Push the Pen: Chopping Down a Prison Sentence

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” ― Abraham Lincoln

If you hold to the ideas of time management, preparation, and a new lifestyle that will help you and your loved one get through this prison sentence, you should take the extra time to plan and succeed. To help a loved one in the Bureau of Federal Prisons, keep your figurative ax sharp by tracking legislation for opportunities to chop down a prison sentence. 

The best site to use to track legislation is govtrack.us. Although it is not a government website, it is free and easy to create an account. Just select Login then click the Create a Login First link.

The good thing about this site is that you don’t need a cheat sheet or have to be extra tech savvy to follow legislation. Once you have a login, select Congress > Bills > Crime and Law Enforcement to find the Correctional facilities and imprisonment page. We recommend you bookmark it for future use. 

From that page you can browse bills in the U.S. Congress related to the subject of Correctional facilities and imprisonment, as determined by the Library of Congress. If a particular bill interests you, click on it. 

Once you are on the specific bills main page, you can click on the Track button. Tracking will trigger updates to your email, letting you know when the bill is scheduled for debate, has a significant action such as a vote, gets a new co-sponsor, when a committee meeting is scheduled, when bill text becomes available, or when the authors of govtrack.us write a bill summary. It also will send updates when similar events happen for related bills. Selecting the Track button provides a significant amount of research at your disposal.

Another useful feature is you can click on a link to write to your Congressperson about the bill. This website has a built-in feature for Pushing the Pen. It will tell you who your representatives are and even give you advice on what to write. If you already know the Bill number you are looking for, you can type that right into the website’s search function on any screen’s upper right-hand side.

At times incarcerated individuals feel like they have to take their limited library time to research legislation, or beg their loved ones to do research because of the gossip they’ve heard around the jail. By creating a free account on govtrack.us you have a chance to discover the legislation that will interest them the most. It is also an opportunity for you to fight for legislation and see firsthand that you are prepared  to make a difference.