Arkansans Organizing 4 Justice

At the age of 24 years old, I received a 40 year sentence under the 70% law as a first time offender; which means that I am required to serve 28 years before I am eligible for parole.   I am a high school graduate, I served in the Army National Guard and have a Business Office Technology trade from Job Corps.  I have a son, a family and friends that are concerned about me.  My name is Sammie Madden, an inmate at the Cummins Unit.  The system doesn’t care how I got here, if I’m innocent or guilty, or about the details of my case.  It doesn’t matter if I’m Christian, Muslim, or Jew.  What matters to the ADC is that I am here; in this system to receive an opportunity for spiritual and mental growth (rehabilitation) as stated in their mission statement.  

The 70% law was designed to not educate or help with mental growth (rehabilitation), but only to “house” human beings.  Since I’ve been here at Cummins Unit, I have tried, unsuccessfully, to enter programs such as thinking errors and anger management to rehabilitate myself in hopes to re-enter society, but I have been put on hold because of the length of time given to me.   At one point, while I was requesting to be placed in the mental growth programs and seeking higher education, I asked a question….”We understand that the inmates with lesser sentences has priority in the programs provided, but should the youth that have greater sentences be denied proper treatment due to the length of their sentence?” I proposed that the inmates with greater sentences be afforded programs as well as those with lesser sentences as opposed to letting the youth live as lawless citizens of the Cummins Unit.  Needless to say, I didn’t receive a response to my question and I’m still waiting to be placed in the programs provided at Cummins.

Another issue here that needs to be addressed is the earning of good time and voluntary work.  Currently those that are sentenced under the 70% law cannot earn good time for working on jobs in the ADC or for good behavior.  Under this law, no matter what is accomplished by inmates, no matter how much an inmate has changed, or no matter what positive action an inmate does, it merits no reward or motivation to continue down a positive path.  It is said that inmates working in the ADC is voluntary.  But the truth is, it’s not voluntary.  Disciplinary actions are taken if you decide not to work.  On the disciplinary, the violation is “disobeying a direct order” from an officer or staff member, but the “direct order” is “go to work!”   It has been stated that if an inmate works in the ADC, he or she is to receive pay or good time;  but under the 70% law, inmates don’t receive good time, the ADC does not pay for services and working is not voluntary.  Of course, when the ones in authority are asked about these allegations, they probably have some laws that have been re-vamped to protect and continue this system of deception, or they will claim that they have no knowledge or will simply lie about it.  This is the question that I ask now, “how did the U S of A, as a whole, allow some states or some systems to revert back to a system of slavery?

This letter is not claiming innocence or guilt, but it is a brief synopsis of what the taxpayers are paying for in regards to how the citizens of Arkansas allow the Arkansas Government to sentence your children, your loved ones, and your friends. 

As most Americans know, the Constitution starts with these words, “WE THE PEOPLE”.  Did the “people” really decide on this type of justice system?  And if so, then the “people” can change it and improve it.  It can evolve into a justice system that helps humans improve and not just “house“ them for personal profits.

My name is Sammie Madden #142944, an inmate at the Cummins Unit.