I can hardly believe how much time has passed since my husband and I started this social enterprise to improve the lives of the incarcerated and their families. I must confess that I love to do this work, and I wish I had more time to respond to all of you who write to us every week seeking our help. Whether innocent, wrongly convicted, or have a good case of rehabilitation, sadly, we receive many letters touching on this subject, happening across all the states, skin color, age, and gender.

For the same reason, I would like to give you some insight into things to consider when writing a petition seeking help, based on my experience.  

–          Audience:  When writing your petition, you must expand your current reach; what do you mean by that? Think outside the box rather than focusing exclusively on people who are likely to support you (such as friends and family). Ask yourself, if I were out on the streets and never been in my current situation, which facts, details, or the case and your persona would be relevant to include? Unless you are 100% innocent, focus primarily on your achievements during incarceration rather than on the legalities of your case.

–          Current political situation: Stay up to date with trends, watch the news, shows. What are the people talking about? What are the positions? Be careful with the language you use because it can backlash.

–          Keep it short. People do not need to have your life story to sign on to support you; put just relevant facts.

–          Avoid blaming games. Seriously, if there is ONE worst thing you can do unless you are 100% innocent, this is something you must avoid at all cost. When you blame someone or something instead of having accountability, you look bad and lose support.   

–          Do not forget your picture. Last but no less important, get a nice picture of you. A petition without a photo may prevent your potential supporter from making a connection with you.  

If you consider the above points and your partner with some help from the outside, you will have good odds of gaining support; We recommend you to create your online petition page on https://www.change.org; this platform is free. You can tell your support team to go ahead and check out the petition we created for Antwann https://change.org/freeantwann so they can take it as a reference.