October 2007 - SPECIAL FAMILY EMPOWERMENT DAY EDITION
Every week we hear from dozens of incarcerated people or their family members asking us to write a parole support letter or find them a pro bono lawyer or write the governor about the injustices they’ve experienced. We are truly saddened by many of the stories we hear. But in truth unless we really know the person, our support letter would probably mean nothing to the parole board. And we don’t know any lawyers who can afford to take on any more cases for free. And the governor! Well, despite what you may think, we haven’t talked to him since he was elected. So what’s my point? My point is that we do care and that’s why we began working with the Otisville Lifers on the Family Empowerment Project in 2005. We want to change things, and we want our methods to reflect the just and harmonious society we are working to create. Family Empowerment Day 3 is our way of working to change NYS parole policies, prevent unfair arrests, trials, and sentences, and safeguard people in our jails from abuse and inadequate health care. We also want our families to have an easier time; we want more money put into education and social services and less, much much less, put into war and incarceration. If you share our mission, please make sure everyone you know gets out to at least one of the Family Empowerment Day 3 events, to get educated in the ways that have proven successful in creating the changes we seek. We have lower phone bills, but it doesn’t stop there. So if you can’t attend, send someone to represent you. If you are planning to attend, come prepared to start working for justice, and bring some friends with you. Together we can make a difference!
You may not know this, but if you are reading these words we consider you part of the Prison Action Network. All we do is provide the forum for you to expose your ideas and more importantly your actions, to the rest of us. Every single person or organization who contributes to this newsletter IS a member of the Prison Action Network. And every single person who reads it is also. Family Empowerment Day belongs to all of us! So lets all get up to Columbia Law School on October 20 and meet the rest of the family!!
Please share your copy of Building Bridges.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. BEDFORD HILLS; REPORT ON CONDITIONS - One of CA's concerns is the "increasingly tense overall atmosphere and the negative effect of a more punitive and hostile prison environment on inmate/staff morale and relations..."
2. CSS RE-ENTRY ROUNDTABLE MEETING - In addition to the legislative updates and information exchanged, the guest speaker on the issue of re-entry was Safiya Bandele, a sister in this struggle that has been doing the time with her partner for over 30 years; the true example of "been there, done that."
3. CRIMINAL JUSTICE PUBLICATIONS - CURE-NY Newsletter . “dedicated to reducing crime by reforming the criminal justice system.” The Deuce Club - “Our current primary focus is in obtaining the just administration of parole for all people in prison.”
4. DRUG POLICY ALLIANCE - Announces 2007 International Drug Policy Reform Conference in New Orleans. Scholarships available.
5. FAMILY EMPOWERMENT DAY 3/NYC - EDUCATE YOURSELF FOR EMPOWERMENT!
Directions, Registration: Tabling: Workshop descriptions:
6. FAMILY EMPOWERMENT DAY 3/WNY - Two weeks later in Buffalo, hear an address by the Commissioner of Parole, and choose between 8 informative workshops led by experts in their fields. Pre- registration is required.
7. WHO’S FUNDING FED3? - You are, and your donation will be used entirely for supplies; no one is being paid a penny to do this. But we all stand to benefit.
8. PAROLE - Still no settlement or decision in Graziano v. Pataki, Success stories, Featured Parole Hearing, Woodbourne Sept. stats
9. PRISON RADIO - Sonny Rudert, Ramon Gonzalez, Judith Brink, Kirk James, Dwight Stephenson and 'Santito' are some of the voices you'll hear if you tune in this month. Could be yours next month!
10. SUPPORT GROUPS - Schenectady group cancelled for now. Next event will be a party on December 20.
11. TRANSPORTATION - NEST shuttle cancels their scheduled OCT 20 run to take people from the Capital District to FED3/NYC.
12. WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND NEW YORK STATE - Buffalo, NYC, and Albany are busy setting up their FED3 events; in Kingston a play about recidivim, in NYC a panel including Kathy Boudin, Robt. Fllilove, Philip Genty, Michael Jacobson, Manning Marable and Elwin Wu to discuss Reentry.
