DURHAM, N.C., June 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Greg Lindberg announced today a $1 million pledge to the ACLU's Criminal Law Reform Project (CLRP). This program focuses its work on the "front end" of the criminal legal system – from policing to sentencing – seeking to end excessively harsh criminal justice policies that result in mass incarceration, over-criminalization, racial injustice, and stand in the way of a fair and equal society.
"People have taken to the streets to air their frustration with a system that is stacked against them," Mr. Lindberg said. "This contribution is meant to help people who don't have the resources to fight injustice."
Mr. Lindberg commented, "I have been disturbed by the consequences of prosecutorial abuses and unjust incarceration of non-violent offenders for some time. Recent events have exacerbated these concerns. Most people can't afford to fight and they get rolled over by prosecutors and their bag of tricks. 'Justice for all' is sadly a mirage in much of today's America."
The donation will support the objectives of the Criminal Law Reform Project to ensure that someday 'justice for all' are not mere empty words – and that the United States justice system truly operates without regard to income, race, or political persuasion, said Mr. Lindberg.
"The 'Justice' system is broken and your freedom is at risk. Major reforms are needed. Even for someone with an ability to hire the best counsel, fighting the U.S. or State Government can wipe people out -- emotionally, financially, physically, spiritually. Most unfortunately emerge not 'rehabilitated' but ruined and defeated. They can't get a job, start a business, or even open a bank account. And for what end? Families, lives, and futures are destroyed," Mr. Lindberg continued.
Mr. Lindberg said he hopes the donation will help expose abusive prosecutors and law enforcement officers, including local, state and federal government agents, who prey on law-abiding citizens, sometimes for their own personal gain.
Mr. Lindberg continued, "We call ourselves a free society but the truth is the United States has the highest prison and jail population (2,121,600 in adult facilities in 2016), and the highest incarceration rate in the world (655 per 100,000 population in 2016)." According to the World Prison Population List (11th edition) there were around 10.35 million people in penal institutions worldwide in 2015. The US had 2,173,800 prisoners in adult facilities in 2015. That means the US held 21.0% of the world's prisoners in 2015, even though the US represented only around 4.4 percent of the world's population in 2015.
In The New Yorker article The Caging of America (2012), Adam Gopnik wrote: "Over all, there are now more people under 'correctional supervision' in America—more than six million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height."
With the emergence of COVID-19 in prison populations, both Federal and state prisons have concluded that non-violent offenders are better off rehabilitating in home detention programs. "If these non-violent offenders are safe for society now, why weren't they safe before? The truth is, they were always safe for society and it took a pandemic for the government to appreciate that," Mr. Lindberg stated.
As the ACLU Founder Roger Baldwin said, "So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we'll be called a democracy."
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SOURCE Greg Lindberg