Building Bridges

The monthly newsletter of the Prison Action Network

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

JULY 2012


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During the month we publish late breaking news and announcements.  Please scroll down to read the July 2012 edition of Building Bridges.









POSTED 8/2/12     by Correctional Association-NY
Prison Monitoring Report

Dear friends:

I am very pleased to announce that the Correctional Association will now be airing a quarterly report to the public about our prison monitoring work.

Beginning this Saturday, August 4th at 11 a.m. EDT I will be the guest host of On the Count: The Prison and Criminal Justice Report, a weekly hour-long show regularly hosted by Eddie Ellis.
You can tune into WBAI Pacifica Radio at 99.5fm or listen on the web at this link: http://wbai.org/listen.php

We will have a 30-minute segment during which I will interview a number of our staff regarding our findings and recommendations. This is a very exciting opportunity for us to share our work in a different way with stakeholders from across the state.

On the Count can currently be heard in approximately 17 prisons throughout the mid-Hudson region. Plans are underway to have the show broadcast even more widely, enabling more people throughout the state, including those who are incarcerated, to listen and learn about our work and stay informed of our progress.

This week my guest will be Eddie Rosario, an Associate Director at ourPrison Visiting Project. Since January 2012, we have visited 6 facilities (Clinton, Fishkill, Woodbourne, Cape Vincent, Groveland, and Altona) and Eddie will share some highlights and key recommendations based on those visits. 


Please be sure to tune in this Saturday morning at 11 a.m. EDT for an enlightening half-hour and a very proud moment for the Correctional Association.  We thank you, as always, for all of your support.

Sincerely, Soffiyah Elijah




POSTED 8/2/12
Updated NYS Parole Board Commissioner List


Evans, Andrea W.
Paterson
June 8, 2009
February 6, 2013
Smith, William
 Pataki
Dec 17, 1996
July 06, 2011
Ferguson, James
Pataki
April 12, 2005
July 06, 2017
Hernandez, Christina
Pataki
June 14, 2006
June 02, 2017
Ludlow , G. Kevin
 Pataki
June 21, 2006
June 18, 2017
Elovich, Lisa Beth
 Pataki
Dec 13, 2006
December 31, 2013
Thompson, Sally
Spitzer
June 14, 2007
May 4, 2013
Hagler, Michael 
Spitzer
October 22, 2007  
August 31, 2013
Ross, Mary
 Paterson
June 19, 2008
August 31, 2013
Crangle, Joseph
 Paterson
June 19, 2008
June 16, 2014
Brown, Jared
 Paterson
January 26, 2010
June 18, 2012
Sharkey, Edward
 Cuomo
June 20, 2012
June 18, 2018
Coppola, Marc
Cuomo
June 20, 2012
June 18, 2015
Alexander, Ellen
 Cuomo 
June 20, 2012 
June 18, 2014 




POSTED 7/19/12   By Prison Action Network


Joseph "Jazz" Hayden is facing two felony counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, which could put him behind bars for two to seven years if he is convicted.  Jazz has been fighting police abuse and violence for years and is a founding member of The Campaign to End The New Jim Crow.
The weapons? A penknife and a commemorative mini-replica of a baseball bat. Both are absurdly harmless and completely legal to carry, unlike the car search the police conducted to "discover" them.
JUSTICE FOR JAZZ! This is an important case to follow/get involved in...SOLIDARITY IS NEEDED!  http://socialistworker.org/2012/07/18/retaliating-against-an-nyc-activist
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
 Anyone in New York City on July 31 should come to the courthouse at 100 Centre St. in Manhattan at 8 a.m. and raise your fist and your voice with Jazz at his next court appearance. We need as many people there that day as possible.
Location
The New York (Manhattan) Criminal building at 100 Centre Street is one block from Worth Street near Leonard Street & Franklin Street (approximately three blocks south of Canal Street).   Public Transportation Directions:  Take the No. 4 or 5 train to the Brooklyn Bridge Station; the C, N, R, 6 train to Canal Street; the 1 train to Franklin Street.
Take the 1, 6 or 15 bus line.

Sign a petition demanding that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. drop the charges against Jazz. Then e-mail the petition to your friends and family and post it on your social media networks.
Write a letter to Cyrus Vance and let him know how you feel about Jazz's retaliatory arrest and prosecution. You can find a sample letter at the Free Jazz Hayden website. (Click on link for SAMPLE LETTER).




POSTED 7/18/12  By Prison Action Network
The Parole Board's website lists 14 members, including Andrea Evans. The newly appointed members are now listed.  Edward Sharkey's term is for 6 years; Marc Coppola's term is for 3 years and Ellen Evans Alexander's term is for 2 years.  Expired members Lemons and Greenan,III have been removed but Brown and Smith remain on the list, despite their expiration dates of 6/18/12 and 7/6/11 respectively.  




Building Bridges July 15, 2012



Dear Reader, 


Reading the NYS Prisoner Justice Network’s column this month (Article 8) reminded me how fortunate Prison Action Network is to have the Network to help us do our job.  Like many other members, we are an understaffed volunteer organization, which can either result in burnout or a poor job.  By joining other small statewide groups who also lack wealthy benefactors, government funding, or corporate grants, we get to do things the larger organizations are able to do, and in some cases with more freedom.  We are able to support the efforts of other Prisoner Justice Network members without having to take the lead on their issues ourselves.  (It’s about all PAN can do to take on Parole Reform).  I’m delighted that we (the Prisoner Justice Network) are inviting prisoner organizations to join.  I’d like to suggest a family member be appointed by each prison organization to represent them on the conference calls where we make decisions.


