Building Bridges

The monthly newsletter of the Prison Action Network

Translate this page:

Saturday, October 04, 2014

OCTOBER 2014



Welcome to the site of Building Bridges, 
Prison Action Network's newsletter 

 If you would like to receive a copy in your email in-box every month, please send a note.

During the month we post late breaking news and announcements here, so please check back now and then. 

To enlarge the text size, try clicking your cursor anywhere in the text, and then press the command key with the + key.


Click here to sign our petition asking Gov. Cuomo to establish a Commission on Parole


Scroll down to read Building Bridges Oct 2014


Posted Oct 31 - Prison Action Network

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!  [If this is not enough to convince you, maybe watching this video  will.] 

Some people have lost faith in voting, but we say if you're taking the time to read this, you must be concerned about the dysfunctional criminal justice system.  And for people like yourself this is a very important election. We will be voting for people who have the most control over the NYS criminal justice system.  Not that many people vote in these mid term elections, because unlike us, they have no idea who represents them in the state legislature, nor how their lives are affected by a failed criminal justice system.

So scroll (way, way down) and read Article 12 about our endorsements.  

But wait!  ...here's a couple that aren't mentioned in that article:  

Vote NO! on Ballot Proposal 1.  Here's why*:  Prop 1 is titled "Revising State's Redistricting Procedure".  It calls for amending the State Constitution to create a 10-member commission directly and indirectly made up of the Assembly and Senate (think Skelos and Nozzolio types) leadership. That's like allowing the foxes to draw the blueprint for the henhouse.  Do. Not .Vote. for this Proposal.  *some of this language comes from Metroland, the Capital Region's Alternative Newsweekly Vol 37, #44.


Would you like a governor who granted clemency once in awhile?  Consider what Howie Hawkins said on Democracy Now!: 
"We want a Cabinet-level civil rights department to deal with the massive segregation we’ve got in New York state. We want a new public housing program that can begin to desegregate, with mixed-income, scattered-site housing. And then we’ve got to address the criminal justice system. I mean, this governor has been very hard-hearted, very few clemencies, three for people already out of prison. We have tens of thousands of prisoners in for nonviolent drug offenses, and we need to get them out of prison and expunge their records so they can have access to jobs, housing and employment. And, you know, the disparities in the criminal justice system are the worst segregation we’ve got.

Howie Hawkins is the Green Party candidate for New York governor, running against a Libertarian, a Republican, as well as the incumbent, Governor Cuomo.


Posted Oct 29 - Zephyr Teachout

The political fight for control of the New York State Senate is extremely tense
right now. Polling shows it could go either way. Big hedge fund managers
and big real estate moguls are spending millions to win it for Republicans.
Please join me and Sierra Club's Roger Downs on an important pre-election
 conference call this Thursday at 7:00 pm to find out what you can do to win
 back the New York State Senate. With a Democratic Senate, we have a chance
 at passing public financing, better school funding, banning fracking
[the SAFE Parole Act, Editor]. With a Republican Senate, we'll have at least two
 more years of Andrew Cuomo blaming Republicans for not getting a progres-
sive, populist agenda passed.  
The control of the State Senate will come down to voter turnout in a handful of
 close races. Join us on this call to find out what you can do to help us win back
 the Senate! Please spread the word:
Conference Call Info
Thursday, October 30, 2014
7:00-8:00pm
Dial-in Number: 712-775-7085
Participant Code: 956836# 
If you live in or near a district where there’s a close race, we'll be sending you
 more detailed information shortly on the best ways to help get out the vote for
 Democratic candidates.
Another critical vote that deserves your attention is Proposal 1, a sham of an
amendment which would enshrine gerrymandering in New York’s constitution.
 Make sure you vote NO on Prop 1.
Thank you for all your ongoing support. We have one week left to make a
difference for the election next Tuesday. Let’s make that week count!

Sincerely,
P.S. I am not making an endorsement in the Gubernatorial race. It does not
look like Astorino has a chance of winning, so vote your conscience with
good conscience, whether that is voting for Cuomo on the WFP line, or
voting for Howie Hawkins.



Posted Oct 23 - League of Women Voters
Getting Ready to Vote!
Halloween is right around the corner, but there’s something scarier than goblins, ghouls and ghosts – not being ready for Election Day!
Luckily VOTE411.org can help answer any questions you have about the upcoming elections, including a big one – what will be on your ballot. In less than two weeks, you and your friends and family will head to the polls to weigh in on the issues that matter most to you. These elections are about our jobs, our health, our communities, our security and our future.
You may have heard about the congressional races in your area, but there are thousands of other important races that will be decided on Election Day, and VOTE411.org can help you get familiar with the races in your community. In addition to naming every candidate for federal and state office, hundreds of localities also feature detailed issue statements from candidates gathered by state and local League volunteers across the country.
Candidates for any office, at any level are asking for the job of representing you. The decisions they make in office will influence public policy for years to come. And each vote helps decide who gets the job! When you cast your ballot, you’re telling the leaders who are elected what issues matter most to you.
Enter your address on VOTE411.org to build your personalized voting guide. You can compare candidates’ answers, side-by-side and in their own words in select communities, to help decide who will best represent your values and ideas, if elected. VOTE411.org will also provide you with up-to-date information you need to cast your ballot, including your polling place and voting rules, like if you’ll need to show an ID to vote.
Voting allows you to make an impact on critical issues and policies and VOTE411.org has all the information you need to make sure you are able to cast your ballot. Please share this vital election resource with your friends and family so that they, too, are prepared to vote.
Thank you for Making Democracy Work®.


Posted Oct 22 -  It Could Happen to You

WEDNESDAY WATCH ON INJUSTICE, VOL 4/#179

Another Conviction Overturned, Another Forced Confession Repudiated Nearly 30 Long Years Later

In 1986, 16-year old David McCallum was convicted of the 1985 kidnapping and murder of Nathan Blenner. One week ago, at the request of Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson, Judge Matthew D’Emic overturned the conviction. Sadly, this occurred after McCallum, now 45, spent some of the most critical years of his youth and adult growth, behind bars.

While making the case for reversing the conviction, Brooklyn prosecutor Mark Hale noted that the statements Mc Callum made to law enforcement in 1985, "were the product of improper suggestion, improper inducement and perhaps coercion.”

