Building Bridges

The monthly newsletter of the Prison Action Network

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Monday, November 03, 2008

November 2008, Another FED4 Special Edition

Please scroll down to read the newsletter.

POSTED 11/19/08 - from All Things Harlem
Couldn't get to Family Empowerment Day 4 in NYC? Were there but would like to refresh your memory of it? No reason to fret. Just press start on the screen below, and see it in all its glory. Thanks to Joseph Hayden and Rob Gales at All Things Harlem.

EP9 from RobGales on Vimeo.

POSTED: 11/19/08 - from Prison Action Network and the Justice Committee at FUUSA

Family Empowerment Day 4/Albany

It's happening this Saturday, November 22. The theme is "Health Care Needs of the Incarcerated : An in-depth look at the needs of the physically ill, the mentally ill, and the aging prison population". The Keynote Speaker will be Teresa Wuerdeman, DOCS Asst. Commissioner for Health Services. She will be talking about The Current State of Prison Health Care. Ms. Wuerdeman will be joined by Dr. Timothy Whalen, the NE Regional Director of Health Services. Her talk will be followed by a Question and Answer session with the audience. Later in the day we will share our stories about prison health care experiences and before we leave come up with a plan for taking action. Please join us at 405 Washington Avenue in Albany NY. The event runs from 10-2, with lunch provided. Please RSVP by email or call 518-253-7533.

POSTED 11/13/08 - from All Things Harlem

You'll want to watch this historic movie of an historic moment in our history. All Things Harlem brings you exclusive coverage of election day in Harlem. Follow the filmmakers through the community on election day, see the sights and hear the sounds of the Harlem Community on this historical day. You will find this footage nowhere else on the planet. Share this link with the world. Send your feedback to:

Joseph "Jazz" Hayden, CEO
Still Here, Harlem Productions Inc.
201 West 138th St. Suite 1
New York, NY 10030
Cell: 917-753-3771 Channel 335 (coming soon)

POSTED 11/13/08 - from the Coalition for Parole Restoration:

You are invited to attend a workshop on Preparing for
Parole Hearings presented by CPR (Coalition for Parole
Restoration) on November 22 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm., at
the Fortune Society Academy at 630 Riverside Drive (at 140th

Please contact Mark McPhee at to

Those who are unable to attend this workshop will have
another opportunity in December.

POSTED 11/9/08 - from Ronald F. Day:

Redemptive Capital Reentry Project [Messages: Stories of Transformation Beyond the Wall] seeks to debunk myths and stereotypes about formerly incarcerated people by documenting and publicizing success stories. Sharing your story might help people languishing in prison who believe that they are doomed to fail.

Submissions should be no more than 2500 words. To make this project as well-rounded as possible, we are accepting stories, poetry, and illustrations along with selected interviews. The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2008.

Please contact Ronald F. Day (“Una”)

Building Bridges November 2008

Dear Reader,

Well, we did it! YOU did it!! We had a FULL HOUSE at Family Empowerment Day 4/NYC! You invited everyone you knew and a lot of them came! More than 400 people! You also paid for it (see list of donors, #3). People were serious about why they were there. There were 19 Action Tables (see list, #3). Nearly half the participants stayed until after 4 pm because they wanted to make sure they voted. In the end the decision was to work on getting parole hearings videotaped. There was video and audio coverage and as soon as they’re available we will announce it in these pages. We saw (an almost final cut of) The Visitors, and when it’s released to the public we’ll let you know about that also. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but the energy and the commitment are there. Together we are moving ahead! Maintain hope, be patient, and never waver. We’ve come a long way, and we’re not quitting while there is still work to be done.

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. Whatever you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."-- Goethe

Please share your copy of Building Bridges. We all need to be on the same page!

