Bears aid women in prison
Longtime Malibu, California resident Derek Povah recently gave his wife, Amy, a birthday celebration that was also a fundraiser for the CAN-DO (Clemency for All Nonviolent Drug Offenders) Foundation. Amy says the organization “tries to give a voice to women who have been victims of harsh drug laws that were imposed in the late’80s and early ‘90s, some of which have been repealed.”

A priority of CAN-DO is a teddy bear program that supplies stuffed animals to incarcerated mothers “who need to fill a void and ease the trauma at the end of a visit when it is time for the child to separate from his or her mother.” 

“It was a pretty big deal, with the carnival, magic show, EXHIBIT OF DRUG WAR PRISONERS, BBQ,  my speech about my plight and ALL THE WOMEN I left behind - AND other drug war prisoners,” wrote Amy in an email. “I raised over $2,000––which is a small amount when compared to what the big groups make––but is a BIG AMOUNT for CAN-DO.” 

According to its website, CAN-DO gives “top priority to women who were targeted by the government” because a family member “was actively involved in some drug dealing.” The organization also advocates for executive clemency for federal prisoners, male or female, convicted of drug crimes.

Amy Ralston Povah was serving a 24-year sentence for a drug conviction when she was released by executive clemency in 2000. Visit the CanDo Clemency website, or write to Amy Povah at PO Box 6468, Malibu, CA 90264

(Source: The Malibu Surfside News, July 8, 2010 and correspondence with Amy)

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