05/2016 Florida Conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine 2. Sandra Avery 12/18/2015 Florida .....
Watch our 7 minute video of women who have received clemency!!! - The CAN-DO Foundation is a 501(c) (3) that operates on a volunteer basis.  Not one person working for CAN-DO receives a salary.  We are small group of formerly incarcerated people.  Most the people in our Guardian Angel program are formerly incarcerated or a family member of a clemency applicant who currently has a clemency petition pending.  And, we could use your help! We have NO BENEFACTOR, have never applied for a grant and have limited funds, but we have unlimited passion! The CAN-DO Foundation has performed THREE CAN-DO White House vigils and we will conduct another one on Sept 16th, 2016.   Less than 5% of the clemency recipients have .....
Join the CAN-DO Guardian Angel Program - Amy Povah of the CAN-DO Foundation launched the Guardian Angel program to assign volunteers with prisoners seeking mercy through clemency.   In essence, our volunteers, many of whom have served time or are a family member of a prisoner are working together to help individuals who were left behind in their struggle to obtain freedom. This program pairs good samaritans who want to get involved with those who desperately need someone to be their voice, eyes and ears on social media, outreach, and to keep them informed with regard to new laws, criminal justice reform efforts,  and rapid responders when something goes wrong in the life of an incarcerated individual. .....
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.  67 were people serving life without parole.  CAN-DO was advocating for 13 people who received clemency and seven people were on our Top 25.  FIVE of those seven had change.org petitions.  Josephine Ledezma, Minnie Pearl Thomas, Charceil Kellam, Dicky Joe Jackson, and Antonio Lopez!  It’s a sign of progress but more needs to be done and you can help.  Josephine .....
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 E. Cummings Ranking Member – U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight & Government Reform Re: Justice Roundtable Letter for the Hearing on Criminal Justice and Efforts to Reduce Recidivism Dear Chairman Gowdy and Ranking Member Cummings: On behalf of the 28 undersigned organizations, representing the Justice Roundtable, a national coalition of legal, civil rights, criminal justice, human rights and faith-based organizations .....
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 drug charges are individuals who exercised their right to a trial and were penalized harshly because only those who enter into a plea agreement can escape the mandatory sentences imposed by the Sentencing Guidelines that was enacted in 1986. Amy’s story is one of four cases that director Regan Hines spotlights to help viewers understand the human toll the drug .....
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 advocates for clemency for people convicted of drug offenses. Issuing denials means that the president no longer has the option to grant that person clemency before leaving office, effectively leaving many to die in prison. Povah knows what it’s like to hope and wait and pray for executive clemency. In 1991, Povah was sentenced to 24 years and four months .....
CANDO PODCAST #1 Cedric Lamont Dean - CANDO’s first podcast, hosted by Amy Povah and Luis Rivera welcomes Cedric Lamont Deal, who received an immediate release last November.  In our first show, Cedric explains how he lost his half-way house date, but then was rewarded with the ultimate surprise…tune in to find out what Cedric is up to, as a free man.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaSMdGKJ3gg&feature=youtu.be  
6 CAN-DO MEMBERS RECEIVED CLEMENCY on 3/30/2016 - While Amy Povah was at the White House for a convening on Women in Prison, it was announced that 61 prisoners received clemency.  Out of those, six were CAN-DO members. Robert Anderson – serving LIFE.  CAN-DO featured Robert’s daughter, Anna, which will be played at a Google dinner on the 31st after the White House Briefing on Life after Clemency Angela Laplatney – Robin Shoulders Carol Richardson – Has been on the CAN-DO top 25 since it’s inception – huge congratulations to Carol and her family! Dwayne (Duane) Twane Walker – CAN-DO was recently out in front of the White House interviewing Norman Brown who is friends with Duane and held up .....
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 batch that President Obama granted on August 3, 2016.  A historic 214 people were given back their freedom. We are elated for 13 CAN-DO members who received clemency.   SEVEN were on our Top 25 lists for WO/MEN, including: Josie Ledezma Minnie Pearl Thomas Pauline Blake Charceil Kellam Dicky Joe Jackson Antonio Lopez Tommy Martinez Six more members include: Debra .....
4 CAN-DO Members Granted Clemency 5/5/2016 - 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 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 enhance your chances of getting clemency” what that email said is the GOSPEL!!!!! I read it several times and I followed the pointers outlined in it fully and sent it to my .....