In this Issue:

1. Report on FED4/NYC
2. Update on Graziano Vs. Pataki
3. Who paid for FED4
4. Lifers and Longtermers Clearinghouse
5. Parole Report
6. Prison Media
7. What you can do for change
8. Lost at FED


Like the three prior Family Empowerment Day (FED) events, the fourth FED had a guiding theme that set forth the primary objective of the event.  The theme: "Taking Action to Bring Our Loved-Ones Home" is both telling and instructive, for it clearly indicates that the action being taken is of a personal nature, since it involves families, loved-ones, and supporters.  It also indicates that those involved in the action are stakeholders who have a social interest in the outcome of action taken against a public agency whose legal mandate is public safety. Thus the theme of the fourth FED was both personal and social, and has implications that affect not merely families, but whole communities.
The theme provides us with a basis for determining whether the event was a success or failure.  Let's take a look:
The event started out with a viewing of the film "The Visitors", a documentary about the families who make the long and tiring trip to upstate prisons.  It was discussed by a panel composed of family and loved-ones who made the trips, and also formerly incarcerated persons. Although the discussion centered primarily on the trials and tribulations endured , sometimes over very long periods of time in an effort to continue family ties, it was also forcefully brought out that the film was about the social tragedy of broken and disconnected relations that were initiated and enforced by the laws, policies, and practices of the controlling agencies (Dept. of Correctional Services and Division of Parole). That it was now time for those who must ride those buses to take action to change those laws, policies, and practices. Because of the forcefulness of the last statement, which drew applause from the audience, this portion of the event can be deemed a success.
The next presentation of the event was the an update on the Graziano v Pataki lawsuit by attorneys Robert Isseks and Peter Sell.  I missed this presentation and you will have to read the report printed elsewhere in this issue of Building Bridges [see #2].
The third presentation on the agenda and the most important segment of the event was the keynote address by George Alexander, Chairman of the N.Y.S. Division of Parole.  Billed as a two part presentation consisting of the keynote address entitled "The State of Parole Today" and a question and answer period, the lecture hall at Columbia University law school was filled to capacity with families, loved-ones and supporters who had come to hear and question the "Head of the Parole Board".
And that is how many of the families and loved-ones perceived George Alexander - as the person who was "the head" of a parole board that was unjustly denying release to hundreds, if not thousands, of those they were there to represent.

Not all of the families and loved-ones saw things that way.  But there was a prevailing mindset among those that did, that was based upon ignorance of state agency procedures and misinformation provided by the incarcerated individuals they represented, that gave rise to hardened attitudes and ripe anger that was to erupt during the question and answer period.

Despite the prevailing mindset, George Alexander laid it down with such candor and forthrightness that it was startling to many and appreciated by most.  He made it quite plain that he was not of the old regime i.e. Pataki school, and had made it clear when he issued the well known memo to the parole board commissioners about violent felony offenders having equal status under the executive laws. He fully explained that under the executive law governing parole, as Chairman he did not have the authority to tell the parole board commissioners how to vote. That the primary changes that people sought in how the parole board functioned was a matter of legislation and that the community must prevail upon their legislative representatives.
All in all the Chairman made it known whose side he was on. I have been following the criminal justice scene for over forty years and I cannot recall any chairman of parole opening the door to community input as widely as Alexander did.  He stated publicly that his office was open to all, the formerly incarcerated included. He offered to meet with any advocacy groups or organizations which invited him.

At the question and answer period he stood his ground when family members insisted that he did indeed have the authority to "make the parole commissioners do the right thing!".  And it soon became clear that there was a block of people in the audience whose failure to believe what Alexander had said about his limited authority, and who, lacking a basic knowledge of state agency procedure, could not bring themselves to recognize that an offer had been made to followup with discussions of disputed issues.  At one point when he was under loud attack, he stated that he was from the community too and would not be shouted down.  He then turned and wrote his telephone number and email address on the blackboard for those who wanted to pursue the matter further.

At the end of the question and answer period, a large segment ot the audience left without participating in the final part of the agenda.  Their passion, the concern they felt for their loved ones, and the frustrations they were experiencing as no one gave them the answers they were seeking, apparently led them to leave immediately. Unfortunately, all too often, there are no answers. While their emotions were understandable, it left the remaining people feeling a sense of loss. We no longer had input from the entire group when we reached the culmination of the day’s events, the last session. Termed the Action Planning Session, this part of the agenda involved voting for a parole issue the families, loved-ones and supporters would agree to mobilize behind as the first of a number of parole issues to be addressed.
The video recording of parole board hearings was the goal that won out, and a first meeting has been scheduled for November 15. [see *#7, for details]


27 thousand people coming out of prison every year have a number of family members each. It’s a large block that we can and want to mobilize for change.