The resulting justice was finally achieved in the face of arrogance by former Brooklyn County DA Charles Hynes' cosmetic Prosecutorial Integrity Unit which did not deem earlier pleas for re-investigation credible. As noted by McCullum’s attorney Oscar Michelin, "They basically told us, “Call us when you find the real killer.”

In addition to the earmarks of a false confession, investigators found that DNA on the victim did not match that of McCallum.

Now ask yourself, what happens to the district attorneys and assistant district attorneys involved in taking away years of an individual’s life as a result of wrongful convictions or destroying individual reputations resulting from false indictments? These are true stories you have learned about in Wednesday Watch on Injustice, in your local newspapers and television and radio across the country.

The simple, sad answer is nothing. Tens of unjust years behind bars, zero attempts to cure this disease!

No formal process to review what went wrong, no process to establish if discipline of prosecutors is warranted, no process to monitor the powerful prosecutorial establishment, no process to establish uniform best practices for prosecutors.

Support the common call to establish the New York State Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct and help establish a new bar for every state in America. Simply go to, www.itcouldhappen2you.com and donate to make the Commission happen - for you and everyone you know.




Posted Oct 20 - CAAMI

Nationwide Call to Action Against Police Brutality Wednesday, October 22nd 
[Solidarity Action in Albany, 1pm to 2pm, Townsend Park].

The October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation has been mobilizing every year since 1996 for a National Day of Protest on October 22nd.  http://www.october22.org/

This year the call is resonating more strongly than ever in the wake of the shooting of Mike Brown and is being echoed by Hands Up United in Ferguson.  www.handsupunited.org/hands-up-events/2014/9/22/national-day-against-police-brutality

And connections are being made to mass incarceration:  https://sites.google.com/site/stopmassincarcerationo22/

A solidarity action is being planned in Albany for Wednesday, October 22nd from 1pm to 2pm, in Townsend Park (intersection of Henry Johnson, Central & Washington).  Please come out in support and lend your voice to this important struggle.  SHARE WIDELY!!



Posted Oct 20 - Free Mumia Now

Dear New York Freedom Fighters:

This is an emergency. Think about how you were personally transformed when you first heard Mumia speak either on Prison Radio or live via speaker phone at a meeting. Well the new bill that was passed last week in the PA legislature silencing Mumia and all other PA prisoner voices is an attempt to end this powerful experience. it is also a vengeful attack on Mumia, on the emerging movement to free political prisoners and to end mass incarceration. Please read this email to the end and respond if you can be part of the Tuesday October 21 and/or Wed October 22 actions happening in Philly.  We are caravanning from NY.

On Wed Oct 22 we are going to Philly for a full-day of actions. Note that Wed Oct 22 is the national day of action against Police Brutality and Mass Incarceration. On that day, we are having a press conference at 12noon, a honk at 4PM and a Town Hall meeting at 5:30PM. Flyer to follow.

Please familiarize yourself with the statement the movement has prepared on the Bill -- attached and below. The statement has now been signed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) among others. 

We need other organizations to sign: community groups, churches and unions. Please email me and Sophia Williams with signatures of others. And please take it upon yourself to distribute this statement widely. the statement is also on our websitewww.bringmumiahome.com



Call to Action Against the
Silencing of Constitutionally Protected Prisoner Speech in PA
  
This “Call to Action” is also a summons to all persons
of conscience to protest in Philadelphia, October 22, 2014. 
To add your name to this call as an organization or individual emailsophia.williams@baruchmail.cuny.edu
For details:

We the undersigned stand unequivocally against the passage, in Pennsylvania, of House Bill HB2533 on October 15, 2014 and PA Senate Bill SB508 on October 16, 2014. Because the bill was fast-tracked in the legislature, the Governor of Pennsylvania is already poised to sign the bill into law.
Known collectively as the “Revictimization Relief Act,” the laws affords virtually unlimited discretion to District Attorneys and the Attorney General to silence prisoner speech, by claiming that such speech causes victims’ families “mental anguish.” This law targets both prisoners' speech and supporters who sponsor that speech. Thus, under the guise of victim relief, politicians are claiming a power that if granted to them will be difficult if not impossible for citizens to check.
In seeking to silence the legally protected speech of prisoners the law establishes a precedent for the further erosion of First Amendment rights. In so violating prisoners’ speech, the state also damages citizens’ right and freedom to know —in this case, to consider the speech of the imprisoned to better understand an area of U.S. life physically removed from public scrutiny. The courts have consistently upheld the right of prisoners to constitutionally protected speech; with little success government and prison officials have sought to curtail that speech for political reasons, often claiming safety concerns.
“Victim relief,” while a worthy goal in itself, is only to be achieved by just verdict and the extension of due process to all parties involved. Victim relief is not served by denying fundamental rights to those convicted, especially because prisoner freedom of speech is crucial for redressing wrongful convictions and the current crisis of harsh sentencing that is often disproportionate to alleged crimes.
Our society is currently engaged in a full-scale debate on the problems of mass incarceration. This debate could not have grown without the articulation, by prisoners themselves in the press, exposing systemic violations of their rights in the courts and the dehumanizing conditions of prison life. 
This legislation emerged as a politically-charged response, on the part of the Fraternal Order of Police and its political allies, because they failed to stop Pennsylvania prisoner and radio journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal from delivering his October 5, 2014 commencement address at Goddard College in Vermont, from where Abu-Jamal earned his BA in 1996 while on death row. Students at Goddard collectively chose Abu-Jamal as their commencement speaker and the administration supported the invitation. In this case, this law would deny the school the right to hear from its alum, Abu-Jamal.
To block Abu-Jamal’s free speech at Goddard College would have been a violation in itself. But this law goes further and sacrifices the rights of all prisoners in Pennsylvania in order to silence Abu-Jamal. This is an unethical deployment of collective punishment by those in power. 
At stake in this legislation is the very premise on which US democracy was erected — the notion that in order to achieve a robust engagement with and understanding of society and its problems, the state cannot be allowed to silence unpopular or dissenting voices. Instead of defending constitutional rights, Pennsylvania politicians appear to be far more interested in promoting their own interests and political vendettas. The Bill was debated in an atmosphere that reflected an unethical process riddled with political maneuverings, rather than fair and informed deliberation.  
As PA Senator Daylin Leach confirmed in his vote against the legislation: "This is the most extreme violation of the First Amendment imaginable.” This law has a chilling effect that prevents any prisoner from speaking out on any issue for fear of a retaliatory civil suit.
This law, therefore, violates the public trust we expect from legislators. It is an attack on our freedom, a freedom that must be guarded — especially when and if officials do not agree with the content of speech they hear.
We oppose and protest Pennsylvania’s abuse of state power and its trampling of the fundamental human rights of all — of students to hear Abu-Jamal, of teachers and journalists to access perspectives of the imprisoned and, by extension, of everyone who deserves the free flow of information in society.
With the growing number of executions by the police across the country and the passage of flagrantly unconstitutional laws as seen in Pennsylvania, we the people have to organize collectively in our neighborhoods and in the streets to oppose the increasingly ominous display of rogue state power in Pennsylvania.
Join us in Philadelphia for a day of action on October 22, 2014. Press Conference at 12PM. Honk against the Bill at 4PM and Town Hall Meeting at 6:00PM.
For information:





Posted Oct 19 -  Interference Archive
Join us this coming Saturday, October 25th, 2:00-4:00 pm
 • Revolution from within: political prisoners in the 45-year narrative of U.S. prisons 
This event is part of "Self-Determination Inside Out: Prison Movements Reshaping Society," an exhibit at Interference Archive (131 8th St., Brooklyn, NY 11215; R/G/F trains to 4th Ave/9th St; interferencearchive.org)

Former political prisoners, family members and advocates (including Dequi Kioni-Sadiki of the Sekou Odinga Defense Committee and the Jericho Movement) lead a tour of “Self-Determination Inside/Out” focusing on the struggles that produced political prisoners, their lives and work within the prisons, and their contributions to the communities behind bars and on the outside.


Building Bridges October 6, 2014

Dear Reader,  

November 4 - barely a month away - is the General Election when we will be voting for Governor, State Senators and State Assembly members; each of whom is able to do something significant to reform the NYS Criminal Justice system, and specifically the Parole Board’s policies.  The governor can appoint more qualified parole commissioners and establish a Commission on Parole in New York State, and the legislators can pass the SAFE Parole Act, and other much needed legislation.

Choosing whom to vote for is not unlike what the Parole Board is supposed to do, decide on whether the person is ready for the responsibilities of civic engagement.  Both decisions require spending some time learning about the person. Vote411.org is a good place to start. 

When you vote, it feels good.  You can feel proud.  Because by voting, you are saying this is how the world should be and I’m not just going to sit around complaining about my situation. You will have taken action, and you’ll feel good.

If you’re not registered to vote, or if you’re not sure, stop reading this and go do it:  At Vote411.org there’s a page where you can register.  Or you can download a PDF version of the New York State Voter Registration Form:
  • Download Spanish Form (pastedGraphic_1.pdf 300KB)
    Print the form, complete and sign it, and mail it to your county board of elections.
    Nothing I’m going to say in the rest of this message is more important than you registering right now.  Applications must be postmarked no later than October 10th and received by a board of elections no later than October 15th to be eligible to vote in the General Election.

Once registered to vote, you can find out about the candidates in your district, by entering your address and then using the arrow in the black box underneath the words Vote411 Voter Guide and arrow over until you come to issues and candidates you’re interested in.  Most of whomwe are concerned with in these pages are the State Senators and State Assembly persons who make the laws that govern the criminal justice system.

Do not, DO NOT decide that your vote doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter where you live, or what your reasons, your vote matters.  You can’t complain about the status quo or about the cruel and unfair criminal justice system if you haven’t done even this much to change it.  Our apathy is what the opposing forces are hoping for. If you care about the plight of our incarcerated sisters and brothers and their families, then please make sure to cast your informed vote, and bring as many people as possible with you to the polls. 

Stay well, stay strong, and please vote,   The Editor


CONTENTS

1.  Parole News.  August release rates are 35% and over,  Court finds Duffy’s “lost’ records in 30 minutes,  Steep barriers to Parole.

2.  Honoring the successes of formerly incarcerated friends.

3.  Share your story to help diminish the stigma of a criminal history.

4.  The primary election results are in, and pleasantly surprising.

5.  Don’t forget to vote in the General Election on Nov 4.  If you want voting suggestions, PAN offers our endorsements.

6.  Restorative Justice comes to Erie County!  Baba Eng takes leading role.

7.  NetWORKS announces Police, Prisons, and Mass Incarceration;  A Truth, Justice and Reconciliation event in Albany on Nov 1. Come out and Speak out!  Come out and Listen!

8.  September 13, 1971: We Remember.  Prisoners are People Too, Inc, commemorates the Attica Prison Rebellion.

9.  A mother calls for help for her mentally ill son in Isolated Confinement, and wins!

10.  Pack the Court for Justice, to provide legal representation to ALL NYers regardless of income.

11.  Herman’s House wins an Emmy.  Link to free screening.


 [For copies of source articles,  please send email with the title and the date of this issue]




1.  Parole News - Release rates.  Duffy wins new hearing.  Steep barriers to Parole still remain.  Let Gallivan hear from you.

AUGUST 2014 PAROLE BOARD RELEASES - A1 VIOLENT FELONS DIN #s through 2001  unofficial research from parole database

August 2014 Summaries

Total Interviews
# Released

Denied

Total
Rate of Release
Year to date release rates
Initials   (1 med.)
9
17
26
35%
25%
Reappear (1 med.)
33
52
85
39%
30%
Total 
42
69
111
38%
29%


August releases by Age
Released
Denied 
Appeared
Percent Released
60-69
8
8
16
50%
70-79
1
5
6
17%
80+
1
0
1
100%
Total
10
13
23
43%


August 2014 Initial Releases

Facility
Age
Sentence
Offense
# of Board
Eastern
42
20-Life
Mdr 2
1
Fishkill
43
24-Life
Mdr 2
1
Fishkill
66
21-Life
Mdr 2
1
Fishkill
87
25-Life
Mdr 2
Medical   1
Green haven
42
22-Life
Mdr 2
1
Otisville
45
18-Life
Consp 1
1
Shawangunk
54
25-Life
Mdr 2
1
Woodbourne
44
20-Life
Mdr 2
1
Woodbourne
44
20-Life
Mdr 2
1


August 2014 Reappearance Releases
Facility
Age
Sentence
Offense
# of Board
Bare hill
50
15-Life
Mrd 2
10
Bare hill
55
15-Life
Mrd 2
12
Collins
46
20-Life 
Mrd 2
8
Coxsackie
64
22-Life
Mrd 2
Medical   3
Eastern
46
15-Life
Mrd 2
6
Elmira
66
20-Life
Mrd 2
8
Fishkill
52
20-Life
Mrd 2
2
Fishkill
48
25-Life
Mrd 2
3
Fishkill
46
25-Life
Mrd 2
3
Fishkill
43
15-Life
Mrd 2
3
Fishkill
42
15-Life
Mrd 2
5
Fishkill
55
15-Life
Mrd 2
6
Fishkill
55
15-Life
 Mrd 2
6
Fishkill
48
15-Life
 Mrd 2
7
Fishkill
70
20-Life
 Mrd 2
8
Fishkill
53
18-Life
 Mrd 2
8
Fishkill
67
15-Life
 Mrd 2
12
Franklin
45
25-Life
 Mrd 2
2
Green haven
54
20-Life
 Mrd 2
7
Green haven
67
20-Life
 Mrd 2
8
Greene
59
25-Life
 Mrd 2
6
Hudson
61
25-Life
 Mrd 2
6
Midstate
59
25-Life
 Mrd 2
5
Midstate
51
20-Life
 Mrd 2
6
Midstate
51
15-Life
 Mrd 2
8
Mohawk
58
25-Life
 Mrd 2
2
Otisville
51
25-Life
 Mrd 2
5
Otisville
67
25-Life
 Mrd 2
8
Shawangunk
55
32-Life
 Mrd 2
2
Shawangunk
54
17-Life
 Mrd 2
9
Woodbourne
43
20-Life
 Mrd 2
2
Woodbourne
54
20-Life
 Mrd 2
4
Woodbourne
60
15-Life
 Mrd 2
6


Senator Gallivan, the chair of the Senate's Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee - which has to approve the Governor's appointments to the NYS Parole Board - told a constituent that he never gets letters from people in prison or their families.  You might want to change that.


Senator Gallivan has 4 (!) offices, besides the one in Albany [ 947 LOB, Albany NY 12247]. We recommend sending your letter to the district office nearest you, if you live in the district.  Otherwise Albany is probably the best place.



Satellite Office
143 North Main Street Room 103
WarsawNY 14569

Satellite Office:
Phone: 585-243-6929
Livingston County Government Center 6 Court Street, Rm 304
GeneseoNY 14454

District Office
Phone: 716-656-8544
2721 Transit Road Suite 116
ElmiraNY 14059

Satellite Office 
900 Jefferson Rd., Ste. 202 
Henrietta, NY 14623
585-272-1032


Judge Orders New Parole Hearing After Finding 'Lost' Records
Index No. 7524-14/R.J.I. No. 10-14-0235
  • Columbia County Supreme Court Justice Richard Mott,whose office easily found sentencing records from a Long Island murder case that the state claimed didn’t exist, has ordered an immediate de novo parole hearing for a man imprisoned for more than 33years, and denied at the Board on seven occasions.

  • Under 22 NYCRR §800.9(b)(5), sentencing minutes are a required component of an appeal from a conviction and archived by the State Library.  It was there that the court’s chambers located the minutes, which shed light - as Duffy contended they would - on why he received a 20-year-to-life sentence for a 1979 Nassau County killing and not the maximum 25-year-to-life term.

  • The Court expressed distress at the Board’s abject lack of diligence in meeting its statutory obligation to obtain and consider the sentencing minutes in this and six prior hearings, which clearly show that the Sentencing Court intended that Duffy should be paroled in due course.

  • Duffy, now 53, has served over 33 years, or 12 years past his minimum sentence, for second-degree murder in the stabbing death of his 16-year-old friend.  ...He has sought, since 2007, a review of the minutes from his sentencing on Jan. 23, 1979 by Nassau County Court Judge Henry Kalinowski.

  • Judge Mott also noted that the parole board's ruling failed to reflect the"voluminous confidential materials that were before it” which they did not provide to the judge until he found out about them, at which point they delivered two boxes of documents divided into 6 large, expandable files containing years worth of repeated victim statements which were delivered to each Board before which Duffy appeared.  Their failure to voluntarily provide the Court with all documents considered by the Parole Board reveals a belief that the Board’s decision simply should be rubber stamped by the Court.

  • Mott said the board failed to follow the guidelines in Executive Law §259-i(2)(a)  [and] ordered a newly constituted board to meet by Oct. 6 to consider Duffy's application for parole anew and to directly address what weight, if any, it gave to the voluminous comments.
Duffy represented himself.  Assistant Attorney General Justin Engel argued for the state.


Even Model NYS Inmates Face Steep Barriers to Parole

Excerpts from an article that appeared in an on-line newspaper called City Limits.  It mentions our bill, calls it the Fair Parole Act, which, although inaccurate, surely is apt.  Here’s the link and if you don’t have access to a computer you may send a SASE and request the article.   http://www.citylimits.org/news/articles/5165/even-model-nys-inmates-face-steep-barriers-to-parole#.VBr386PD-tV

The author is Bill Hughes, Assistant Professor, City University of New York, York College Journalism Program, Department of English,  School of Arts and Sciences, York College / CUNY | 94 - 20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd., Jamaica, NY 11451 | P: 718-262-2000 

In May of this year, Craig Crimmins appeared before the parole board in New York for the eighth time. He has served nearly 34 years in prison on a 20-to-life sentence for a [crime that generated a lot of media attention]. "I tell you, it's easier to do two years than it is to do the two days you have to wait after seeing the board," Crimmins said during a recent interview.  "Every time they turn me down, it's always about the nature of the crime, nothing about who I am now or what I've done since then," he says. "I could have cured cancer, they wouldn't care."

"It's not like it's written down anywhere, but every board member knows, if you let someone out and it's going to draw media attention, you're not going to be re-appointed," said Robert Dennison, a former parole board chairman and commissioner.
State Assemblyman Daniel J. O'Donnell who chairs the Committee on Corrections, says that the Parole Board has taken the position that they don't have to comply with the legislature's mandate; a challenge is pending before the New York State Court of Appeals.  "I do have a bill that would eliminate one of the things that the parole board seems to use for high profile cases, that ‘releasing them would deprecate the seriousness of the offense,' which to me essentially means that the parole board gets to re-sentence someone," he says."

O'Donnell is particularly concerned about the situation facing inmates like Crimmins, convicted of high-profile crimes in which judges did not impose a maximum sentence but where parole commissioners continue to sit in judgment of the inmate's freedom.  

[Crimmins] says that after his latest denial he has, for the moment, given up hope that he will ever be released. "You know, you always hear that in this country justice is supposed to be blind, but I don't know. Every time I walk into those parole hearings….," he reaches up his right hand and mimics the motion of lifting a blindfold just slightly above his right eye, "…I think she peeks."



2.  Honoring the successes of formerly incarcerated men and women:

Corporate media mainly reports on the failures of formerly incarcerated people;  we want to spotlight the many outstanding people we’ve met on the path toward justice.  Each month we’ll publish more stories, if you’ll submit them.  Thank you to this month’s participants for being such wonderful role models.

Glenn Martin
Glenn E. Martin is a national leader and criminal justice reform advocate who spent six years in New York State prisons for robbery1.  He was sentenced to 3 years, served 6, when he got out on conditional release.  He completed college while incarcerated, had no disciplinary record, and was first denied for 18 months, and then again, with an even better record, held for 2 more years before being released.
He is the Founder and Chief Risk Taker for JustLeadershipUSA, an organization dedicated to reducing crime and cutting the US prison population in half by 2030.  JLUSA empowers people most affected by incarceration to drive policy reform.  Prior to founding JLUSA, Mr. Martin served for several years as Vice President of The Fortune Society and Co-Director of the National HIRE Network at the Legal Action Center. He is Co-Founder of the Education from the Inside Out Coalition, an America’s Leaders of Change National Urban Fellow, and a member of the governing boards of the College and Community Fellowship, Prisoners’ Legal Services, New York Foundation, California Partnership for Safe Communities and the Reset Foundation. He also serves on the advisory board of the National Network for Safe Communities.


George ‘Baba’ Eng
Baba Eng spent 35 years in prison for an A1violent felony.  He was released to parole after five previous parole denials for 2 year holds (10 years).  In 2010 he came home to join his circle of supporters in Buffalo NY, where he became the Program Director of Prisoners Are People Too, Inc.  

He recently was appointed Restorative Justice Developer for the City of Buffalo.  He says, "we envision a total cultural change here in Buffalo, from the schools to the court systems to the facilities, the churches, the masjids, and the outer communities that are supposed to be served by all of those spaces.  Back To Basics Outreach Ministries is the Restorative Justice Center for Erie County, where I am working with an excellent professional team training "hubs" at community sites all over the city to develop their capacity to hold peace circles and/or conferences for all of those issues that affect those spaces and the people there, in instances where we can. Restorative Justice is the Civil rights movement of this era and I am honored to be a part of it. To use the words of our righteous fore-parents and ancestors, we are about “rescuing, reclaiming, and restoring our communities."  
Larry White
Larry White spent over 30 years in prison for an A1 Violent Offense and Att. Escape.  He received 4 parole denials before he was finally released, at the age of 73.  While in prison he served as chairman of a number of inmate reform organizations and developed correctional empowerment programs designed to address the problems of prison adjustment from a cultural perspective.  He was a primary advocate for prison college education and programs for the elderly and sponsored community study groups around issues of criminal justice. 

Larry is currently Organizer of the Hope Lives for Lifers Project at the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).  In this role he is responsible for the development and advancement of programs that provide guidance and direction to incarcerated individuals serving life, long-term and life-without-parole sentences, and who require special orientation programs and adjustment services that encourage them to live a purposeful and productive prison life. The Hope Lives for Lifers Project has been approved for operation at Eastern Correctional Facility and other maximum security facilities. 
Prior to this position, Mr. White served as Community Advocate and Policymaker Liaison for the David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy at the Fortune Society.  Mr. White also played a key role in the development of the Safe and Fair Evaluation Parole Act (SAFE). 

[You can hear Larry White on the September edition of Criminal Justice Matters CUNY TV [ click HERE ], a show we just discovered as a result.  The program, produced by John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY and hosted by Stephen Handelman, features in-depth discussions on a wide range of topics with experts and professionals in the law enforcement and criminal justice fields.  Larry presents stories from his life experience to illuminate the information presented by Jeremy Travis, President of the College.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WwER7fxiMw  

Laura Whitehorn
Laura spent a little over 14 years in prison.  She was arrested in Baltimore in May, 1985, was refused any bail for years (at one point she was the longest-held no-bail pretrial detainee in the federal system), and finally released in August, 1999.  Ms. Whitehorn went to work immediately at POZ magazine (poz.com) as an intern; got promoted consistently until she became senior editor, overseeing articles on treatment of HIV, activism, people living with HIV/AIDS in prison.  She's been a consistent member of "NY Taskforce on Political Prisoners", she edited a book by the late, beloved former political prisoner and BPP member Safiya Bukhari ("The War Before “- see http://www.feministpress.org/books/safiya-bukhari/war); and is active in RAPP and other social justice efforts.  Readers may have noticed that she's one of the organizers of an exhibit, Self-Determination Inside/Out, at Interference Archive (http://interferencearchive.org/self-determination-insideout/), which we covered last month.



Mika'il De Veaux 
Mika’il served a 15 year prison sentence in NYS, and was released on his first parole board in April 2001.

Professor DeVeaux is an adjunct lecturer at several senior colleges in the City University of New York. 
He is the co-founder and Executive Director of Citizens Against Recidivism, Inc. which works to achieve the restoration of all the rights and attributes of citizenship among people in prison or jail and those who have been released in collaboration with other community and faith based organizations at each of the overlapping phases of the community integration process. This work includes advocacy on all levels, preventive efforts targeting at-risk youth and efforts to strengthen individuals, families and personal relationships affected by experiences with the criminal justice system. DeVeaux has over three decades of experience working with men and women impacted by the criminal justice system.
Mr. DeVeaux has published papers in the Harvard Civil-Rights Civil Liberties Law ReviewNew Directions in Evaluation: A  Publication of the American Evaluation Association, Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, Crescent International, Journal of Social Issues (co-authored)  and others.  



3.  I Am Not My Past
Help erase the stigma of a criminal record by telling your story of redemption, rehabilitation, and successful reentry.

ARE YOU AN INCARCERATED OR FORMERLY INCARCERATED PERSON WHO COMMITTED A VIOLENT CRIME BUT ARE NOW LEADING A PRODUCTIVE LIFE?

If you are, the Statewide Parole Reform Campaign wants you to submit photos and narratives for possible publication in its upcoming book called “I Am Not My Past.”  The book will put a human face on men and women like you and dispel myths and fears about the so-called violent felony offender.

Having your photos and story appear in the book could be helpful if you have to appear before the parole board.

Submissions that are accepted will also be used for a social media project intended to reach people throughout the state, the nation and the world.

Here’s what you need to submit to be considered:
1.  Two photos If you are incarcerated, we need a photo of you that was taken early in your bid, as well as a recent photo.  If you are formerly incarcerated, we need a photo of you that was taken early in your bid and a recent photo that speaks to the life you live now. (For example, a photo of you taken in a work setting or at school, etc. )   Photos will not be returned.
2.  A 250-word piece about your life that speaks to the theme, “I Am Not My Past.”  If you were ever denied parole, we’d like you to include that information—and tell us how many times.

If you have questions, please write to Think Outside the Cell, call 877 267 2303 or email thinkoutsidethecell@verizon.net

Submissions must be postmarked by Nov. 3.    Please send submissions to:

I Am Not My Past, c/o Think Outside the Cell, 
511 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 525, NY, NY 10011



4.  The 2014 primary election results:

Cuomo
won with 64% of the vote; Teachout took 34% of the vote, and Credico less than 2%.  Cuomo won all NY City counties.  Zephyr Teachout won in 24 of NY State's counties, most of them upstate, and several by very large majorities: Albany, Columbia, Otsego, Sullivan, Dutchess, Greene, Saratoga, Schuyler, Tomkins, Ulster and Warren among them.  Interestingly she got substantial votes in Clinton County (458 - 505) and Franklin Cty (551-869).
Tim Wu for Lt. Gov also did amazingly well in many of the same counties as Teachout, winning 40% of the vote against Cuomo's running mate.
 
Oliver Koppell lost, but did well in Westchester; overall he lost to Klein 30% to 60%.

Avella won over Lui.  [This will please Pascual Carpenter, who wrote us, "I was a little uncomfortable with the view given on Senator Tony Avella (p.7 of BB Sept 2014).  I understand the distaste for what appears to be the sell-out move by the Independent Democrats (IDC), among whom Senator Avella is a member.  However, out of all the progressive legislators that I and several supporters have reached out to during my campaign for clemency and parole support, NONE OF THEM were willing to support me with a letter to the Governor or Parole Board...EXCEPT for Tony Avella [who wrote a letter directly to the Governor].  And I only had to ask him once.  All the others like Perkins, Montgomery, L. Krueger, G. Rivera, Hassell-Thompson, Malcolm Smith (before his investigation) and many, many others whom I and others have reached out to several times wouldn’t lift a finger."
Mr. Carpenter has been in prison for 24 years on a felony murder charge for being a lookout during what was a spur-of-the-moment robbery.  Readers can view an award-winning documentary on his case:  www.23Reasonsfilm.com. To learn more, or to sign a petition for clemency and/or release at his 2015 parole hearing, visit www.pascualcarpenter.wordpress.com.

Of the legislative candidates whom we endorsed in the primaries, most of them won.  We would like to think it was our members who helped win those contests.

Sen. Liz Krueger (dist 28) won 13,001 to 973;    Sen Gustavo Rivera (dist 33) won 5,516 to 3,785;

Betty Jean Grant (dist 83) lost 10,997 to 16,660 for SenTim Kennedy

Sen. Adriano Espaillat (Dist. 31) won 10,439 to 9,019;  Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson (Dist. 36) won 9,807 to 1,876

Assembly Member Felix Ortiz (Dist. 51) won  2,648 to 1,041;  Assembly Member Herman Farrell (Dist. 71) won 5,551 to 2,237

Assembly Member Marcos Crespo (Dist 85) won 2,745 to 874



5.  VOTE!  The General Election on November 4th is very important.
We need a Democratic majority in the NY Senate to get anything done!

Prison Action Network supports the following candidates in the general election.  You can find out more about them at Vote411.org
We’re not endorsing any of the candidates for Governor, but we would like to point out that if you’re not happy with Gov. Cuomo, but you don’t want to vote for any of the other candidates, you have the option of voting for him on the Working Families Party line, which will send a message that you want him to be a more progressive leader than he has been.  

We endorse Eric We endorse Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General because when he was a Senator he supported some good legislation.  And now, as the Attorney General, just a month before the election he has the backbone to make this announcement:

October 2, 2014, NEW YORK
 Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced a settlement today with Party City, a national retailer employing nearly 5,000 people in 49 stores across New York State.  The settlement will ensure that the company complies with state laws prohibiting discrimination against individuals with criminal records.  Under the terms of the agreement, Party City will no longer automatically disqualify individuals with felony convictions from advancing in the company.   [emphasis added]

“An applicant’s criminal history does not give employers a right to slam the door in his [sic] face,” Attorney General Schneiderman said.  “Reentry efforts provide critical opportunities to reduce recidivism, ensuring that everyone gets a fair shot and ultimately making our communities safer.  My office will continue to enforce the law that prohibits employers from automatically disqualifying applicants based on criminal history.”
Prison Action Network is endorsing the following candidates for the NY State Legislature:  You can look up your district #s  at http://www.nysenate.govEnter your address and zip code and it’ll show your senator’s page; scroll down to see your Senate and Assembly District #s.

Senate (by district): 
Dist. 9:  James Sanders, Jr. - he’s opposing Sen. Skelos, who controls the Senate Republican Majority 
Dist. 21:  Kevin Parker (primary sponsor of the SAFE Parole Act, S1128)
Dist. 22:  We strongly oppose Sen. Golden, and support his Democrat opponent.
Dist. 27:  Brad Hoylman
Dist. 28:  Liz Krueger
Dist. 39:  Bill Perkins (signed the SAFE Parole Act)
Dist. 31:  Adriano Espaillat  (signed the SAFE Parole Act)
Dist. 33:  Gustavo Rivera  
Dist. 34:  Carl Lundgren  (Green Party)
Dist. 36:  Ruth Hassell-Thompson
Dist. 49:  Madelyn Thorne
Dist. 52:  Anndrea Starzak
Dist. 61:  Elaine B.Altman
Dist. 63:  Tim Kennedy (signed the SAFE Parole Act)

If you're wondering why Senators Nozzolio, O'Mara and Gallivan are not mentioned, it’s because they are running unopposed.  Someone in their districts (YOU?) should run next time, just to get the experience and to get some of our issues on the table in those districts.  Look at what a couple of almost complete unknowns (Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu) did in a few weeks! ]  Tim Wu and Zephyr Teachout wrote an article  drawing some lessons from their amazing primary campaign.  We urge you to read it, and consider taking their advice for the future.


Assembly  (by district):

Dist. 1: Fred Theile, Jr.
Dist. 4: Steven Englebright
Dist. 15: Michael Montesano (Republican) (signed the SAFE Parole Act)
Dist. 43:  Karim Camara
Dist. 44:  James Brennan (signed the SAFE Parole Act)
Dist. 51:  Felix Ortiz (signed the SAFE Parole Act)
Dist. 58:  Nick Perry (signed the SAFE Parole Act)
Dist. 65:  Sheldon Silver  (speaker of the Assembly, very powerful position)
Dist. 68: Robert Rodriguez (signed the SAFE Parole Act)
Dist. 70:  Keith Wright
Dist. 71:  Herman Farrell  (signed the SAFE Parole Act)
Dist. 75: Richard Gottfried  (signed the SAFE Parole Act)
Dist. 84:  Carmen Arroyo (signed the SAFE Parole Act)
Dist. 85:  Marcos Crespo (signed the SAFE Parole Act)
Dist. 87:  Luis Sepulveda  (signed the SAFE Parole Act)
Dist. 104:  Frank Skartados  (signed the SAFE Parole Act)
Dist. 106:  Didi Barrett  (signed the SAFE Parole Act)
Dist. 109:  Patricia Fahy (signed the SAFE Parole Act)
Dist. 125:  Barbara Lifton
Dist. 128:  Sam Roberts (signed the SAFE Parole Act)

Barbara Clark, Dist. 33, Walter Mosley Dist. 57, and William Scarborough Dist. 29, all of whom signed the SAFE Parole Act, are running unopposed.  You can thank them with your vote.



6.  Restorative Justice comes to Erie County Jail  -  It’s Historic!

On September 9, 2014, a dedicated contingent of community partners convinced Erie County Jail Management of the need and value of implementing restorative justice practices through peace circles and restorative justice conferencing at the Erie County Correctional Facility and the Erie County Holding Center. The community was represented by BaBa Eng (Program Director of Prisoners Are People Too, Inc.), Pastor James Giles (Executive Director of Back to Basics Outreach Ministries, Inc.), Pastor Dan Schifeling (retired Pastor of the Church of the Nativity-UCC), and Michael Okinczyc (Lead Community Organizer of VOICE-Buffalo). Superintendent Thomas Diiina and Chief John Rodriguez represented Erie County Jail Management.  
After two requests for a meeting to discuss the possibilities of using restorative practices to effectively reduce violence, conflict, and tensions in our Erie County jails, and much work with all of our partners in the “Open Buffalo” initiative, Jail Management agreed to allow for the implementation of restorative justice practices at the Erie County Correctional Facility beginning with our youth, starting October 1. 
Eventually, such practices will extend to the holding center and those confined will begin to use their time in positive, productive, and meaningful ways, to help themselves, their families, and their communities.  Restorative Justice practices will also aid staff and management in improving conditions at our county jails.

 As Buffalo moves forward with its “Open Buffalo” initiative, this agreement is historic. BaBa Eng has just been given the title of Restorative Justice Developer. He says, “I am honored to work with partners who have never wavered in their strong, consistent, collaborative efforts to make Restorative Justice in the jails and our community a reality.”

7. NetWORKS, the monthly column of the New York State Prisoner Justice Network

Dear Readers,
If you or your friends and loved ones are in or near Albany on November 1st, you will want to attend this powerful program. Speak up – or listen up – to consolidate a community-based response to mass incarceration in the Albany/Capital Area – right where many of the wrongheaded mass incarceration policies are made!

And to inspire you to come to the program and take whatever steps you can for justice, please continue reading below the announcement for a letter from one young woman who was changed by our movement against incarceration.

POLICE, PRISONS, AND MASS INCARCERATION: A COMMUNITY SPEAKOUT 
FOR TRUTH, JUSTICE AND RECONCILIATION 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2014
10:30 AM – 2:30 P.M.
ALBANY PUBLIC LIBRARY AUDITORIUM
161 WASHINGTON AVENUE, ALBANY

  • If you or a family member have ever been arrested or in prison or jail
  • If you are concerned about the impact of policing and prisons on our communities
  • If you are working on community-based solutions

COME OUT AND SPEAK OUT!!!

TRUTH=YOUR TESTIMONY
JUSTICE=YOUR SOLUTIONS
RECONCILIATION=THE COMMON GOOD

A LIGHT BRUNCH WILL BE SERVED
FREE AND WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE

Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration
Center for Law and Justice
Citizen Action of New York
Friends for Racial Justice
Organization for a Free Society
New Jim Crow Study Group

518-434-4037 nycaami@gmail.com


Letter from “A Satisfied Intern.” 
The New York State Prisoner Justice Network received this letter from our 2014 intern Takaeya, a senior at SUNY Albany from New York City. Takaeya was a great intern, dedicated to the work of challenging the criminal justice system and cheerfully carrying out all the little boring tasks it takes to get there. Takaeya made as much difference to us as we made to her. 

July 22, 2014

I would like to start off this letter by first saying thank you. My mother always told me in times of need that you will be blessed with an angel and this semester you have been my angel. When my brother first went to jail in January I thought about changing my internship because I thought that working somewhere where they helped prisoners would be a bad idea because I thought that it will cause me more pain but instead it healed me. I have learned so much by the many stories that I have gotten to experience from the tons of letters from prisoners that I got to read while interning at the NYSPJN.  I think that I was starting to lose myself with everything that was going on with my personal life that I forgot that college was something important because it will give me a bigger opportunity to change things in this world.

There’s a quote by C. JoyBell C. that describes how I feel about my experience. It states, “I have realized, it is during the times I am far outside my element that I experience myself the most...I think that’s what a comet is like, you see, a comet is born in the outer realms of the universe! But it’s only when it ventures too close to our sun or to other stars that it releases the blazing “tail” behind it and shoots brazen through the heavens! ...That’s why I enjoy taking myself out of my own element, my own comfort zone, and hurling myself out into the unknown. Because it’s during these scary moments... that I’m like a comet hitting a new atmosphere: suddenly I illuminate magnificently and fire dusts begin to fall off of me.” 

I think this describes my experience because this experience has taken me out of my comfort zone and put me into a situation that I am not always comfortable. It was so great to sit down and talk to people about my experience as a women studies major and people actually be interested in hearing what I had to say and things I believe in. Because of this experience I can now say why I chose women studies.  Women studies ...brings to light topics that are often never spoken about and it opens up the eyes of the world. I remember in the meeting that we had with the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement and I was talking to one of the city girls and she asked me why did I choose women studies and I had an answer for her because women studies is the key to the rooms that never get unlocked and when I say rooms I mean issues. Women studies touches upon issues that are often overlooked by society.

It was great to actually have great conversations and be offered cards from different people. It’s an experience that I will take with me my whole life because it is something that has made me a stronger person. I know although my brother probably has no support from the system he has support from a bunch of other people and many different organizations. It felt so good to tell everyone about the wonderful organization I work at, and it felt even more wonderful to share with people that everything you do you do it for passion and not for money because you are not paid for the work you do at NYSPJN. I will never forget everything this organization has done for me and I will always share with people the many things your organization has done and will be doing.

Thank You
 From the Bottom of My Heart I Appreciate Your Work and Guidance
Takaeya – Satisfied intern
 


8.  September 13, 1971: We Remember
by Karima Amin

      Every year in September, the monthly meeting of Prisoners Are People Too, Inc. is devoted to commemorating the Attica Prison Rebellion of 1971, the deadliest prison uprising in US history.  Although this event is frequently referred to as a “riot,” it was no “riot.” It was a “rebellion,” an uprising that left 29 prisoners and 10 hostages dead, massacred by NY State Troopers, deployed by then governor Nelson Rockefeller.  The prisoners had tried to make their frustrations known, hoping to have them addressed through proper  “official” channels but letters and grievance forms were ignored.  Their demands listed the need for improved medical care, better food and clothing, and opportunities for education. The prison was extremely overcrowded and prisoners were denied certain basic sanitation needs, being relegated to one shower per week and one roll of toilet paper per month.  Conditions were inhumane and blatantly racist, with a prison population that was 60 % Black and Brown living under the thumb of an all-white cadre of prison guards.

History books tell many different stories about the rebellion. Our past programs have featured films and guest speakers that have helped us to understand what happened at Attica forty-three years ago.  At our next monthly meeting, guest speaker, Tina Saunders, will tell us about a program that she has been conducting for more than 10 years, taking children into Attica State Prison to listen to prisoners talk about life at Attica and what brought them there. They also talk to the children about staying in school and striving to be good citizens in their communities. Ms. Saunders is the director of “No More Tears,” a Youth Intervention Project of Back–to-Basics Outreach Ministries. Once or twice per month, Tina brings young people, ages 13 and older, face-to-face with prisoners who are on Honor Block. Their words resonate with youth who are dealing with crime generative factors everyday, poverty, racism, mis-education, drugs, and more. The youth listen to men who understand what they are dealing with because they have experienced the same.  They also learn that prison is no place to aspire to. Attica, a maximum-security supermax, is little better than it was forty-three years ago. 

According to the NYS Correctional Association, Attica is defined, in part, by “…alarming rates of physical and sexual abuse, coupled with a deeply entrenched atmosphere of hostility, and a blatant disregard for human dignity….”

Several of our past programs have highlighted the “school to prison pipeline.” Tina Saunders understand how real the pipeline is and she is doing her part to dismantle it by giving children an eye-opening opportunity to talk to incarcerated men who might be in a better place if they had made better choices.

Meetings are on last Monday of each month, at 7:00-9:00pm at the Pratt-Willert Community Center, 422 Pratt Street in Buffalo. The Circle of Supporters for Reformed Offenders and Friends of BaBa Eng are the sponsors of this program. For further information, contact Karima Amin or BaBa Eng at 716-834-8438 or karima@prisonersarepeopletoo.orgkarima@prisonersarepeopletoo.org or BaBa at g.babaeng@yahoo.comg.babaeng@yahoo.com.



9.  Mom calls for signatures to get her mentally ill son out of Isolated Confinement, and wins!:

Hello, my name is Tama and my 23 year old mentally ill son was illegally put in solitary for disobeying a corrections officer. They beat him up and placed him in SHU and we have found that for Mentally Ill inmates, there is a bill called the SHU exclusion bill which makes it forbidden to place ill inmates in SHU. We are calling on the Mental Health Commissioner to quickly put together the records that my son has with regard to all his mental health history and put into effect the SHU exclusion law for his situation. Please read the petition, sign if you care to and share it widely. Thank you!     

UPDATE:  The petition made change with 1,323 supporters!  Read details at petition:



10.  Pack the Court and stand up against New York State Injustice

Be a part of the historic Hurrell-Harring court case!  Demand justice for thousands of New Yorkers against a broken and negligent New York State public defense system, which violates the U.S. Constitution, the state constitution and New York State Law. 

Listen as attorneys demand that New York State provide legal representation to ALL New Yorkers, regardless of income.  

Join the NYCLU, as we pack the court, point our fingers and show support for Justice and Equity! 
Be there when it matters!  Tell Governor Cuomo…
WE DEMAND JUSTICE FOR ALL!!

When: Tuesday October 14th  at 10 am. 
Where:  The Albany County Courthouse, 16 Eagle Street, Albany, Courtroom to be announced at a later time.
RSVP to  mtrimble@nyclu.org  or call Melanie Trimble, (518) 436-8594
Be sure to contact Melanie, as it’s been postponed once already and she’ll want to let you know if it is again.



11. “Herman’s House” wins an Emmy.  See the film for free.
One year after Herman Wallace's release and subsequent death 3 days later, with his codefendant Albert Woodfox still in Solitary because of his political activism, the documentary made about him,  "Herman's House" won a News and Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Arts and Culture Program.  To mark the occasion the film in its entirety is streaming for free in the US on POV's website until Oct 14, 2014.      http://www.pbs.org/pov/hermanshouse/full.php#.VC1qMEtRzlI




Building Bridges is Prison Action Network’s way 
to communicate with our members.
Please contact us if you’d like to join.

Read now!