7 CAN-DO Members Receive Clemency 12/18/2015 -         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 memories. Update: Ramona Brant will leave the Brooklyn Detention center on Feb 1st. CAN-DO sent Angie Jenkins $500 to go toward a computer and we recommend that you watch the following video of the day she was released from prison after 17 years – grab a tissue: Angie’s Freedom Day Ramona Brant – Serving Life for Crack Cocaine Sharanda Jones .....
Walter Johnson – Winner of EPIC “Meaning of Father’s Day” contest - Malik King – Founder of EPIC (End Prison Industrial Complex) conducted a contest among the male prisoners he corresponds with and asked them to write what Father’s Day meant to them.  Congratulations to Walter Tut Johnson, Maurice Navarro Brooks and Vincent Lee Twiggs  FIRST PLACE WINNER  – $25 prize What Does Father’s Dat Mean To Me; by Walter Tut Johnson Father’s Day is a tribute to the men that have matured in their thoughts, words, and deeds. It’s a token of love and celebration to those men who are respected, held in honor, and recognized for their leadership and devotion to their families. It is a toast of recognition to .....
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 the prisoners we advocate for at CAN-DO, so on Friday, November 20th, Amy and a handful of other attendees, which included clemency recipient Jason Hernandez under President Obama, clemency recipient Jeff Mizanskey who was pardoned by Governor Nixon of Missouri and Amy Povah, clemency recipient under President Clinton, Beth Curtis, founder of Lifeforpot.com and Pat Williams – Vice President of .....
Amy Ralston Povah nominated for Activist of the Year – Please vote! - CAN-DO Foundation’s President Amy Ralston Povah has been nominated for Activist of the Year by the Cannabis Business Awards.  As a member of the cannabis community, a few of Amy’s achievements include: Produced, directed and wrote the award winning 420-The Documentary film that took top prize and won Best Documentary Feature at the Santa Monica Awareness awards in 2013 Sent a list of pot prisoners to the White House, as requested by then White House counsel and reported in Washington Examiner Started a change.org petition urging President Trump to FREE ALL POT PRISONERS posthaste as his next act of mercy. Has sent numerous petitions of pot prisoners to the White .....
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 enhance your chances of getting clemency.” What that email said is the GOSPEL!!!!! I read it several times and I followed the pointers outlined in it fully and sent it to my family and friends who [are] drained and tired from all the past letters they had been sending out for me!” This was music to our CAN-DO ears!  We .....
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 the phone calls we receive post-release, which incite cheers, screams and tears of joy.  But we don’t very often participate in projects that involve Oscar winning actors, such as Tim Robbins, who portrays Joe Jackson in the following video.  The #MySentence video series was created to raise the discussion about former prisoners whose unjust sentences have been commuted by President Obama. To .....
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 in the United States since 1980 has increased at a rate nearly double the rate for men Women are arrested and incarcerated primarily for property and drug offenses, with drug offenses representing the largest source of the increase (36%) in the number of women prisoners in 1998. 60% of women in state prison have a history of drug dependence. During .....
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.  President Trump was moved by Kim Kardashian’s plea to free Alice Marie Jonson, who was #1 on the CAN-DO Top 25 women.  Soon after Alice was set free CAN-DO got a phone call asking for “a list” of worthy clemency candidates to be sent to the White House.  We have sent several and we believe President Trump is sincere about wanting to free more people through executive clemency.  We want people to have a good understanding of the process, because we get a lot of questions.   First, make sure that if the .....
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 soul.  Josie has a very pure soul, despite what anyone believes about people who are convicted of drug crimes.” Channel 7 reached out to CAN-DO a few hours after the list of clemencies released inquiring to interview Josie’s family.  We put them in contact with Josie’s daughter, Lizette Ledesma and the result is the following happy ending news-story of a .....
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 Founder Amy Povah gave the final statement.  See and read more details of this trip, including a chance meeting with Sen. Elizabeth Warren   And, see the itinerary for the day on #cut50          
Video of Lauren Cesal seeking clemency for her Dad, 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: I’m Craig Cesal, and have been serving a life without the possibility of parole sentence since March, 2002. Although even the prosecutor admits I’ve never bought, sold, grew, or even smoked marijuana, I stand convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. The charge of conspiracy often reaches those not committing actual crime. I owned a Chicagoland shop repaired trucks for a .....
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, a “court-house steps” pattern, symbolic hearts, and border patches reflecting our President’s legacy were applied along the border.  Here is the message from the women who made the quilt explaining the intricacies of their creation: Roberta Bell, who is serving a life sentence and is seeking clemency, stepped up to lead the task and organize the women around this mission. .....