We need to learn about and be mindful of the kind of things that happen after we come home, i.e. after 90 days when family starts looking at you funny cause there’s not as much coffee or food in the house now that you are back home.

There’s a lot of services out there but finding out what they are and where they are can be hard, so sign up for all information and list serves so the information comes to you.

The thing to do is change the culture of prison. What we’re doing today is one of the ways to change that culture. We make change with how we vote.

Parole release rates are guided by the governor, the media and our neighbors. Gov Paterson's phone number is 518-474-8390. One of the last things Paterson did as Lt. Governor was introduce an omnibus re-entry bill so he knows these issues. He has more power to move the parole board to do the right thing than Chairman Alexander.

The two senators who flooded the media with information designed to cause parole to retreat: Senator Nozzolio 518-455-2366, Senator Golden 518-455-2730. Yet Sen. Nozzolio has sponsored some favorable legislation.

About 259-J: Prior to Jenna’s law, lifers did get discharged from parole. Two years ago a group came together, wrote a bill, found a Republican sponsor, Senator Volker, lobbied senators, asked what could get it passed, pooled their money and hired a lobbyist to help get it passed.

Tell all your friends to call the governor and their legislative representatives in support of bills that we endorse. Don’t feel powerless, don’t be scared to call. You don’t need to know or understand every part of the state government or the legislative process to make a phone call.

We can look to the media, often looked at as an opponent, but they're just professional writers sitting around looking for good stories, waiting for people to come to them and tell them what to look at. We need to call them and email them and tell them "I have a story for you". The articles you read that are touching you, those are the journalists you want to reach out to with your stories.

The media upstate affects how Albany thinks. When Fischer suggested to close prisons, it was the upstate media who had a lot to say about it.

The language issue is important. They're not inmates, not prisoners, they are people. To try and get people to view our loved ones differently we need to have them viewed as people. It’s not simple, but it’s an important step to change our language, especially when talking to media or legislators.

This event exists by the efforts and desires of the people inside. They want their families, they want you, us here on the outside to get together and organize. This is an urban problem, whether it is Buffalo, Rochester, in the Hudson valley, Albany or NYC. It’s not just the families that suffer but these communities that suffer. When your loved one comes home, who do you think is going to fill that empty cell? Your children, your neighbors, people from your community. So don’t leave us, don’t leave these groups, don’t drop out after your loved one comes home, after you come home.

Among things Chairman Alexander said:
Parole previously was more focused on noncompliant behavior. When you take that approach, all you teach is how to avoid getting caught. We now focus on how to successfully re-enter. How do we expect anyone to reintegrate without our help?

We met with service providers to get them on the same page as us and now we come together before people are released. ID cards, birth certificates, social security cards, employment planning, social services, navigating all these systems before hand. It takes 60-90 days to just get a check. Who can survive without a check? It makes sense to have all these systems in place months before release. We are not advocating dependency on social services, we are working towards short term and long term employment opportunities.

I am the link between the Board of Parole and the Division of Parole. We have asked the Board to stop imposing limitations and requirements that unnecessarily impede the Division of Parole’s efforts to succeed in their reentry goals.

We automatically issue Certificates of Relief upon release from prison, which remove limitations on some employment opportunities, as well as the right to vote. The Board has the discretion to withhold them if they have concerns about doing so. And thanks to some of the people in this room, we now have legislation that gives us the discretion to release people from parole after 3 years.

Orleans, our trial reentry program, is moving along successfully, hoping to expand if budget allows. 60 beds, 90-120 days before release. We participate in discharge planning, therapy, substance abuse programs, with support from Erie County, with service providers, community parole officers, etc.

This monumental change will take time to take root. Our success can only be gauged by the success of the people released into the community.

When you go before a hearing, it’s like going for a job interview. It’s the time to sell yourself. At the hearing, don’t wait for the questions, give them the reasons to release you.

We're working on a risk assessment tool to help us make better release decisions.

Anything sent to us is effective. Especially letters or petitions signed by influential people, not necessarily elected people, but anyone in the community who commands respect. Use any means at your disposal to present positive information on behalf of the person for whom you are advocating.