Now let’s talk about electoral politics.  PAN is not partisan.  Both parties are equally good at disappointing us.  But the reality is that the Republicans stick together and tend to be from upstate where most of NYS’s prisons are, and because prisons are so vital to their district’s economy and their power, the Republican lawmakers like to keep them full and violent (to justify more punitive measures and therefore more staff).  The Democrats, the last time they had control of the Senate, fought among themselves and destroyed any hope of unity.  Most criminal justice bills have to be passed by the Senate’s Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee before they go to the floor for a vote.  The majority party gets to appoint the chairs of committees.  Mike Nozzolio has been the head of that committee since at least 2007 (anyone know for sure?), except when the Democrats had a taste of power in 2009 and 2010, and Sen Hassell-Thompson chaired it.  So our only hope, as I see it, lies in voting for Democrats in any of the 2012 contested legislative races (sometimes while holding our noses).  If your legislator has opposition, and if s/he’s a Democrat go to the campaign office and volunteer.  If s/he’s a Republican in a contested race, offer your help to the Democrat.  Democrats are not known for their unity, so it may be the Democrat you vote for/work for will not be on our side, but at least it will mean the obstructionists will not be in the majority.  And by volunteering you’ll be able to talk about criminal justice issues with the people you’re helping to elect!


Last but not least, please read Article 9 about how you can support Public Financing of Elections, which is key to ending the influence of big money in politics.  Please read Article 9 and take action.

       
        
Be well, keep strong, and for the good of all, please get involved, The Editor     

HEADLINES:
  1. Electoral Politics - some suggestions to help us elect the people who are more likely to support our agenda.
  2. Family Empowerment Day 5 is in Buffalo this year, featuring Ebony Magazine’s “2012 Couple of the Year”.
  3. Innocent and denied parole because of it?  The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice has a plan for helping you.
  4. The legislative session ended in June with none of our bills being passed.  A.M. Aubry, however, was able to put in a supportive word for people in prison and those who’ve been released, during the discussion of the Justice Center Bill which creates an agency to protect people with special needs.
  5. Corey’s Column - in his first Building Bridges column Corey Parks describes his strategy for a successful reentry.
  6. Parole News reports on appointments of 3 new and three reappointed Parole Commissioners; an amazing Article 78; and 37 parole releases in May.
  7. NYS Parole Reform Campaign urges families and other advocates to become informed and get active.  It’s up to us.  No one else cares as much.
  8. NYS Prisoner Justice Network reports on the Legislative Task Force on Criminal Justice Reform, proposed by the  New York State Criminal Justice Advocacy and Reform Coalition made up of advocates, most of whom presented workshops at the Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus this past spring.  An update on the Sept.14th Event also is provided.
  9. Public Campaign Financing is urgently needed because the very rich think you and I are the ones who don’t understand the country’s problems!  We have to replace the influence of big money in politics with public financing of elections, and Gov. Cuomo has said he will help us.
  10. In Our Name, Restoring Justice in America - the Aug. 24-26 agenda looks very inviting.  Formerly incarcerated people and family members of currently incarcerated persons are offered generous scholarshipsWe’d love to hang out with you!
  11. Solitary Confinement through the eyes of Charles Dickens, author of A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist.  Shows that opposition to the use of solitary confinement has been around almost as long as solitary has.  When will the public wake up?
  12. Strength of a Woman   Short sentences for abusers but when a woman defends herself after years of violence and threats on her life or her children’s she often receives a much longer sentence.  The July 30th meeting of Prisoners Are People Too in Buffalo, focuses on this issue.
 [Please send  your requests for any bills or articles that are not printed in full with a SASE and the date of this issue plus the number of the article]
1.  Electoral Politics
Elections for the office of New York Senate will be held in New York on November 6, 2012
A total of 63 seats will be up for election.
The primary will be September 13, 2012.
Most criminal justice bills have to pass in the Senate’s Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee before they move any further in their journey to becoming law.  
Every State Senator and State Assembly Member has to run for election.  Some will have an easy time because no one is opposing them while others will need our help to win. Here is the latest information on the races of the Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee members.  The deadline to file to run for a senate seat was 7/12, but could be postmarked then, and so the candidates were not yet all posted on 7/13, our deadline.  Next month we’ll fill in the blanks and take a look at the legislators who’ve signed the SAFE Parole Act.
Michael Nozzolio, Republican District 54  - Unopposed
 The 54th Senate District encompasses all of Seneca and Wayne Counties, and portions of Cayuga, Monroe, Ontario and Tompkins Counties, including Auburn, Webster, Geneva and Lansing. 
John DeFrancisco, Republican District 50 -  Kathleen Joy, Dem., is running against him as is Michael Donnelly, Green Party.
 The 50th Senate District encompasses parts of Onondaga County, including parts of Syracuse, Van Buren Township, Onondaga and Skaneateles. 
 Syracuse Common Council Member Kathleen Joy, a Democrat, is running against him despite his large campaign chest.  A poll showed her trailing DeFrancisco, 41 percent to 21 percent with 36 percent undecided.  We suggest our Syracuse area members sign up to go door to door to get those 36% to vote for her.  Why?  We need a Democratic majority to take the Crime Victims Committee out of Nozzolio’s hands and a win by her is one less Republican in the Senate.
Adriano Espaillat, Democrat -  District 31    Opposed by longtime rival, Assemblyman Linares, Dem. in the primary..  
 The 31st Senate District encompasses parts of the Upper West Side and Northern Manhattan, and South Western portions of the Bronx, including Inwood and Riverdale.  In 2010, Espaillat was elected to replace outgoing Democratic Senator Eric Schneiderman, who was elected to be New York's Attorney General.
 Mayor Bloomberg has vowed to help raise a six-figure sum for Assemblyman Guillermo Linares' bid in the Democratic primary. Before Linares took his seat in the Assembly in 2011, he was Bloomberg’s commissioner of immigrant affairs from 2004 to 2009.