13. WORDS FROM INSIDE - G.Baba Eng advises: “Let us be vigilant of our successes. Keep up and step up the work.”
1. BEDFORD HILLS; CA REPORTS ON CONDITIONS
As you may know, in 1846 the New York State Legislature passed a law granting the Correctional Association of New York (CA) authority to visit state prisons and report on conditions of confinement. The Women in Prison Project is the branch of the CA that carries out this mandate in the correctional facilities in New York that house women. They tour prisons on a regular basis, issue reports based on their findings, and conduct advocacy to improve conditions at the facilities visited.
In part 1 of their most recent report on Bedford Hills C.F. the Correctional Association found that "...Bedford Hills has been, in many ways, one of the facilities closest to achieving the Department's goal of maintaining a 'stable and human’ community environment in which all participants, staff and inmates, can perform the required tasks with a sense of satisfaction." However, a series of conditions "indicate that the facility has veered from this path." One of CA's concerns is the "increasingly tense overall atmosphere and the negative effect of a more punitive and hostile prison environment on inmate/staff morale and relations, facility safety and efficient operations, and the vitality of programs;".
The second part details CA's evaluation of Bedford’s mental health services and programs. Due to the number of the mental health programs and services investigated at Bedford Hills C.F., Building Bridges is unable to summarize the report in these few pages.
Both parts will be available on their website at www.correctionalassociation.org, or you may write CA at 135 East 15th Street, NYC 10003.
2. CSS RE-ENTRY ROUNDTABLE MEETING
Last week I attended the monthly Re-entry Roundtable Meeting that was held by the Community Service Society of New York. In addition to the legislative updates and information exchanged, the guest speaker on the issue of re-entry was Safiya Bandele*, a sister in this struggle who has been doing the time with her partner for over 30 years; the true example of "been there, done that."
It was a refreshing and critical address to an aspect of re-entry not often visited by the many advocates doing this work. The question that I felt was being asked, and we all need to be thinking about is this; "How will we as women, cope with the release of our loved one?
The presentation performed by Safiya Bandele was so real that I felt like I was back on the line waiting to be processed for a visit. Some of the skits that were presented had an uncomfortable edge of familiarity to them, especially considering that many of us women that are doing time with our men never really talk about doing the time or how that is affecting us as women, as wives, as mothers or lovers. It is a situation that is so real and painful that we brush it off, make jokes about it...anything but confront it and prepare for the day when the trauma of incarceration becomes the trauma of re-entry. We need to face the fact that coming home never has and never will " fix everything." We owe it to ourselves and our families to have the difficult discussions with our men that will make the life after prison one we are better prepared for. Watching Safiya move her way through the various scenarios we encounter as "prison wives" is the perfect way to begin to have these discussions...within ourselves and amongst ourselves!
- Amy James-Oliveras, Co-Director CURE-NY
*Safiya Bandele will be leading a workshop at FED3/NYC, see article 3.
[For more info about the Re-entry Roundtables, you can contact Community Service Society of New York • 105 East 22nd Street New York, NY 10010 • 212-254-8900 •email@example.com
3. CRIMINAL JUSTICE PUBLICATIONS
CURE-NY is dedicated to reducing crime by reforming the criminal justice system. Our newletter is available online at www.bestweb.net/~cureny, or by mail when you become a member. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to PO Box 1314, Wappingers Falls, NY 12590. Include your name, mailing address or email address if you wish to join or just receive the newsletter. Basic membership is $10, newsletter only is $5, and membership for incarcerated persons is $2.
The Deuce Club
CPR is a broad-based grassroots organization created to inform, organize and bring to light all aspects of the prison industrial complex as it affects our communities, families and people in prison. Parole is one part of a larger issue that affects everyone. Our current primary focus is in obtaining the just administration of parole for all people in prison. The Deuce Club, our newsletter, is available to members online at www.parolecpr.org, or by mail when you become a member. Send an email to email@example.com or write to PO Box 1379, New York, New York 10013. Include your name, mailing address or email address if you wish to join, membership is $10 per year for families and $2 for people in prison.
4. DRUG POLICY REFORM CONFERENCE
2007 International Drug Policy Reform Conference (for more info click here
December 5-8, in New Orleans, La.
Astor Crowne Plaza/French Quarter
Hosted by the Drug Policy Alliance
This is a most important gathering of people who believe the war on drugs is doing more harm than good - and who are working to pomote a new bottom line: one that seeks to reduce the negative consequence of both drug misuse and our misguided drug control policies.
The Drug Policy Alliance is pleased to announce that we have acquired scholarship funds to bring people to New Orleans for the 2007 International Drug Policy Reform Conference. Find out how to apply at www.kessjones.com/conf07/.
5. FAMILY EMPOWERMENT DAY 3/NYC
Saturday, October 20, 2007 - 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Bldg, 435 West 116th St. (corner of Amsterdam), Manhattan
The Law School is on the NE corner of W. 116th and Amsterdam - big glass building - the entrance is at 435 W.116th Street
DIRECTIONS: Train: Broadway: #1-Bdwy Local, W116th St stop, walk east one block to Amsterdam.
A,B,C (8th Ave Express or Local) W116th St stop, walk west to Morningside Park, climb stairs to top, continue west on 116th one more block to Amsterdam.
Bus: M60, M4, M104 on Broadway to W116th, walk east thru Columbia’s Campus to Amsterdam;
M-11 bus on Amsterdam to 116th St.
NEAREST PARKING GARAGES: GMC, 532 W 122nd St.(betw Bdwy & Amsterdam) $26. for 10 hours 212 961 1075 St Lukes, 502 W 114th St. (betw Bdwy & Amsterdam) $26 for 10 hours 212 523 105 (also an entrance at 1090 Amsterdam)
There will be a morning workshop session and an afternoon workshop session. Each session will last 45 minutes and there will be 5 workshops to choose from at each time. Registration is not required, but anyone with a strong preference for a particular workshop is advised to call 518 253 7533 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. Preference will be given to those who do.
Many organizations and people will be sharing information about their issues. Come prepared to learn about the people and groups that are already working on what is important to you. If you would like to interest people in what you are doing or supporting, there is table space available (1/2 table for a $25 donation; full for $35) to promote your organization, display your petitions, prison writings, or parole support petitions or letters for signing. Please send your check or money order made out to Prison Action Network to PAN, HM-IMC, PO Box 35, Troy NY 12181.
M-105. HOW TO USE A JAILHOUSE LAWYER'S MANUAL - Christine Ely, Editor-In-Chief and Elizabeth Howell, Executive Editor
We will introduce participants to A Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual (" JLM"). Participants will learn how to use the manual and the types of information and legal tools it provides with emphasis on the following chapters: "Choosing a Court and a Lawsuit: An Overview of the Alternatives," "An Introduction to Legal Documents," and "The Prison Litigation Reform Act." Participants will also learn how to access the JLM website and become familiar with the additional resources it provides. Finally, participants will receive information about the JLM ordering process. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase a copy of the manual for themselves or their loved ones, if they choose.
Christine Ely is a third year student at Columbia Law School. Christine has experience as a law clerk with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and as an extern with the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem. During the past summer, she was a Simpson Thacher & Bartlett Public Interest Fellow with the Education Advocacy Project at the Legal Aid Society of New York. Prior to law school, Christine was a New York City Teaching Fellow, teaching first and second grade at New York City public schools in the Bronx and Manhattan. She graduated from Cornell University in 2003.
Elizabeth Howell is a third year student at Columbia Law School. Elizabeth has experience as an intern at the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and at Loevy & Loevy, a civil rights law firm in Chicago, IL. Prior to law school, Elizabeth worked at the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. She also has significant experience working with special needs children. Elizabeth graduated from Middlebury College in 2003.
M-104. KNOWING YOUR RIGHTS - 100 Blacks In Law Enforcement Who Care
Knowing Your Rights: What should you do if the police knock on your door and demand to enter? What if the police stop you on the street, or when you're in your car? 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care will share the answers to these and many other questions in this workshop. They will arm you with your rights, so that you can control a situation that might otherwise veer toward injustice. What they have to tell you could save your life.
M-103. MAKING OUR VOTES COUNT! - Maggie Williams, Project Director, The Voter Enfranchisement Project
Can you vote while on probation? Can you vote if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor? Can you vote while awaiting trial? Can you vote once you have completed your sentence for a felony conviction?
The answer to all of these questions – in New York State – is YES. If you did not know the answers to these questions, you are not alone. Because felon disenfranchisement laws differ greatly in the 48 states that take away a person’s right to vote for some period of time, an alarming amount of misinformation surrounds these laws: In New York State, an individual loses the right to vote if she has been convicted of a felony and is currently incarcerated or on parole. Yet based on a study conducted by the Voter Enfranchisement Project (VEP) at The Bronx Defenders, close to 40% of people who have been arrested, mistakenly believe that someone cannot vote while on probation.
Using the vote, the friends and families of incarcerated people can create policy change in New York State. Find out the steps we can take in our communities to build a strong base of political power.
In this workshop you can learn about your voting rights; learn how to overcome obstacles to voting; and learn ways to organize the people in your community to turnout and vote.
After graduating from Columbia Law School in May of 2005, Maggie Williams received a NYC Social Justice Fellowship to start the Voter Enfranchisement Project (VEP) at The Bronx Defenders, a nonpartisan effort focused on increasing the political power of the communities targeted by the criminal justice system. VEP strengthens the electoral participation of NYC residents by dispelling myths surrounding felon disenfranchisement laws, assisting individuals in navigating the electoral process, and advocating for policy changes in election administration.
M-101. PAROLE APPEALS - CHALLENGING THE PROCESS - Cheryl L. Kates Esq.
Learn from an expert what you can do to prepare for a successful parole hearing. Then, in the case of a denial, learn the steps involved in writing an appeal. What documents will be needed? How are they obtained? What kinds of issues can be raised on appeal? Where can you get help? The workshop will be interactive; come with questions. Only you control your destiny. You must challenge the administration to work for change.
Cheryl L. Kates Esq. is a lawyer in private practice, focusing on parole issues and administrative appeals. A graduate of Syracuse Law School, she now practices in the Rochester, NY area. She first became interested in civil rights while serving as the interim director of the local NYCLU office.
M-107. "WHEN HE COMES HOME" - Emotional Re-entry Issues for Women - Safiya Bandele
Presenting seven scenarios of women dealing with issues of her loved one's re-entry. Housing, employment, parole and all the collateral consequences of incarceration are intensified by the emotional impact of re-entry. The couple's relationship must withstand multiple shocks and trauma after the initial joy of homecoming. Although the seven women are 'fictitious", their stories reflect the workshop presenter's own personal experiences and professional work as a women's issues activist. The seven stories cover a range of experiences, including the couple who met through a friend or a prison event; the couple who re-connected with a childhood friend; baby daddyhood, etc. Through a choreopoem (poetry, dance) Safiya Bandele discusses these issues and makes recommendations for "When He Comes Home."
Safiya Bandele is Director of the Center for Women's Development at Medgar Evers College of CUNY Brooklyn. She is Founding Director (since 1982) of the Center which is a campus-based counseling and programming unit serving women students and families as well as community residents. The Center organizes conferences and seminars on women's empowerment, leadership and mind-body-spirit health. Safiya also teaches in the Women's Studies Department and includes 'prison relationships' as a course module. She looks forward to the day when her loved one, incarcerated since 1974, comes home. In the meantime, they've experienced thirty-plus years of prison love... and counting.
A-101. ADVOCATING FOR POLICY CHANGE - Rima Vesely-Flad, Director of the Interfaith Coalition of Advocates for Reentry and Employment (ICARE)
I will provide information on how to engage in the legislative process, from the initial stages of proposing policy change to the final steps of getting a bill signed into law. We will discuss how a group engages elected representatives--how to schedule meetings, how to identify oneselves, and how to advocate effectively for your issue--as well as how to build support within your communities. We will also talk about the political dynamics within New York State, the priorities of the governor's office, and the potential for change in the next election.
Inspired by the writings of incarcerated men and women, Rima Vesely-Flad has sought to engage prison ministry volunteers in a growing movement challenging poverty in Black America, mass incarceration, and high rates of recidivism. Rima holds master's degrees from Union and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Her research and publications have explored the connections between Calvinist theology and criminal law, the Slave Codes and Black Codes of the nineteenth century, and the continuing expansion of the prison-industrial complex.
A-103 HOW TO HELP OUR LEGISLATORS HELP US - Senator Velmanette Montgomery
Voting for the political candidates who are on our side is an empowering act in the journey toward change. But it’s only the beginning. Once our candidates are in office, we must continue to support them in order to successfully move our agenda through the legislative process. In this workshop, Senator Montgomery will tell us how we can help her and other progressive legislators--so that they can help us win!
Velmanette Montgomery represents the 18th Senatorial District, population 311,260, that covers Bedford-Stuyvesant, Boerum Hill, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Gowanus/Wyckoff, Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Park Slope, Red Hook and Sunset Park. Senator Montgomery was appointed Co-Chair of the NYS Senate Democratic Task Force on Criminal Justice Reform.
A-105. TELLING OUR STORIES - Sheila Rule
Families with loved ones in prison weave a rich tapestry of stories--stories of struggle, of resilience, of uncompromising love, of hope. But we too often keep our stories to ourselves, thinking that no one would understand, that no one would care. This workshop will be a safe and supportive place where you can share your stories with others who do understand, who do care.
Let's raise our voices and tell our stories! They are powerful tools in the movement to change hearts and minds and bring our loved ones home!
Sheila Rule is a writer and publisher. Her company's first book--"Think Outside the Cell: An Entrepreneur's Guide for the Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated" will be published this fall. It was written by her husband, Joseph Robinson, who's incarcerated at Sullivan Correctional Facility.
A-104. USING THE COURTS TO CHANGE POLICIES - Robert Isseks, Esq. and Peter Sell, Esq., lead attorneys for Graziano et.al. vs. Pataki
People convicted of A-1 Violent Felonies have protested that they do not get fair parole hearings when their denials are based on the seriousness of the crime with little consideration given to years of accomplishments and the amounts of family and community support available for their reentry. Learn about the case; the processes its been through, and whether your loved one may benefit from it. Question and answer period will be included.
Robert Isseks,Esq. is a lawyer in private practice in Middletown, NY. He concentrates on civil rights and constitutional law. Peter Sell, Esq. has a private practice in NYC, and specializes in criminal law and civil rights.
A-107. USING PUBLIC PRESSURE TO CHANGE POLICIES - Peter Wagner, Director Prison Policy Initiative.
Getting the Census Bureau to count incarcerated people at their home addresses: The Census Bureau counts people in prison as if they were residents of the prison town, even though they can't vote and the New York State Constitution says that people in prison are legal residents of their home addresses. When states like New York use Census counts to draw legislative districts, they give upstate legislators extra political clout and dilute the votes of the urban communities that most people in prison call home.
Because the Census Bureau does not respond to direct pressure from the public, we are asking federal, state and local legislators to sign on to an open letter from other legislators calling for the Census Bureau to change how it counts people in prison.
We'll talk about the issue, and distribute materials about the campaign that participants can redistribute to friends and neighbors. At the workshop we will help participants identify their Congressional, state senate, state assembly and city council representatives and send those representatives a letter asking them to endorse the open letter to the Census Bureau. The letters will be prepared and sent during the workshop.
Peter Wagner is Executive Director of the Prison Policy Initiative and the author of Importing Constituents: Prisoners and Political Clout in New York, the first district by district analysis of the impact of Census counts of prisoners on state legislative redistricting. Since its founding in 2001, the Prison Policy Initiative has been working to quantify the problem and suggest solutions. Now they are organizing for change.
6. FAMILY EMPOWERMENT DAY 3/WNY OFFERS 8 WORKSHOP CHOICES
Eight workshop choices are now confirmed for the FAMILY EMPOWERMENT DAY3 conference which will take place in Buffalo on November 3, from 8:30am - 3:30pm at the Cold Spring Church of God in Christ, located at 107 Verplanck Street.
Following the “Meet ‘n’ Greet,” free continental breakfast (donated by Catholic Charities), and the keynote address by Mr. George Alexander, the NYS Parole Board Chairman, these sessions will run concurrently:
Parole- George and Amy Oliveras, “CURE-NY” (“Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants”), Wappingers Falls, NY
The Reformed Offender- Sundiata Sadiq, “Free Mumia Abu-Jamall Coalition
Youth- Marc Fuller, “Stop the Violence Coalition,” Buffalo
Women- Tuwanner Cleveland, “No Return Attitude Support Group for Women” (“GROUP Ministries”), Buffalo
Following the luncheon donated by Elder Sister Bernice Price and Associates, Mrs. Eva Doyle, retired educator, historian, and columnist will deliver the luncheon address, leading into these afternoon sessions:
Voting- Ray Barnes, “Reentry.Net/NY” and the “Center for Community Alternatives,” Syracuse, NY; Patricia Warth,“Prisoners Legal Services,” Buffalo
Family Issues- Abu Bilal and Venita Abdur-Rahman, “Reducing Recidivism One by One, Buffalo
Employment- representatives from “Buffalo Employment Training Center” (BETC), Buffalo
Support Networks- (all Buffalo, NY)- Tia Lewis, “Western New York Independent Living Project”; Mona White, “Mental Health Court”; Reggie Brown, “Back to Basics Outreach Ministries”; Kenneth Gaston, “GROUP Ministries.”
FED3/WNY is sponsored by PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO!, The Circle of Supporters for Reformed Offenders, Friends of Baba Eng, WNY Reentry Coalition, County Legislator Betty Jean Grant, and “The Challenger.” Childcare will be provided by Americorps Volunteers.
PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED!
For FED3/WNY information contact email@example.com or call 716-834-8438. Donations for FED3/WNY may be sent to: Prisoners Are People Too!, P.O. Box 273, Buffalo, NY 14212.
7. WHO’S FUNDING FED3?
You are! We all stand to benefit, so let’s all chip in to make this work. Please, please send a donation! No amount is too small, or too large! We will put your donation to good use. It will be used entirely for supplies; no one is being paid a penny to do this. But we all stand to benefit in the long run. Please send checks made out to Prison Action Network to PAN, HM-IMC, PO Box 35, Troy NY 12181. Indicate which event, or all, you’re contributing to. And if you don’t have any money to send, please make a bunch of phone calls, or write lots of letters, to let all the people in your life know how important this event is to you, and then bring them with you to a FED3 event.
GRAZIANO, ET. AL VS PATAKI
Still no settlement or decision. The judge will presumably continue to grant extensions so long as the parties report progress.
REPORT FROM WOODBOURNE: 22 parole applicants appeared, six hearings (all A-1 violent felonies) were immediately postponed for 90 days because no sentencing minutes were in the folders. Another, a de novo hearing because the board had failed to consider 11 correction officers’ letters, was rescheduled for October when it was discovered that the letters were still missing, along with 56 other documents he had acquired throughout his 22 yr incarceration. It is now incumbent upon him to resubmit the letters. Graziano plaintiff Charles Friedgood was one of the 7 postponements but his sentencing minutes were found the next day and he will be reappear in October. Results: 4 people were granted parole. One A-1 violent felony offender on his 5th appearance.
SUCCESSES: Cheryl Kates, who will be presenting one of the workshops at FED3-NYC (see article 5), has been achieving an impressive number of successes lately, both from Parole Appeals and Parole Plans. To applaud her success and congratulate those who made their boards, we list them here:
Parole Appeal Reversals/de novo hearings
Castronova vs. NYS BOP (Albion C.F.) Oct. Board
Shaw v. NYS BOP (Greene C.F.) Sept. Board
R.L v. NYS BOP (Midstate C.F.) Sept. Board
Belfiglio v. NYS BOP (Midstate C.F.) Oct. Board
Valletutti v. NYS BOP (Franklin C.F.) Sept. Board( See below)
Price v. NYS BOP (Collins C. F.) Oct. Board
M.M. v. NYS BOP (Otisville C.F.) Oct. Board
C.G. v. NYS BOP (Greene C.F.) Oct Board
Jennings v. NYS BOP (Arthur Kill C. F.) Nov. Board
Botting v. NYS BOP (Albion C.F.) See below
Vido v. NYS BOP (Albion C. F.) See below
Lohan v. NYS BOP (Collins C.F.) See below
Appeal later reversed
Shawn Chappelle- Released Aug. 2007 5-life
Parole plan releases
Robert Sanchez 20-life, released second board
Rebecca Botting, 7 1/2-15 released first board
Barbara Vido 1 1/3-3 released first board
Raymond Stolpinski 7 1/2- 15 released first board maintained innocence
Keith Bush 25-life released , maintained innocence
Michael Lohan 1 1/3 -4 released, first board
Angela Hoffman 2-6 released, first board.
