Petition statement to be delivered to The Texas State House, The Texas State Senate, Governor Rick Perry, The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama

Allow recovering addicts to have food stamps

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Allow recovering addicts to have food stamps

To be delivered to The Texas State House, The Texas State Senate, Governor Rick Perry, The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama

Petition Statement

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people released from U.S. prisons after felony drug convictions discover that serving time isn't their only punishment.

They are permanently denied the life-sustaining benefits of food stamps and other public assistance. The restrictions come from the 1996 welfare reform legislation, which was adopted at a time when politicians in Washington were maneuvering to be perceived as tough on crime. Its clear that their fight for political survival blinded them to the negative impacts this ban would have on men and women trying to reestablish their lives after prison stays. Needless to say, it also has a huge impact on their children.

Eleven states have adopted the federal restrictions without any changes. In these states, benefits are permanently denied. It doesnt matter how long ago the crime was committed or successful the rehabilitation whether through a strong work history, drug and alcohol counseling, or by avoiding repeat offenses.

Thirty states have altered the ban to allow people who meet certain conditions to receive food stamps or welfare assistance. Most times, the conditions include participating in alcohol and drug treatment sessions, passing drug tests, or staying out of trouble for a certain period of time.

Nine states have lifted the ban entirely.
There are currently 188 signatures. NEW goal - We need 200 signatures!

Petition Background

I am a recovering addict and I have several drug felonies and related theft charges. I can not get food stamps to feed myself, an apartment in my name to live in, and I can't get a job very easily due to my convictions.

I have been clean from heroin for four years and am currently in college for Substance Abuse Counseling but am struggling. I have gotten lucky and found a couple apartments to rent to me but things became very difficult for me between paying rent and bills and food that I just couldn't keep up with it all.

There are so many that expect addicts to get out of prison reformed but the fact is that when we get out no one wants to give us a chance to prove ourselves. So we try for a little while, and after so long we just give up and go back to (for some of us) the only life we have ever known. I have not used in four years, but I have stolen to try to provide shelter and food for myself. It has now been a year since I have committed any crime and I plan on never going back to such a life again. But I need help. We, as recovering addicts just need a little help. Sometimes just a little help can make the biggest difference.

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