Gustavo Rivera, Democrat - District 33    Manuel Tavarez is challenging him.
 Senate District 33 lost some of Kingsbridge and all of Riverdale due to redistricting. The 33rd Senate District now encompasses parts of the Bronx, including parts of Kingsbridge, Kingsbridge Heights, Van Cortlandt Village, Norwood, Bedford Park, Fordham, University Heights, Mount Hope and Tremont.  
 Gustavo Rivera is a State Senator who believes in educating the public, not a politician who believes in manipulating it. He's ready to fight for more jobs, better education, rights for tenants and true reform in Albany.  We encourage readers in his district to volunteer at Sen. Rivera’s campaign headquarters.

Patrick Gallivan, Republican - 59th District   Unopposed in both the primary and the general election
 The 59th Senate District encompasses all of Wyoming County and parts of Erie, Livingston and Ontario Counties, including Caledonia, Geneseo and Canandaigua. In 2010, Republican Patrick Gallivan was elected to replace retiring Republican State Senator Dale Volker.

Joe Griffo, Republican - District 47   No opponent listed
 The 47th Senate District encompasses all of Lewis County and portions of Oneida and St. Lawrence Counties, including portions of the city of Rome. 
Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Democrat - District 36    Opposed by Robert L. Diamond, Repub and WFP, in the gen’l election.
 The 36th Senate District encompasses parts of the Bronx and Westchester Counties. 
Tim Kennedy, Democrat - District 58    Opposed by Thomas O’Mara in the Dem. primary
 The 58th Senate District encompasses parts of Erie County including part of the city of Buffalo, and all of the cities of Lackawanna and Cheektowaga.  
Betty Little, Republican - District 45   no opponents listed
 The 45th Senate District encompasses all of Clinton, Franklin, Essex, Hamilton, Warren and Washington Counties.  Betty Little is an eight-year Republican incumbent.

George Maziarz, Republican - District 62    Opposed by Johnny G. Destino in the Repub. primary; and if he wins, by Hope Witryol, Dem., in the gen’l election,
 The 62nd Senate District encompasses all of Orleans County and portions of Niagara and Monroe Counties, including parts of Rochester.  In a visit to Sen. Maziarz’s district office last summer, he told constituents he would support the SAFE Parole Act if other upstate senators were in support of it.

Velmanette Montgomery, Democrat - District 18   ??*
The 18th Senate District encompasses portions of Brooklyn including parts of Stuyvesant Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Downtown Brooklyn, Prospect Heights, Greenwood Heights and Sunset Park.
           *Puzzling:  we were told by the NYC Board of elections that Jason Otano, Dem, was running for the 18th District Senate seat.  His campaign website says the same Jason A. Otaño, Democratic candidate for the 18th New York State Senate District.  The New York Observer (5/9) said he’s “running... against State Senator Martin Dilan this year.  Dilan represents District 17.  
José Peralta, Democrat - District 13   Opposed by Sen. Michael Gianaris, Dem., in the primary
As a result of redistricting, Sen Gianaris is now in District 13 not in his former Dist.12.  This should be interesting to watchThe 13th Senate District encompasses part of Queens County, including Bensonhurst, Corona and Jackson Heights. 

Michael Ranzenhofer, Republican - District 61  Opposed by Justin M. Rooney, Dem. and Working Families Party in gen’l election.
 The 61st Senate District encompasses all of Genesee County and parts of Erie County, including parts of Tonawanda and Amherst.

Patty Ritchie, Republican  District 48  -  Amy Tresidder is running against her in the gen’l election..
 The 48th Senate District encompasses all of Jefferson and Oswego Counties, and portions of St. Lawrence County, including the cities of Ogdensburg and Waddington. 
 She is being opposed by Amy M. Tresidder, Democrat-Oswego, 56, who is serving a second term on the County legislature. Tresidder said she plans to run a “grass-roots” campaign “to truly represent the people.  If you live in the 48th district, here’s an opportunity to make a difference.
2.  Family Empowerment Day 5