Frank Valletutti 2-8 released, first board
[Cheryl L. Kates Esq. Attorney at Law, Po Box 711, Honeoye, NY 14471, (585) 820-3818
SUPPORT: This month we present FELIX DELGADO for your consideration. He will be appearing before the Board on Nov.14. According to a petition we received from his friends, Mr. Delgado has devoted most of his time in prison researching the Hep C virus and sharing his findings with friends on both sides of the bars. Most notable is the work he has done for LOLA, Latinos Organization for Liver Awareness. Because of his dedication, LOLA has helped save thousands of lives. Sixteen years ago he made a terrible mistake which he can't undo. If he could, he would not leave any stone unturned until he did so. Instead he has worked unceasingly to give back to the community he harmed. His friends and family believe very strongly that Felix Delgado will not recidivate and will be an asset to his community. For more details or to send a letter of support, please write Mr. Felix Delgado, DIN 93A0549, Otisville C.F., PO Box 8, Otisville, NY 10963-0008.
9. PRISON RADIO
Al Lewis Lives, hosted by Karen Lewis, broadcasts on Saturdays from noon to 1:30 pm on WBAI, 99.5 FM, NYC. Tune in on Oct 6 to hear the latest on FED3 brought to you by some familiar voices.
The Fancy Broccoli Show: Fancy Broccoli airs on WVKR, 91.3FM, Poughkeepsie NY. on Sundays from 3 - 6 pm, Eastern Time, and streams online - go to www.WVKR.org and click on (or near) the word 'LISTEN'. September 30 Fancy featured Kirk James and Dwight Stephenson from the College Initiative at Lehman College. Look for it in the archives at www.fancybroccoli.org. On October 14 "Santito", a formerly incarcerated man that has been paroled and is doing good work on the outside, will talk about his journey. Oct 28 is still unconfirmed.
Democracy Now!, with Amy Goodman airs around the country, check www.democracynow.org to find the station nearest you or to read the transcripts.
Justice Pages Audio at www.justicepages.org/
Voices from the Prison Action Network: No new programs due to technical difficulties and lack of time. But if you’d like to be interviewed by telephone (or in person) please call me to set up something for the future. 518 253 7533. Archives available at www.radio4all.net and http://hmimc.swapspace.com.
10. SUPPORT MEETINGS
Albany: PFNY meeting at 7:00 pm every Monday at the Women’s Bldg, 79 Central Avenue. Please call ahead: Alison 518 453 6659
Buffalo: Groups for men and women meet separately on Thursdays, from 5:30-6:30pm at GROUP Ministries, Inc., 1333 Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo. These programs are FREE and confidential. For more information, call 716-539-1844.
North Babylon LI: Prison Families Anonymous meets on the 2nd and 4th Wed of each month at 7:30 pm at the Babylon Town Hall Annex. You are welcome if you have a family member in prison. For more info you may call Barbara: Ph: 631-630-9118, Cell: 631-943-0441
Poughkeepsie: PFNY Support Group Room 306 of the Main Building of Family Partnership at 29 North Hamilton St. Poughkeepsie, NY. Meetings will be held on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month at 7pm. The Citizens for Restorative Justice meet the first Monday of the month, 6:30 to 8:00PM. The location changes so call ahead of time, 845-464-4736.
Schenectady: Next PFNY meeting will be a party on Dec.20 from 7-9 pm at First United Methodist Church - 603 State Street - entrance on Chapel Street - behind MVP Building. Jeanette: 518 346 5653.
11. TRANSPORTATION TO PRISONS
From the Capital District:
The NEST Prison Shuttle schedule:
Mt. McGregor, Washington, and Great Meadow CFs on Sat, Oct 6 ($30 adults, $20 children)
Coxsackie, Greene, and Hudson CFs on Sun, Oct 14 ($15 adults and $10 children)
from Oakwood Ave Presbyt. Church parking lot, Troy at 7 AM, and Albany Greyhound bus station at 7:15.
NO TRIP TO UTICA (MIDSTATE, MARCY, MOHAWK, ONEIDA CFS) ON SAT, OCT 20 SO WE CAN GET FOLKS TO FAMILY EMPOWERMENT DAY IN NYC INSTEAD. CALL PAN 518 253 7533 to reserve.
