LOS ANGELES -- That's the advice prison minister and author Marty Angelo made in his most recent letter to President Donald J. Trump.
Angelo has made numerous attempts to reach both President Trump and his son-in -law Jared Krusher who the president put in charge of his 2nd Chance prison reform project.
So far, Angelo claims his attempts to offer the president a program he helped design in 1991 for the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office have fallen on "deaf ears" as it did back in 2006 when he reached out to then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and again in 2013 to Governor Jerry Brown.
The Substance Abuse Awareness Program that Angelo wants President Trump to try has a long track record of evidence-based success. Thousands of inmates graduated from the SAAP program from 1991-2010 never to return to a life of crime."
Angelo stated in his letter to President Trump that, "There seems to be a lot of talk in Washington these days as to wanting to help inmates with you holding meetings with various politicians, corporate leaders, and church pastors. However, nothing substantial seems to have come out of the meetings other than a lot of words and back slapping and repeating the need for reform based on statistics that most Americans already know. Yes... we all know three-out-of-four inmates, on a national level, wind up back in prison within three years. However, I haven't heard of one idea or program come out of your meetings that actually can work at keeping prisoners from going back to jail.
"The national media seems to have bought into your idea and the nation stands behind you hoping you can come up with a positive plan of action.
"In fact," Angelo continues, "One of the reasons why I approached the California governors and you, President Trump... is a LA Times news article written by Jennifer Warren I read back in 2007 on how much of a failure California's in-prison treatment was a waste of over $1 Billion dollars since their program first started in 1989. I thought then Governor Schwarzenegger would jump at the chance at wanting to try something different after learning what a failure his state's attempt was to rehabilitate prisoners. I still have the same enthusiasm today in my approach to you.
"After Governor Schwarzenegger received my letters he seemed to have dropped the ball and we never could come together for a meeting to discuss my proposal.
"In fact, instead of trying my proposed program Governor Schwarzenegger lobbied his state's legislature for 10.9 Billion more dollars to reform the state's prison system."
The terrible recidivism rate continued with 75% of inmates released from California's prisons wind up getting rearrested, not in three years, but within only one month!
"When Governor Schwarzenegger left office I again made numerous attempts to help reform California's prisons by approaching newly elected governor, Jerry Brown. He was left with a mess but it seems he wasn't desperate enough to respond to my many offers and try my proven evidence-based highly successful treatment program.
"Governor Brown held similar meetings with government officials, corporate officers, and religious leaders but never came up with a proven plan that would change inmate's lives so they never return to a life of crime and a return to prison as a result of their actions. This revolving door has made the state's prison system one of the major line items on an already depressed California budget.
"It's been over 12 years since my first attempt to help reform prisons and my prayer today is that we now have a president who isn't afraid to take a chance to try something different to change prisoner's lives for the better.
"I remember reading somewhere online when you were first elected president back 2016 that we didn't elect Trump president to change Donald Trump but instead we elected Trump to change Washington DC. So far... so good. Please don't disappoint our nation's prisoners. I remain at your beckon call."
Marty Angelo's Once Life Matters Ministries, Inc. was founded in 1981 and reaches out to prisons/jails, rehabs, college campuses, troubled celebrities, politicians and to members of the military.
To read background information and various letters, etc. please see: