Springfield State Rep Carlos Gonzales has filed a bill that would allow those in prison to participate in bone marrow or organ donations--and by doing so they would get some time cut off their sentence.
Under the bill--A committee would be established and provide oversight and regulations of the program and allow an incarcerated individual to gain between 60 to 365 days of time reduced from their sentence for choosing to help someone else in need.
Gonzales says that it would broaden the pool of donors and save more lives.
Broadening the pool of potential donors is an effective way to increase the likelihood that family members and friends will receive life-saving treatment. Within one’s own family, the chances of finding a match are approximately 30%. Racial disparities also exist. More than two out of three white people find a bone marrow match, whereas most people of color have less than a 50% chance of finding a match. Those who require transplants are disproportionately people of color.
Representative Carlos Gonzalez stated, “I’ve put more effort into this bill after visiting a friend, who I consider a brother, in the hospital who is required to have dialysis 3 to 4 times a week while he awaits a kidney transplant. He’s a father of three children, and he in his stage 4 of kidney failure. Unless he can obtain a kidney at 40 years old, life expectancy is about 10.4 years for men and 9.1 years for women. I love my friend and I’m praying through this legislation we can extend the chances of life.”
No hearing date has been scheduled yet.
(Photo credit BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)