Coming to the Buffalo-Niagara Region soon for FAMILY EMPOWERMENT DAY 5
SAVE THESE DATES!
FRIDAY OCT. 5, PRESS CONFERENCE AND BOOK SIGNING
SATURDAY, OCT. 6,  FREE FULL-DAY CONFERENCE
EBONY MAGAZINE’S 2012 “COUPLE OF THE YEAR”
Rufus and Jenny Triplett of Powder Springs, GA will deliver the Family Empowerment Day 5 keynote address  
Rufus and Jenny Triplett are co-Editors-in-Chief of Prisonworld Magazine, which is published by their multimedia company, Dawah International, LLC. They are also co-hosts and co-producers of the online weekly Prisonworld Radio Hour, and Prisonworld Blog. Jenny is a requested speaker for correctional facilities, non-profit organizations, schools, radio and TV shows and print magazines. Rufus is a member of the group, “Likely Suspect,” which provides a cappella entertainment for the speaking presentations. Together they present a powerful dynamic duo where two voices become one.
 Currently being organized by PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO, INC.,
 PRP2-Niagara County Chapter,
 and PRISON ACTION NETWORK.
Email  KARIMA AMIN, or call 716-834-8438

3.  Have you been denied parole release because you claimed innocence?
The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, a not-for-profit organization to battle wrongful convictions, is currently collecting the names of prisoners across the country who have been denied parole release on the basis of asserting their innocence.  We want to change this practice, as well as try to obtain new parole hearings at which the assertion of innocence will not be held against them. This is done with the hope that most, if not all, will be released via parole, keeping in mind that it is not possible in all instances for the wrongfully convicted to be exonerated.
Prisoners who seek our assistance in this will need to provide the Foundation with copies of the parole decision along with the transcript of every parole hearing at which they were denied on this basis. Any denials that the prisoner wants the Foundation to consider for purposes of inclusion in our project must be based solely on assertion of innocence. The Foundation's address is: The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, Suite 102, 133 W. 72nd Street, NY 10023, ATTENTION: Innocence Based Parole Denial.  

