UnCommon Law is a California non-profit law office whose mission is to help long-term prisoners understand and resolve the factors that contributed to their crimes so that they can safely be released. We work with prisoners for months or years in advance of their parole board hearings, and we represent them in those hearings and in court petitions challenging the parole board and the Governor.
In this video, client Troy Williams and our founder, Keith Wattley, discuss why it’s so difficult for prisoners to rehabilitate themselves in a system built to warehouse them.
On January 6, 2016 and January 13, 2016, Sam Levin of the East Bay Express produced two powerful pieces on California’s parole consideration process: Part One shows how arbitrary parole decisions needlessly keep life-term prisoners behind bars for decades after they have been rehabilitated; Part Two shows how abuse and insensitivity by parole commissioners can discourage prisoners from openly exploring the traumatic experiences that contributed to their crimes. Both articles feature several of UnCommon Law’s clients, and both highlight the importance of our comprehensive and personal approach to advocacy (see the video accompanying Part One here).
To learn more, join us on February 2 at The New Parkway in Oakland for a special screening of Juvies, a 2004 documentary that introduces us to seven children charged in adult court under draconian laws like California’s Proposition 21 and sent off to prison with little hope of ever returning home. You will get to meet one of the film’s subjects, who was finally given a second chance and has made the most of it. You will also learn how landmark legislation that took effect this month – Senate Bills 260 and 261 – has restored hope to thousands of life-term prisoners whose crimes were committed in their youth. Come see how the possibility of parole for “youthful offenders” brings both a new chance for release and a new set of challenges in a system bent on keeping them imprisoned. We can all help them get a second chance to rejoin their families.
7 to 9 pm
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
The New Parkway Theater
474 24th Street, Oakland, CA 94612
(Purchase advance tickets online — strongly recommended)
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You can support our work by making a tax-deductible donation by clicking the Donate Button on the right or by sending a check to 220 4th Street, Suite 103, Oakland, CA 94607. Thank you for your continued support.
Keith Wattley, Founder and Executive Director