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 seeking clemency.  We asked family member to send in footage of themselves talking about their loved ones seeking clemency and we interviewed clemency recipients talking about the importance of clemency.  We were not able to use all the footage that was sent to us but we will try to add more stories and make the individual segments of each family .....
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 be a good idea, so we worked with Katina to draft a plea urging the public to help bring Katina’s mom home.  Katina Smith received clemency on July 13th 2015 and was able to attend the Super Bowl and watch her son, Demaryius Thomas, play in Super Bowl 50. The Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10, winning their first Super .....
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, even though no one could identify him. He was a tiny brown blob.  You can share and engage in comments on the HONY Facebook page. Vikki Law has written a powerful article in Truth Out.org entitled: Mothers Serving Long-Term Drug Sentences Call for Clemency  about the many women and mothers serving time due to draconian drug conspiracy laws that mandate long sentences .....
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 Massachusetts.  Van Jones explained to Senator Warren that we were there to meet with select members of the House and Senate to determine whether they would be voting in favor of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015.  Our mission was to convince those who were still undecided why this legislation is so critical and should be passed, post .....
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 highest-level drug policy meeting since 1998. US agencies have played a leading role on the global stage as UNGASS approaches, promoting important agendas such as alternatives to incarceration, public health approaches, and human rights reforms. In key respects, however, we the undersigned NGOs believe the current US position for UNGASS takes a short-term approach, stopping short of the crucial reforms .....
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 interviewed Jason CAN-DOers were holding up posters of Pot Lifers that were the focus of filmmaker Jeff Eichman for a documentary he’s producing called “LIFERS.” Later, we held up posters of many prisoners who fit the dialogue Jason was sharing with the press in the USA Today link above – regarding the disparity of crack cocaine laws in the 90s .....
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 more.  CAN-DO President, Amy Povah worked with Fusion reporter, Casey Tolan who wanted to interview one of the women on the CAN-DO Top 25 Women Seeking Clemency.  Ramona Brant was a perfect fit.  She is currently detained in the Federal Detention Center in Brooklyn because the women’s correctional facility in Danbury closed, displacing many female prisoners.  Casey lived conveniently close .....
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 perfectly normal, wonderful people are free who pose no threat to society (and never did).  We have to overcome the stigma of prisoners being people that society is afraid of, and to overcome the opposition of releasing prisoners who deserve clemency or a reduction of their sentence. We’d prefer to get videos by March 20th but we will continue building this video .....
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 Donald when I was twenty-six. He pursued me relentlessly. He’d call me every day. He’d invite me to come to the Bahamas with him. He’d buy me all kinds of things. He would even loan me his vintage corvette for the weekend. I was just starting out in life. I wasn’t used to all that attention. He had his own .....
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 years.  The November Coalition engaged in over 100 vigils across the nation and among many notable feats, they conducted a 7 month bus-tour throughout the United States holding vigils at prisons, courthouses, and State Capitol buildings.  Nora also published the Razor Wire newspaper that went into almost every federal prison in the U.S. for 10 years.  Nora created The Wall .....
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 – “Amy Lou” Povah, Andrea James and Topeka Sam, Ladies of Hope Ministries, for their devotion to helping the women they left behind. “I was shocked,” said Amy Povah. “I have never received an award for the work I do as an activist. This is something I will cherish and proudly display – when I’m 90 years old, I’ll point to .....
How to Enhance Your Chances for Clemency - Executive Clemency Petition in Malibu, CA Tips Prisoners Can Use to Enhance Chances at an Executive Clemency Petition in Malibu, CA. If you are going to file a clemency petition please do not re-hash the particulars of your case. This is not the time to re-litigate, rather a time to accept responsibility, express remorse, and be honest about your participation in the crime for which you were convicted. You do not have to admit to things you did NOT do, but don’t minimize your actions or culpability. For assistance in filing your clemency petition contact CAN-DO. TIPS FOR PRISONERS:   (Written during the Obama Clemency Initiative  so some of these .....
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, manufacture or distribute illegal substances, each person can be charged, even if one of them is unaware of the activity. Innocent people who unknowingly participate in drug conspiracies also may be charged. For example, if you loan your vehicle to someone who then uses it to deliver drugs and is caught, you may be considered a participant. There does not .....