4.  Legislation  
The last week of the Legislative Session (June 18-21) was something to behold.  All the State Legislative staffers were working overtime, as well as the Senators and Assembly Members.  Session started in the morning and lasted until after midnight in some cases. It was live streamed on their website, and I decided to listen to as much as I could.  On Wed night I heard AM Aubry questioning AM Felix Ortiz on his Justice Center Bill which creates an agency to provide oversight and protection for people with special needs from abuse at the hands of their caretakers in certain custodial centers, such as nursing homes and adult assistance residences.  There was much discussion of the bill, which was one of Gov. Cuomo’s Program bills.  But no one had mentioned prisoners until Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry asked if they were included, both as recipients of the protections and, once released from prison, as employees of the agency.  When he was told no to both questions, he made a strong speech about how necessary it was to offer the same protections to the most vulnerable of all disabled persons, those who are in prison for a period of their lives, and the necessity of providing jobs to people who have the most employment barriers to overcome.  AM Aubry stands up for his constituents and their incarcerated loved ones.  He is running for reelection and I recommend that all of us send a donation (whatever amount is comfortable) to the Committee to Re-Elect Jeffrion Aubry,  C/O Tyquana Henderson-Parsons,  134-40 135 Avenue, 1st Floor, South Ozone Park, NY 11420.  Please mention you’re a member of Prison Action Network, and thank him for sponsoring the SAFE Parole Act.
5.  Corey’s Column:  My Personal Motivation
How do we rid ourselves of a belief that the world owes us a contribution?  Not many understand how.  However, striving ignites our process of moving forward.  The term motivation can take us through many pathways.  This is why it’s important that we allow our inner abilities to motivate us.  There are many arts and skills in life.  Some allow us to make it to heights beyond our wildest imaginations, while others remain dormant because we never found the outlet to tap into it.  The dreamer, procrastinator, and doubter are three representations of stagnation.  The one who motivates self on the other hand, surpasses all above categories, because it highlights inspiration in one’s development.
Today, there are many men and woman who are incarcerated.  The prison atmosphere, regulations, and behavior can hinder the motivational factor.  Spirits are weakened, robbed, and tormented by hopes of returning back to society.  What stands in the way of many is an unfair parole board system.  And then once some of these men and woman are released, the services for their re-entry often benefit the provider more than the client.  Familiar problems of finances, housing, vocation and entitlements are an obstacle.  If an individual is not firmly grounded in self-motivation, then a revolving door of incarceration is possible.
The idea of success is that it takes time getting there.  Everything in life is a process that does not necessarily render instant gratification.  Procrastinators, doubters, and dreamers fall victim to this mindset. …”Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people…’’(Eleanor Roosevelt).  In practice, it is the motivated person who shapes his/her mind, character, accomplishments and stands on it.  No matter the stigma of past bad choices or mistakes, there is a road to redemption that welcomes you.  As a self-motivator, you have to become your best fan, supporter, and audience.  You literally have to breathe life into your aspirations.
Cognitively, and practically, we all have challenges.  Challenges that may disrupt our decision making.  Challenges that may distract our process.  Challenges that may inspire doubt in our ability to prosper.  We can’t stop feelings, emotions, or negative thoughts.  We can change how we (re-)act.  Reach high, and remember to build confidence in yourself.  It’s the only way to initiate your own change. 
- Corey Parks
6.  Parole News: 6 Parole Board Commissioners Appointed, Noteworthy Article 78, May Parole Releases
The Senate Standing Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee, chaired by Sen. Nozzolio, met on Wednesday, June 20 without any prior notice (we had checked the website minutes before) and it was in a room with poor acoustics and was poorly recorded.)  Therefore the following report is limited in accuracy and length by what I could hear on the live streamed video or find from other sources.  If we can find a transcript or the nominees' written statements, we’ll publish them in a future issue.  
The committee confirmed all 6 of the following nominations by the Governor; three of them were reappointments.  They were then presented to the full Senate where they were approved.  Gallivan had previously worked with 3 of the 6.  Senator Hassell-Thompson voted no on all but Christina Hernandez and told the Committee she had done so to express her dissatisfaction with the Governor's lack of Black and Hispanic nominations despite the large majority of those groups in prison.   
Ellen Evans Alexander,  Rhode Island AG's office, R.I. DOCS Assistant Director for Administration for 12 years and Chief Legal Counsel for six years.  Chief assistant county attorney in Binghamton, NY. 
James B. Ferguson, Jr, reappointment.  Sen. Gallivan (former Parole Commissioner) commented on his positive perception of Mr. Ferguson when they both were commissioners.
Christina Hernandez,  reappointment.  Sen. Gallivan (see above) said that with her Social Work Background she had brought a fresh perspective to the Parole Board.
G. Kevin Ludlow, reappointment (3rd term).  Nozzolio asked his opinion on GEDs for prisoners.  Ludlow said they were an important criteria along with many other standards of measurement. 
Edward M. Sharkey, from Olean,  attended Buffalo Law school, Air Force, 14 years in private law practice, 3 terms in DA's office. (Nozzolio commented that his appointment showed that the governor understood that a law enforcement career is good preparation for the duties of a Parole Commissioner) (Rivera voted against, along with Hassell-Thompson.)
Marc A. Coppola,  former NYS Senator (for about 7 months), member of City Council of Buffalo NY, formerly worked with Div. of Parole and as a liaison with the Parole Board.  (He had worked on the Board's application for Accreditation.) In Buffalo he had worked as Deputy Sheriff (under Sen. Gallivan who was the Erie County Sheriff at that time).  (Rivera voted against, along with Hassell-Thompson)
[Please remember these bios have not been checked for accuracy. Corrections are invited.]
As of July 15, the Parole Board's website lists 11 members, including Andrea Evans. The newly appointed members are not listed but expired members Lemons and Greenan,III have been removed. (The Black and Puerto Rican Caucus are protesting Lemons’s removal, because he is the sole Black male member of the Board.)  Brown and Smith remain on the list, with their expiration dates (6/18/12 and 7/6/11 respectively).  What is next?  We're waiting for the other shoe to drop!
Article 78:
On July 2, Capitol Confidential, the Albany Times Union blog, had a posting by Jimmy Vielkind, Capitol bureau who wrote about and linked to an Article 78 filed by Henry Morris vs. DOCCS and Board of Parole, that sounded like a list of talking points for the the SAFE Parole Act.  Perhaps you can find it in your local law library: Index No. 3117-12.  Albany County Clerk Doc # 11162189. [It’s 30 pages] The Respondents are Fischer and Evans.  
[We wish to note that this Art.78 is not going to get Petitioner out any sooner.  In fact it’s already past his minimum sentence date, and what are the chances the court will rule any time soon?  We don’t know Petitioner but we suspect that like many parole applicants we do know, he did this in response to the injustice he has experienced during his incarceration, and hopes it will help everyone who appears before the Parole Board in the future.]  
Some other facts:  he had the lowest risk score you can get on COMPAS (this is true of almost everyone we’ve heard from, by the way); no disciplinary infractions; he offers proof that they took only a few minutes to make their decision - since his hearing took 30 minutes and they did 30 interviews that day there was little time between the end of their interview and the time The NY Daily News went to press, and it arrived on newsstands the next morning carrying a story which included a copy of his transcript - the only copy he’s seen so far;  he expressed remorse so many times, the Board finally told him “You’ve made it clear. You don’t have to keep saying that.”;  Crangle was one of the Commissioners.
The Argument:  Justice Delayed is Justice Denied
Respondent’s unlawful conduct: 
a) conducting a parole hearing that failed to include written risk assessment guidelines required by statue and in violation to Petitioner’s due process rights,
b) failing to develop and utilize a TAP
c) failing to make an evidence-based determination of Petitioner’s unique parole application
d) failing to utilize the COMPAS during the hearing
e) unlawfully and unconstitutionally denying Petitioner release at his Minimum Sentence Date in violation of the Corr. Law 805 in an arbitrary and capricious manner,
f) failing to provide Petitioner with a Transcript of his Parole Hearing.
Article’s Conclusion states:
  1. The Respondents’ actions are unconstitutional, unlawful, arbitrary and capricious
  2. Their acts will lead to an unconstitutionally prolonged incarceration of Petitioner
  3. Respondents have failed to discharge their statutory duties to develop written risk assessment guidelines regarding an inmate with a Certificate of Earned Eligibility, to develop a TAP for petitioner, to conduct a lawful parole hearing, and to make a rational determination about granting Petitioner’s parole application
  4. The statutory scheme in place in NY has provided Petitioner with the right to be released on his Minimum Sentence Date, but no remedy other than this Article 78 proceeding to ensure a timely determination that the denial of that right was done lawfully.
Unless the Board or this Court acts prior to [his minimum sentence date], Petitioner will remain incarcerated beyond his Minimum Sentence Date.  If it is determined later that the Board acted unlawfully in denying parole, Petitioner will be irreparably harmed by having been incarcerated beyond his Minimum Sentence Date.  Because the Board may never rule upon Petitioner’s appeal at any time, as indicated in its letter [attached as Exh J, but not included in the Capital Confidential article], it is clear that Petitioner will remain incarcerated illegally beyond the Minimum Sentence Date, unless this Court requires the Board to act prior to [his minimum sentence date]. 
Respondents’ silence to date - by not responding to Petitioner’s letters and/or questions, by withholding from the Petitioner the Transcript of the Hearing already leaked to the news media, by not speedily deciding Petitioner’s appeal - indicates the probability that they will keep Petitioner in prison beyond his Minimum Sentence Date.  This is illegal, unjust, and requires judicial intervention.
Only this court can stop the illegal and unconstitutional injustice that Respondents’ actions and inaction will cause on [petitioner’s minimum sentence date].  Petitioner has already been punished by the laws of NYS for the crime he committed and has paid the price.  Now Petitioner, numerous inmates like him, and the criminal justice system need to be protected from those who would undermine it.  Justice demands no less.  [emphasis added]