The best risk for a Parole Officer is the person who has aged out of the system, doesn’t recidivate, in other words, the longtermers. We have to change the way these people are perceived. And by changing the legislation. We need the faith-based communities, as well, to step up and help change the public's perception.

I cannot dictate to any individual commissioner what decision to make. I do not make law. I make sure they follow the law.

We take mental illness and poor institutional records due to mental illness into consideration, we get updated psychological reports done to see what challenges they are facing today and likely to face in the future and take that into consideration.

Everyone who served a life sentence, who has been on parole for more than 3 years, if they haven’t had any revocations or been rearrested, is now automatically considered for early discharge. The law just passed, we just started the process, but it’s happening.


Initially the state moved to dismiss our case, arguing it does not belong in federal court, because federal constitutional rights were not violated. Judge Brieant denied the state's motion. There was a change in the administration, the state moved again to dismiss, Brieant denied that motion as well. Since then we’ve been involved in the discovery process. The purpose now is to amass evidence of the policy as we alleged. During this time decisions have been made in district courts in NY that disagree with Brieant’s decision, saying it does not belong in Federal court; that it may violate state law but not federal. Judge Brieant died and Judge Cathy Seibel is our new judge; we go before her the first time on Nov. 6 and the due process decision will be discussed. The case is about how it is that these commissioners, usually 3 of them, make the decisions that they make. We believe that they are made arbitrarily in accordance with a predetermined plan based on the parole commissioner's personal philosophy and not in accordance with statues. If a judge decided on 15 to life as sufficient, how does the board then reach a decision that it's not true or sufficient? If the board says because of the crime you committed you are still a danger, they are supposed to express how you are still a danger and they are not doing that, they are just saying that because the crime was done, there is a danger. We have the evidence that this is what is going on, the question is does that constitute a federal due process violation? That’s what needs to be decided before we can move forward.

The statistics show that the people who committed these violent offenses are the least likely to repeat. Those statistics refute the argument that these people who committed these crimes years ago are still a danger.


PRISON ORGANIZATIONS: Auburn Lifers Committee;Auburn Vietnam Veterans Chap 205; Sullivan Latinos Unidos Org.; Woodbourne ILC; Woodbourne Longtermers Org; Joseph Rudd on behalf of GEO at Mid-Orange, Otisville Lifers and Longtermers Org and Arthur Kill Lifers and Longtermers Org.

The Campaign for an Independent Public Defense Commission
Postcards to sign asking Governor David Paterson to include funding for an independent public defense commission in his plans for the 2009 budget.

Cheryl Kates, Esq.
Petitions in support of:
a] Clemency application for Tanika Dickson, a former rape victim and young African American woman who stabbed and killed a man who was threatening her.
b] Returning Jalil Anthony Bottom and Herman Bell to NY from California for their parole hearings.

CPR (Coalition for Parole Restoration)
Sign up for their parole workshop to be held on November 22, 2008.

CWP (Coalition for Women Prisoners) of the Correctional Association
Sign a letter supporting A.8465-A, a bill lessening the impact of the Adoption and Safe Families Act by giving foster care agencies more discretion to delay filing termination papers if incarceration is a “significant factor” in why the child was placed in foster care.

CJAN (Criminal Justice Action Network)
Sign a petition in support of S.3614, legislation that would allow incarcerated survivors of domestic violence to earn merit time off their sentences.

CURE-NY / Citizens For Restorative Justice

CURE-NY - Form letters and stamped envelopes for your state representatives' district offices supporting Merit Time, Work Release and Higher Education for all incarcerated people not serving life without parole. We will show you how to identify your representative and his/her address.

Citizens For Restorative Justice - sign up to work on passage of the current Merit Time Bill and/or raise money to hire a lobbyist to pursue this action.

Fordham Law Prisoners' Rights Advocates
Sign postcards against anti-attorney visiting policies in New York States prisons. We hope to make inroads and build a foundation to challenge the practices for everyone.

Fortune Society
Urged families, loved-ones and supporters to vote in the upcoming election and provided literature about the importance of doing so. 

F.R.E.E. (Families Rallying for Emancipation & Equality)
Visit their table to participate in a videotaped interview about parole and how it affects you personally. Could possibly end up in a Public Service Announcement to educate the public about parole.