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 her years that I never wanted the day to end.  We couldn’t stop talking about our mutual respect for her mother, Michelle, who is featured on the CAN-DO homepage; has served over 21 years and, as Miquelle puts it – is her inspiration on a daily basis and was the motivation that encouraged Miquelle to shoot for the stars!  And .....
Crystal Munoz Serving Over 19 years in Ladybud Magazine - “Her nightmare began when DEA agents visited Munoz’s home. They assured the young mother of an infant daughter, who happened to be pregnant with her third child at the time, that she was not in any kind of trouble. The agents claimed they merely needed to speak with Crystal to get a few questions answered and details cleared up about an incident that had taken place 3 years earlier.” To read the entire article go to: No More Drug War: Mother Crystal Munoz doing 19 years for DEA Set Up
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 to be intelligent humanitarians. Lets encourage our leaders to act like it. CAN-DO believes that ALL people serving time for marijuana, should be released from prison.  We are currently spotlighting the many men serving LIFE (or de-facto life) for a plant that many are legally growing, selling and using for both recreational and medicinal purposes.  CAN-DO is launching a campaign .....
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 is Larry’s email to CAN-DO’s Amy Povah, explaining in detail: Good Morning Amy Ray, The RIS package is an internal attempt and measure to relieve overcrowding, and is completely separate and different than the Clemency Petition. It was started as an amendment to the Compassionate Release Policy Policy Statement 5050.49. The old policy statement was 5050.46. Anyway, this has been .....
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 your thoughts.  A Letter to the Editor (LTTE) has a lot in common with a Facebook rant, so chances are you already have the skills you need. Keep in mind that a Letter to the Editor is different than an opinion piece (Op-Ed). In the former you are commenting about an article that has been published. In the latter you .....
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 held by Martin Sheen at Arlington West in Santa Monica – 2002 FAMM fundraiser in Los Angeles – 2009 Amy spoke at a FAMM fundraiser in Los Angeles 2009. Amy met with singer/songwriters, Jill Sobule, Herbie Hancock and Julie Stewart Founder of FAMM. Journey for Justice Rally – 2005 On August 13 -14, 2005, Amy attended the Journey for Justice .....
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 inmates who are drug offenders serving sentences of defacto life or life without parole. Sign the Petition here!     Model this task on the mass-clemency granted by President Gerald Ford and President Jimmy Carter who gave commutations to those who had violated the Selective Service Act during the War in Viet Nam. The War on Drugs has been an .....
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 the nation’s first “marihuana” raid in LA’s Mexican Sonoratown neighborhood (pictured) on Thursday, Sept 11 at 10 am. at LA City Hall, Spring Street Steps. The raid was the opening shot in a hundred years’ war that has seen over 2.7 million Californians arrested for victimless marijuana crimes, with a disproportionately great impact on minorities. CAN-DO Founder Amy Ralston Povah .....
Robin Shoulders – 20 years – 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 for all these years when I felt all alone and scared of the unknown. I have a lot of obstacles ahead of me, my sister was shot in 2008 and passed away in 2009, leaving my mother to care for her 3 kids and my 3 kids, so I’m going home to finish raising her youngest 2 and my youngest, .....
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 to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine; Eastern District of Virginia Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (April 11, 2008) Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to a term of 205 months’ imprisonment, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment. • Christopher Almaguer – Fort Worth, TX Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 .....
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 OUR EPIC BROTHERS HAS MADE IT AS WELL..I’M HAVE TO MEET HIM AND LET HIM KNOW THAT I CANT WAIT TO MEET YOU BROTHERS IN PERSON..I BEEN DOWN 23 YEARS TO BE EXACT.GIVE AMY MY LOVE…GOD IS GOOOD…SEND ME YOUR # SO I CAN CALL WHEN I’M ON THE ROAD THURSDAY MORNING…MUCH LOVE ROBERT. P.S.. BROTHER WE GOING TO WORK .....
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 and said she was in “street clothes.” CAN-DO Founder, Amy Povah personally knows Anita because her “room” was next to hers when they served time together at FCI Dublin. There were no bars at Dublin because it was originally a youth correctional facility for boys that still has the original wooden doors with a small window to peep through. “Anita .....
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 fiancé, Chris and family!   Therese was #9 on the CAN-DO Top 25 of Women Who Deserve Clemency. Unfortunately, President Obama hasn’t ruled on her petition yet, but that couldn’t stop Therese from walking through those doors today thanks to the retroactive “Drugs Minus Two” that reduced her sentence so that she could be released to a half-way house.  Justice .....