The Petitioner requests the Court to enter this judgement:
  1. Vacate the decision denying parole
  2. Direct Respondents to release the Petitioner on his [minimum sentence date] or hold a de novo hearing before a new panel of Commissioners prior to his [minimum sentence date.]
  3. Direct Respondents to make a timely determination as to whether the Board’s decision denying parole was done lawfully.
  4. Direct Respondents to prepare a Transitional Accountability Plan for Petitioner.
  5. Direct Respondents to establish written risk assessment guidelines for parole determinations relating to inmates with a Certificate of Earned Eligibility and to use them with respect to Petitioner’s request for parole.
  6. Direct Respondents to provide Petitioner with the official Transcript of [his denial hearing].
The Petitioner requests the Court to enter this judgement:

Vacate the decision denying parole
  1. Direct Respondents to release the Petitioner on his [minimum sentence date] or hold a de novo hearing before a new panel of Commissioners prior to his [minimum sentence date.]
  2. Direct Respondents to make a timely determination as to whether the Board’s decision denying parole was done lawfully.
  3. Direct Respondents to prepare a Transitional Accountability Plan for Petitioner.
  4. Direct Respondents to establish written risk assessment guidelines for parole determinations relating to inmates with a Certificate of Earned Eligibility and to use them with respect to Petitioner’s request for parole.
  5. Direct Respondents to provide Petitioner with the official Transcript of [his denial hearing].

MAY 2012 PAROLE BOARD RELEASES – A1 VIOLENT FELONS – 
DIN #s through 1999; unofficial research from parole database

Total Interviews
# Released
# Denied
Rate of Release
12 Initials
1
11
8%
110 reappearances
36
74
33%
122 Total
37
85
30%
May Initial Releases:

Facility
Sentence
Offense
# of Board
Mohawk
20-Life
Murder 2
Initial

Facility
Sentence
Offense
# of Board
Franklin
15-Life
Murder 2
2nd
Clinton
25-Life
Murder 2
3rd
Clinton
12 ½-Lfe
Murder 2
3rd
Elmira
20-Life
Murder 2
3rd
Greene
15-Life
Murder 2
3rd
Woodbourne
22-Life
Murder 2
3rd
Auburn
25-Life
Murder 2
4th
Fishkill
15-Life
Murder 2
4th
Franklin
15-Life
Murder 2
4th
Green Haven
20-Life
Murder 2
4th
Marcy
25-Life
Murder 2
4th
Woodbourne
18-Life
Murder 2
4th
Woodbourne
15-Life
Murder 2
4th
Bare Hill
15-Life
Murder 2
5th
Fishkill
25-Life
Murder 2
5th
Woodbourne
24-Life
Murder 2
5th
Elmira
15-Life
Arson 1
6th
Great Meadow
25-Life
Murder 2
6th
Great Meadow
15-Life
Murder 2
6th
Groveland
15-Life
Murder 2
6th
Sing Sing
15-Life
Murder 2
6th
Woodbourne
21 1/3-L
Murder 2
6th
Livingston
25-Life
Murder 2
7th
Mohawk
20-Life
Murder 2
7th
Mt McGregor
25-Life
Murder 2
7th
Otisville
5-Life
Murder 2
7th
Otisville
9-Life
Murder 2
7th
Wyoming
22-Life
Murder 2
7th
Collins
21 ½-Lfe
Murder 2
8th
Fishkill
20-Life
Murder 2
8th
Woodbourne
15-Life
Murder 2
8th
Elmira
25-Life
Murder 2
9th
Fishkill
18-Life
Murder 2
9th
Auburn
15-Lie
Murder 2
10th
Elmira
15-Life
Murder 2
10th
Fishkill
7-Life
JO Murder 2
14th
7.  NYS Parole Reform Campaign: Mobilize Families
Become informed and active:
Prison is no different than outside when it comes to the percentage of awake and aware.  It’s very frustrating.  But no movement has everyone’s support.  There will always be people who are content to let someone else fight their battles while they stand on the sidelines.  We just have to keep communicating and hope we can inspire enough people to join us.   People in prison must do their part by becoming articulate about the issues and then talking to their families and friends until they too feel confident about presenting the arguments for parole reform and why the SAFE Parole Act is necessary.  Family members need to talk to the rest of the family and their friends and faith communities.  They need to visit the Parole Reform Campaign's website and take action. All the necessary information is there, explore the site to find information and documents to print out and share with legislators and others.  If anyone still has questions about the bill, they can always write or call us.  
Vote: 
Summer visits to your legislators district offices to ask them to support parole reform is highly advised.  That and making sure everyone you know or live near is registered to vote and urged to vote the Democrats back into the majority so we can get some good bills passed next session.  We wouldn’t care about party affiliation if it wasn’t that the Republicans stick together and there’s a strong ‘lock ‘em up and throw away the key” bias among the Republican majority.
8.  NYS Prisoner Justice Network: Monthly Report to the Prisoner Justice Community
Dear Building Bridges Readers,
There are literally hundreds of different campaigns and initiatives nationally and in New York State to achieve justice in the criminal justice system, end mass incarceration, end or greatly limit solitary confinement, stop abusive conditions, and challenge the racist underpinnings of the system.  Incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, families, communities, and justice advocates are the backbone of these efforts.  All these different campaigns are starting to feel like a movement! 
One sign that the various campaigns are beginning to work more closely together is the increase in coalition efforts. New York State Prisoner Justice Network, which is itself made up of 60 different organizations, is a partner in several different coalitions. In today’s column we report on two of these coalition campaigns.
Legislative Task Force on Criminal Justice Reform. NYS Prisoner Justice Network and seven other organizations were involved in presenting two successful workshops on criminal justice reform at the NYS Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus Conference last February. These groups have formed a coalition, called the New York State Criminal Justice Advocacy and Reform Coalition, to carry forward the work begun at the Conference. The Coalition has presented a proposal to a small group of supportive New York State legislators to initiate a Legislative Task Force on Criminal Justice Reform. The purposes of the Task Force would be to bring reform-minded legislators together with community members, to introduce legislation and take other actions to challenge and change the destructive and racially biased system of mass incarceration. Currently, members of the Coalition continue to meet with supportive legislators, led by the proposal’s legislative sponsor, Senator Bill Perkins, to explore the most effective ways to bring the Task Force into existence. 
September 14, 2012 Event at Riverside Church in NYC to Close Attica, End Mass Incarceration and Solitary Confinement, Free Mumia and All Political Prisoners.  NYS Prisoner Justice Network and several other organizations are part of the organizing committee for this event, which is initiated by the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal. The event will bring together under one roof for the first time such highly visible spokespersons against mass incarceration as Michelle Alexander, Angela Davis, Cornell West, Jazz  Hayden, Marc Lamont Hill, Pam Africa, Juan Mendez, Suzanne Ross, and Asha Bandele. It will launch a petition drive to close Attica Correctional Facility, based on a report by the NYS Correctional Association which describes ongoing brutality toward prisoners, demonstrates that little has changed since the Attica Rebellion of 1971, and says that Attica is broken and can’t be fixed.  There will be book signings, petition signing, and tabling from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.; the program begins at 7:00. Tickets are $10 and will soon be available at freemumia.com. 
You can contact the NYS Prisoner Justice Network here or by mail at 33 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12210. As a completely volunteer-staffed organization, NYSPJN does not have the resources to answer letters individually or to take cases. We apologize for not being able to answer your letters! However, every letter is read and becomes part of the organization’s discussion of goals, priorities, and strategies. Paying attention to prisoner input is one of NYS Prisoner Justice’s core principles. Quotes from prisoner letters (with identifying information removed) are used at events and online as a reminder that prisoners are human, deserve justice and dignity, and have valuable insights into what’s wrong with the system and how to change it.
9.  Public Financing of Elections 

From the Working Families Party: 

A long line of Bentleys, Porsches and Mercedes-Benzes stretched from David Koch’s house in the Hamptons this weekend, filled with people paying $25,000 each for a meal with Mitt Romney. But here’s the punch line: they think you and I are the ones who don’t understand the country’s problems. 
"My college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies -- everybody who's got the right to vote -- they don't understand what's going on," said one woman. Really.[1]  Working families have been under attack for a generation. But the worst part is this: the richest of the rich still have the loudest voices in politics. What they want is all that counts. 
There’s only one way to fix that: ending the influence of big money in politics with public financing of elections. And the big news is that this week, Governor Cuomo said reforming campaign finance in New York is his next big goal.[2]  Gov. Cuomo says the issue needs more public support to win. I think we can help with that. 

Join Prison Action Network in signing this petition to the Governor.

