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The Empty Chairs at Thanksgiving

“Dinner table” by gromgull is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you are able to celebrate this holiday surrounded by those you love.

As always around this time of year at FAMM, we’re thinking even more than usual about people who should be free and home with their families. But extreme prison sentences and no opportunity for second chances are keeping them behind bars.

We know the pain of having an empty chair at the dinner table, especially during the holidays. For 30 years, FAMM has been fighting to reunite families sooner. Just this week we held a protest at the White House to call for clemency for the thousands of people on federal home confinement. We need mercy for people, not just turkeys.

As always, we fight for sentencing reform around the country to give second chances to the people our justice system is throwing away. We continue to promote independent prison oversight so that until our incarcerated loved ones are free, they are kept safe and treated with dignity.

On this day of Thanksgiving, we will take a moment to feel gratitude our work has helped so many. And we will renew our commitment to filling more of those empty chairs at the table in the days ahead.

Kevin Ring is FAMM’s president.