President Obama responds to Crofton girl's letter

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An 11-year-old Crofton girl sent a letter to President Barack Obama to make sure her incarcerated father has resources available to him when he is released from prison. Obama responded.

Lots of kids write letters to the president, though not all of them get a response.

But 11-year-old Madison did.


The Crofton girl wrote to President Barack Obama in February to ask for his help to make sure her father is able to get a job after he is released from incarceration in the Patuxent Institute in August.

"When he gets out I want him to have a great job, a house, and to see me more often," Madison wrote in her letter. "My biggest wish is for him to be very successful and never go to jail again."


Madison wrote that she was so distraught over her father's imprisonment she looked for books to help her cope with the difficult time in her life. Unable to find the right book, Madison decided to write one of her own, revolving around her situation.

"As an 11 year old, I thought I didn't have a voice, but I realized I did," she said in her letter.

In response, Obama wrote back to Madison and told her that he admires her determination, and to "hold on to the optimism and resolve" that got her this far. Madison's letter and Obama's response were posted online by the White House.

Obama went on to tell Madison about what he and his administration were doing to help people like her father. The Federal Interagency Reentry Council is looking to improve rehabilitation programs, including job training, drug counseling and programs that will assist ex-convicts in finding housing, as well as receiving health care and education.

Obama has made effecting change in the criminal justice system a priority, as seen by the 248 people whose prison sentences he has commuted. One of those commuted sentences, announced this week, was for a Bowie man.

"I will keep doing everything I can to make sure all our people have the opportunity to earn a second chance," Obama said in his letter.

The White House Council on Women and Girls was so inspired by Madison's story that they invited her to an event at the White House focusing on women and the criminal justice system.

Through it all, Madison remains hopeful that her father and those like him will get that second chance.


"If an 11 year old can find the courage to write a book about one of the most embarrassing situations in her life time, then I know you can do something as the President of the United States of America to help support all convicted felons when they get out of jail," she wrote.

Attempts to reach a White House spokesman for comment were unsuccessful. Madison, whose last name was not made public, also couldn't be reached.