ICARE / Trinity Seven Communities Project
Call or write your elected officials to advocate for the closing of prisons. We'll have information and a computer to look up their contact information.

JLM (Jail house Lawyers Manual)
Would you like to see your family member's artwork appear on the cover of A Jail house Lawyer's Manual (JLM)? Stop by the table for flyers publicizing this cover art contest, which we invite you to send to your loved ones.

Justice Works Community

Rockefeller Drug Law/S.N.A.P.; Sign the Drop the Rock petition so we can reach the goal of 35,000 signatures to commemorate 35 years of the RDL

Census; Send a postcard protesting the counting of incarcerated people in the town they are housed in (prison) and demanding that the government count incarcerated people as living in the towns they lived in before incarceration.

Prison Action Network
Sign up for a free email subscription to Building Bridges, the newsletter that keeps you informed about current events and news of interest to criminal justice and prison reform advocates.

Prison Education Initiative
Let us know what kinds of programs, curriculums, topics of study you think would be beneficial for incarcerated people, particularly at Rikers.

Resilience Multimedia Publishing
Send your incarcerated loved one a flyer about the “Think Outside the Cell” writing contest. They could win cash prizes and become published writers, which would be an impressive accomplishment to add to their Parole Packet!!

Riverside Church Prison Ministry
Sign up for first meeting of "Stop the Max Campaign".

VEP (Voters Enfranchisement Project)
1) Sign a Pledge to Vote and to encourage others to vote (with other optional commitments)
2) Write letters in support of extending voting rights to people on parole

Tables 16,17,18:  Peoples' Parole Support Petitions

Gonzalo Aguilar, Muhammad Ahmed, P.Andreu, Glenroy Babb, Gerald Balone, Melis Birder, C. Brown, Michael Brown, Wayne Brown, H. Carreras, Walee Comer, Andrew Cooper, Criminon of Maine, Bobbie Curric, Percy D'Amil, Marvin Denis, D. Dexheimer, Dalton Diaz, Katherine Diaz, Mark Ekblom, Sr. Tesa Fitzgerald, Robert Floyd, Kim Fudge, Noel Gaetan, John Glover, Vincent Gomez, Derrick Green, Clifton Hall, R. Hayes, Kathy and Ernest Henry, Edward Hernandez, Prison Policy Initiative, Kenneth Inniss, James Irving, Gary Johnson, Kevin Joyner, Cheryl Kate's, Esq, Ronnie Lawton, Conlan/LeMoine, Karen Lewis, L. Lovell, Arnold Lynn, Damel Marcu, Don Mason, Radames Matos, Charles McCallister, Teria McGhee, James Miceli, George Milligan, Gilbert Molina, Mohammed Moshin, Steven Musgrave, Saddiq Najee, Harold Neithardt, Luis Newbold, Trace Ocampo-Gaskin, Amy James Oliveras, Rajendra Paltoo, Sean Price, Zayd Rashid, A. Razzaq, Louis Rodriguez, Annette Rodriguez, Placido Rosa, Lynn Rudolph, Tyrone Rudolph, Sheila Rule, Edwin Sanchez, Justin Sellers, James Siena, Anthony Singfield, Thomas Smalls, Kevin Smith, Aaron Talley, Dutchess Taylor, Family of John Valverde, Vincent J. Viola, Dorphus Williams, Eddie Williams, Lenore Zeitchick

BY FACILITY:(Total: $1155.)
Arthur Kill, $90.50, 13 individuals
Auburn, $50, 2 organizations
Bare Hill, $ 5, 1 individual
Clinton, $40, 1 individual
Fishkill, $59.50, 8 individuals
Franklin, $10, 1 individual
Green Haven, $16, 2 individuals
Hudson, $75, 1 individual
Mid-Orange, $77, 5 individuals
Mohawk, $ 5, 1 individual
Oneida, $20, 1 individual
Otisville, $81, 15 individuals
Sing Sing, $25, 2 individuals
Sullivan, $108, 1 organization, 2 indiv.
Upstate, $ 5, 1 individual
Wallkill, $ 13, 2 individuals
Woodbourne, $475, 2 organizations, 4 indiv

