Call scripts for "Bad Bills" call in day

TelephoneRepresentative Stephens, Representative Toepel, and Representative Delozier recently introduced bills that would place significant financial strain on people charged with crimes, people in prison, people returning from prison, their families, and our communities in Pennsylvania. These bills (HB1089, HB758, and HB123) not only devalue already low wages that people incarcerated or formerly incarcerated receive by redirecting their earnings back to the state, they heap costs onto those already most impacted by poverty in our communities, thereby decreasing community investment and using taxpayer dollars to reinvest in the failed system of mass incarceration. These bills do nothing to help people who have been harmed by violence, who would be better served by investment in community-based mediation, mental health care, and other needed social services.

HB1089, HB758, and HB123 have already passed the house and are waiting for a vote on the Senate Judiciary Committee. On Tuesday, October 27, 2015, we are asking that all who oppose worsening conditions for people impacted by mass incarceration take five minutes to call your local Senator and stop these bills from passing through the Senate. We have provided a call-script below as a guide.

After calling, please post a short message to the Decarcerate PA Facebook page, letting us know that you called and what kind of response you received!

SCRIPT for calling Senators Greenleaf or Senator Leach (Senate Judiciary Chairs)

Caller: “Hi, my name is ______________. I’d like to speak to Senator Greenleaf/Leach or his staff person who handles Senate Judiciary Committee matters.”

You may be told no one is available to speak with you. You can then tell the receptionist or whoever you are speaking with.

Caller: “I am calling to voice my concern about House Bills 1089, 758, and 123 that passed the house and may be up for a vote in the Senate Judiciary this fall. If passed, these bills would harm those impacted by incarceration and our communities. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a supporter of the rights of people and families impacted by incarceration, I wanted to make sure that Senator [Greenleaf/Leach] was aware of Bills 1089, 758, and 123 and encourage them not to advance these bills in the Senate Judiciary Committee. I am in strong opposition to these bills as they are designed to financially exploit incarcerated people, people facing criminal charges, their families, and will contribute to recidivism, keep people out of the formal workforce, and--in the case of HB123--potentially lead to longer periods of incarceration for people being held on bail. II am urging Senator [Greenleaf/Leach] to stop this legislation from going through the Senate Judiciary Committee.

If passed, this legislation will make conditions worse for people in prison, punish their families and communities, and worsen the impact of mass incarceration in Pennsylvania. These bills will not help people who have been harmed by violence, who would be better served by investment in community-based mediation, mental health care, and other needed social services. I know Senator [Greenleaf/Leach] has expressed support for the families of men and women incarcerated in Pennsylvania’s prisons, and I hope he will show that support by voting against these bills.

If you have the chance to talk more at length to a staff person or the representative, or if you are interested in writing them a letter, here is a summary of the bills and some talking points for your reference: http://decarceratepa.info/StopBadBills

SCRIPT for calling Senate Judiciary Committee Members

Caller: “Hi, my name is ______________. I’d like to speak to Senator _____________ or his/her staff person who handles Senate Judiciary Committee matters.”

You may be told no one is available to speak with you. You can then tell the receptionist or whoever you are speaking with.

Caller: “I am calling to voice my concern about house bills 1089, 758, and 123 that passed the house and may be up for a vote in the Senate Judiciary this fall. If passed, these bills would harm those impacted by incarceration and our whole communities as a whole. I wanted to make sure that Senator ___________ was aware of Bills 1089, 758, and 123 and would vote against them if they come before the Senate Judiciary Committee. I am in strong opposition to these bills as they are designed to financially exploit incarcerated people, people facing criminal charges, their families, and our communities through their divestment in keeping people at home and in the formal workforce, and their investment in a failed mass incarceration system. I am urging Senator ______________ to stop this legislation from going through the Senate Judiciary Committee.

If passed, this legislation will make conditions worse for people in prison and their families, punish their families and communities, and worsen the impact of mass incarceration in Pennsylvania. These bills will not help people who have been harmed by violence, who would be better served by investment in community-based mediation, mental health care, and other needed social services. I am counting on Senator ________________ to invest in our communities instead of in mass incarceration, and I hope he will show that support by voting against these bills.

If you have the chance to talk more at length to a staff person or the representative, or if you are interested in writing them a letter, here is a summary of the bills and some talking points for your reference: http://decarceratepa.info/StopBadBills

You can find the contact info for your local Senator below:

For more info, check out http://decarceratepa.info/StopBadBills