In a modern, industrialized nation such as the U.S., the problems of hunger and mass incarceration shouldn’t exist to the extent that they do. But they do. The American government should be ashamed of itself for allowing both problems to reach epidemic proportions, and should be even more ashamed of the “solutions” offered by its politicians.
One such “solution” is the Vitter Amendment, part of the Farm Bill. Salon.com describes it:
Certain classes of ex-convicts would be denied food stamp benefits for life, under the amendment offered by Sen. David Vitter (cannily, the crime of soliciting prostitutes is exempted from this ban). While the amendment may sound like common sense, it’s actually a harshly punitive, counterproductive policy that will only increase crime and trap people in the criminal justice system.
Of course, if you are a criminal, you should go to prison. But why continue to punish someone after they’ve been released? What good does that do anyone? And why punish their families, too? The families of criminals would also see a reduction in food aid.
The petition that addresses this issue also raises the important point that minorities will be harmed the most by this bill. It is minorities that unfortunately make up a large percentage of the prison population. Could this be yet another way to keep certain groups down? Sounds like it to me.
No matter how much we may disagree with the behavior of people who commit serious crimes, it’s wrong to force them and their families to starve. Please add your signature to this petition and ask your senator to vote to remove the Vitter Amendment from the Farm Bill. It’s wrong for farmers, it’s wrong for families, and it’s wrong for our country.
To sign this petition, go to CredoMobilize.com.