Sullivan (Ulster, Eastern, Woodbourne, Sullivan CFs) on Sat, Oct 27 leaving at 6 AM ($40 adults, $25 children).
Reservations: Linda O'Malley 518- 273-5199.
Ride board request - Sharon Crispell - looking for a ride and sharing of gas expenses to Mid-Orange Correctional Facility from Capital District. Ralph Purdy looking for ride to Clinton from Albany. (Contact PAN and we’ll forward your offers)
Door to door, free rides are offered from Albany to prisons within 150 miles by volunteers of FUUSA’s Justice Committee on weekdays only. Please contact us at 518 253-7533 if you need a ride.
Statewide: DOCS Free Bus - to find out how to sign up, from NYC area: Deacon Mason on Tues & Fri, 212 961 4026 and from Albany: on Wed & Thurs, 518 485 9212; from Buffalo area: Rev. Roberson 716 532 0177, x4805; from Syracuse: Sister Patricia: 315 428 4258
12. WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND NEW YORK STATE
BUFFALO: Prisoners Are People Too! is a justice advocacy program that meets monthly on selected Mondays in Buffalo at the Pratt-Willert Community Center, 422 Pratt Street from 6:30-8:30pm. Each meeting features a documentary film, related to some prison issue, and one or more guest speakers who address that issue.
At its next meeting on Monday, October 22, 2007, PRP2!’s guest speaker will be Gerald “Jerry” Balone, a recently paroled reformed offender who is from Buffalo, NY. However, after spending 37 1/2 years in prison, Jerry says that he is from “nowhere and everywhere.” He will share his story of crime, rehabilitation, and redemption.
Preceding Mr. Balone’s presentation, PRP2! will screen the History Channel’s documentary film, “Condemned: Life Behind Bars,” which takes a hard-hittting look at the sad state of America’s penal system which does little, if anything, to prepare prisoners for a return to society.
The next meeting of Prisoners Are People Too! is scheduled for November 26. Film and guest speaker(s) TBA.
PRP2! programs are sponsored by The Circle of Supporters for Reformed Offenders and Friends of Baba Eng.
KINGSTON NY: Passing the Torch - Through the Arts Inc.
Upcoming productions: RECIDIVISM, a one-act play by Michael Monasterial, addresses the issue of gang violence and gets to the heart of the initial breakdown of the family and the motivating factors in the surrounding community’s decline. This play was first performed in the Westchester County Correctional Facility, in Valhalla, NY. It was endorsed by both the warden and the director of the in-house rehabilitation center, (“The Solutions” program).
WHEN CHICKENS COME HOME TO ROOST by Laurence Holden is about the last year in the life of Malcolm X. These two plays will be presented October 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25,26,27,28 at the Arts Society of Kingston, located at 97 Broadway, Kingston, NY 12401. Ticket price is $20., which supports the program and finances prison presentations. For more information, please contact Michael Monasterial at 845-790-0400.
NEW YORK CITY: Wednesday October 10 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Hall, Room 103 (116th and Amsterdam). No RSVP is required.
Beyond the Bars: An Interdisciplinary Call to Action to Address Prisoner Reentry by: Columbia University’s School of Social Work, Prisoner Reentry Institute at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, Columbia University Law Caucus, Black Caucus, and Students for Community Involvement
The event will feature a panel discussion addressing the multi-faceted issues facing formerly incarcerated people and the practical ways that students and professionals across fields can help address these challenges. Panelists include: Kathy Boudin of Teacher's College; Robert Fullilove of Mailman School of Public Health; Philip Genty of the School of Law; Michael Jacobson of the School of International and Public Affairs; Manning Marable of the History Department; and Elwin Wu of the School of Social Work.
13. WORDS FROM INSIDE
Dear Family, Friends, and Fellow Prisoners: I write this with great encouragement and congratulations to you all for all of the large and small successes that our work has accomplished in the work of parole reform, criminal justice reform and some measure of financial justice for our families. Karima, Judith, the Brothers at Otisville, and many others deserve our appreciation and continued support, as we work to bring about some equity in law and social justice to all of our communities on both sides of the wall. Let us be vigilant of our successes. Keep up and step up the work. - G.Baba Eng