The Family Empowerment Day events originated as an initiative of a prison organization that wanted to organize their families, loved-ones and supporters to join them in the struggle to obtain justice and fairness from the controlling agencies (NYS Dept. of Correctional Services & NYS Division of Parole).  This is and has been the goal of the statewide prisoner movement for decades and it has taken the committed efforts of the three distinct arms in this movement: the incarcerated, their families, loved-ones, and supporters, and the community based advocacy organizations. 
These arms must work closely together if the movement is to be effective.  People in prison must educate themselves about all aspects of the system they are trying to change.  That means a thorough knowledge of the operations and the laws and procedures governing the controlling agencies (DOCS & Div. of Parole).  The incarcerated must also have a working knowledge of the state legislature which makes the laws under which you are imprisoned.
It is vital to the success of the other two arms that the people inside obtain this basic knowledge, and know it well enough to school their families and loved-ones.  Because inadequate information and knowledge of the intricacies of state agencies can slow our progress down.
At FED4 a segment of the audience (composed of families, loved-ones and supporters )  could not determine the candor and forthrightness that was being expressed to them by Chairman Alexander.  True, it has been so long that some of us can't remember or know anything about when we last had a truly liberal head of a controlling agency.  (The last one was Ed Hammock, a brother from Queens during the Cuomo administration).  This group had not been schooled by those they were representing, and so they let their anger and hostility lead them to walk out without engaging in the action planning stage of the event.
The families and loved-ones are the most closely aligned to the incarcerated and should be able to speak for them, as well as themselves with a clear understanding of the system that is victimizing them.  But the incarcerated must first educate themselves and then impart their knowledge to their families and loved-ones.
Supporters are generally the leadership of the community-based family advocacy groups that many family and loved-ones are members of.  These supporters and the members of their organizations are generally more familiar with the workings of controlling agencies and so recognized the open door policy that Chairman Alexander laid out.  It is these supporters that will be relied upon to play a role in the educational process that should take place at the follow-up meeting to FED4.

5. SEPTEMBER 2008 PAROLE BOARD RELEASES – A1 VIOLENT FELONS – unofficial research using parole database

Total Interviews
23 initials 5 released, 18 denied, 22%
90 Reappearances 18 released, 72 denied, 20%
113 Total 23 released, 90 denied, 20%

Initial Releases
Adirondack: 25-Life for Murder 2
Arthurkill: 25-Life for Murder 2
Arthurkill: 25-life for Murder 2
Cayuga: 24-Life for Murder 2
Mid Orange: 18-Life for Murder 2

Arthurkill: 25-Life for Murder 2 on 2nd Board
Arthurkill: 25-Life for Murder 2 on 3rd Board
Arthurkill: 20-Life for Att Mur 1 on 5th Board
Arthurkill: 15-Life for Murder 2 on 5th Board
Arthurkill: 20-Life for Murder 2 on 6th Board
Attica: 25-Life for Murder 2 on 5th Board
Auburn: 15-Life for Murder 2 on 5th Board
Bayview(female): 15-Life for Murder 2 on 5th Board
Cayuga: 25-Life for Murder 2 on 5th Board
Collins: 25-Life for Murder on 6th Board
Gowanda SOP: 25-Life for Murder 2 on 5th Board
Gowanda: 25-Life for Murder on 6th Board
Greenhaven: 20-Life for Murder 2 on 4th Board
Greenhaven: 25-Life for Murder 2 on 6th Board
Marcy: 20-Life for Murder 2 on 4th or 5th
Marcy: 25-Life for Murder on 5th Board
Otisville: 15-Life for Murder 2 on 4th Board

Apology: I am so behind in my work due to organizing Family Empowerment Day that I have not had time to open all my mail, some of which probably contains Sept, maybe even Oct, parole statistics for individual facilities. Hopefully we can catch up next month. There are at least 100 letters like that, and I beg your understanding. I have chosen to put my energy into tasks that could help all of you, at the cost of not responding to individual requests. I hope to soon find a way to do both. The Editor


“Fancy Broccoli” airs on WVKR, 91.3FM, Poughkeepsie NY on Sundays from 3 - 6 pm, Eastern Time, and streams online - go to and click on (or near) the word 'LISTEN'. Their guest for Nov. 16 is Kevin Bott, who will be teaching a class at NYU on successful re-entry. It is a free, non-credit class, open to any man that has served time in NYS prisons. On Nov 30 Eric "EZ" Waters will be reading his poetry and discussing any and all things relevant to the parole movement today.