Here’s what Gov. Cuomo said: “We have to get the people of this state to demand campaign finance reform, and then the Legislature will follow." 
He’s right -- the responsibility is ours. We need to demand a new system where the very wealthiest can't buy the candidates -- and the policies -- that help them most. We need to demand that working families have a stronger voice in the process.   Public financing will do just that. It will allow candidates to run for office without having to cozy up to wealthy campaign backers and powerful special interests. 
And with the support of Gov. Cuomo, the most powerful figure in Albany, we could actually win.  But it won't be easy. The rich won't easily give up the power they've built. So we need to make sure Albany knows we support this bill

Sources:
10.  In Our Name: Restoring Justice in America Retreat in Greenwich NY, August 24-26

Friday, August 24th
 
6-7:30pm  DINNER and Welcome
7:30-9pm  Surviving Justice, From Custody to Advocacy;  Richard M. Langone Esq. 
Presentation and Discussion

Saturday, August 25th
8-9am BREAKFAST
9:30 -11am  Restorative Justice;  David Karp PhD, Skidmore College 
Presentation and Discussion
11:15am - 12:45pm    Defending Justice for the Poor
Hurrell - Harring v. State of New York
Steven Downs Esq., NY Civil Liberties Union, Mardi Crawford Esq., NYS Defenders Assoc.
Presentation and Discussion
LUNCH
2-3:30pm    Parole Justice; Edward Hammock Esq., former Chairman New York State Division of Parole Presentation and Discussion
3:45-5:15pm    When Justice is Denied ;  Jeffrey Deskovic, the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation,  Peter Fiorillo, former investigator, New York County District Attorney’s Office
Presentation and Discussion
6-8pm DINNER and Poetry from Prison, Cara Benson and Friends
8-9:30pm    Death and Justice; David Kaczynski 
Presentation and Discussion


Sunday, August 26th
8-9am BREAKFAST
9:15-11am    Educating and Mentoring for Justice; Gordon Boyd, Linda Richardson PhD, Siena College
11:15-12:45pm    Justice in Black America; McCorkle v. Paterson  African American inmates who challenged the constitutionality of the racial composition of NYS’s Prisons in Federal Court
LUNCH
2:30-4pm    Children and Justice,  Hon. Michael Corriero, Michael Corriero Juvenile Justice Foundation
Presentation and discussion
4pm   Conclusion: A Call to Action

For registration and on site lodging information, contact Gordon Boyd.  Remember: If you have an incarcerated loved one in prison or are formerly incarcerated, you are eligible for a scholarship. Prison Action Network would love your company!  Would even pick you up at the train station in Albany.  Call us at the number below. Send your reservation form to: In Our Name, P.O. Box 173, Greenwich, New York 12834, by August 10, 2012

11.  Solitary Confinement is cruel and wrong
When Charles Dickens toured the United States in 1842, he visited the Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania and commented on conditions at that facility, including the use of segregation. 

He wrote:
The system here, is rigid, strict, and hopeless solitary confinement. I believe it, in its effects, to be cruel and wrong. In its intention, I am well convinced that it is kind, humane, and meant for reformation; but I am persuaded that those who devised this system of Prison Discipline, and those benevolent gentlemen who carry it into execution, do not know what it is that they are doing. I believe that very few men are capable of estimating the immense amount of torture and agony which this dreadful punishment, prolonged for years, inflicts upon the sufferers.. I hold this slow and daily tampering with the mysteries of the brain, to be immeasurably worse than any torture of the body: and because its ghastly signs and tokens are not so palpable to the eye and sense of touch as scars upon the flesh; because its wounds are not upon the surface, and it extorts few cries that human ears can hear; therefore I the more denounce it, as a secret punishment which slumbering humanity is not roused up to stay. 

By Charles Dickens, English writer and social critic who campaigned vigorously for children's rights, education, and other social reforms.  Born February 7 1812, died June 9 1870.  [from Wikipedia]
12.  Strength of a Woman
According to the website of the Correctional Association of New York, “The overwhelming majority of women in prison are survivors of domestic violence. Three-quarters have histories of severe physical abuse by an intimate partner during adulthood, and 82% suffered serious physical and sexual abuse as children.” While the community has made progress in understanding and addressing domestic violence, that understanding and support tend to vanish when survivors, defending themselves or their children, get convicted of a violent crime against their abuser and end up behind bars with long sentences.  When a “victim” becomes a “survivor-defendant,” that person is criminalized and we ignore or forget WHY the crime was committed.  We certainly don’t want to excuse the crime but we need to look at the abuse that underlies the commission of the offense. Unfortunately, prosecutors, public defenders, judges and the court of public opinion often don’t consider the role that domestic violence plays in a woman’s decision to do what she feels may be her only choice or last resort.
The next monthly meeting of Prisoners Are People Too, Inc. will be on Monday, July 30, 2012 at the Pratt-Willert Community Center, 422 Pratt Street in Buffalo, at 6:30-8:30pm. The film being screened is “Strength of a Woman,” a 20-minute documentary created by the Violence Against Women Committee of the Coalition For Women Prisoners and filmmaker Allison Caviness. In this film, women talk candidly about their abuse, their incarceration, and the impact that an unsympathetic criminal justice system has had on their lives. Our guest speaker (tba) will come from Buffalo’s Family Justice Center. Information about the FJC and the DVSJA will be shared.
This program is sponsored by The Circle of Supporters for Reformed Offenders and Friends of BaBa Eng.
 For more information: 716-834-8438; karima@prisonersarepeopletoo.org
Building Bridges is Prison Action Network’s way
 to stay in contact with our members. 
Write PO Box 6355, Albany NY 12206, call 518 273 7533 
or email prisonactionnetwork@gmail.com if you want to join.