Visit archives to find lots of other good interviews. Write Fancy Broccoli Show, WVKR, Box 726, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY 12604-0726

"All Things Harlem" can be seen on on Manhattan Neighborhood Network's channel 34 on Thursdays at 7:30pm each week. For those who live outside of Manhattan, there is a WEB SITE where you can view the show. Their program about political prisoners is available at An episode on The Obama Campaign in Harlem is available at  Your feedback is appreciated.

Producer Joseph "Jazz" Hayden can be reached at 201 West 138th St. Suite 1, New York, NY 10030, Office: 212-234-0596, Cell: 917-753-3771,


FAMILY EMPOWERMENT DAY 4/ALBANY - Saturday November 22, 2007, 10 am - 2 pm
A discussion of the health care needs of the incarcerated; examining the needs of the physically ill, the mentally ill, and the aging prison population.

First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany
405 Washington Ave
Call 518 253 7533 for details.
Please join us to share your experiences or to learn.

Free Lunch

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 criminal justice or prison issue, and one or more guest speakers who address that issue.

The next meeting of Prisoners Are People Too is scheduled for November 24. The program will focus on Political Prisoners.

PRP2 programs are sponsored by The Circle of Supporters for Reformed Offenders and Friends of Baba Eng. For further information, contact Karima Amin at or 716-834-8438.

Wednesday, November 12 New York Reentry Roundtable

Community Service Society Reentry Roundtable 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Community Service Society, 105 East 22nd Street, at the corner of Park Avenue South, Conference Room 4A Take the 6 or W/R trains to 23rd St

Contact: Gabriel Torres-Rivera, Community Service Society,, 212 614 5306

Guest Speaker:
Byron Kline, State of New York, Division of Criminal Justice Services
Assistant Director of Reentry Services, Office of Program Development and Funding

Film: 'Strength of a Woman' presented by the Coalition for Women Prisoners’ Violence Against Women Committee, it depicts the stories of three formerly incarcerated survivors of domestic violence who share their life experience as survivors.
Thursday, November 13 Education from the Inside, Out: - at 10 AM at SUNY Old Westbury College.
Sponsored by The Fortune Society, College and Community Fellowship, The Correctional Association and SUNY College at Old Westbury, the conference will focus on public funding for college in prison - why it's worth the investment.  Featuring opening remarks by Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III, President, SUNY College at Old Westbury and Pastor, Abyssinian Baptist Church.

*Saturday, November 15 Family Empowerment Project’s Campaign to Videotape Parole Hearings
from 11 - 1 at the Fortune Society offices, 29-76 Northern Blvd, 2nd floor, in Long Island City (Queens Plaza stop on R train.) Facilitated by Prison Action Network. Call for details: 518 253 7533l

Tuesday, November 18 Reel Reentry Film Series
Reel Reentry will be held from 5:00-7:30pm and will feature a screening of 'A Hard Straight'.  The documentary provides an intimate glimpse into the reentry experiences of a gang member, mother and small-time drug dealer.  Directed by Goro Toshima, the film follows these three formerly incarcerated individuals as they negotiate reentry, family reunification and fulfilling post-release supervision requirements.  The screening will be followed by a discussion facilitated by Family Justice Founder and President, Carol Shapiro. 

Wednesday, November 26 WMD
Poetry writings by prisoners read by Lady Penumbra and Ty Conscious
Theatre Arts Building, 300 43rd St. at 8th Avenue, 5th floor.
Send writing or inquiries to
Triborough Station
PO Box 1784
NY NY 10035
917 346 0969

8. LOST AT FED4/NYC: by Cheryl Kates, a signed petition against Commissioner Ortloff requesting parole to grant new hearings; by Judith Brink, 3 manilla folders with misc FED4 information, a black steno pad with an Obama sticker, and a dark grey wool large men’s zippered sweater with an angel pin. Please contact PAN if you found any of these items.

Building Bridges is a joint effort of Prison Action Network and the FUUSA Justice Committee. We thank the Community Church of NY, Unitarian Universalist, for their support. Thank you also to Frankie Cruz for help with data entry.

Read now!