Monthly Archives: September 2015

10 Things you CAN do if you are not a boat person or ex-detainee

Mahzer-Ali-100202

1. Amplify our voices

2. Realize when to back off

3. Leave us to speak on behalf of ourselves

4. Not using our images & stories to promote your cause

5. Don’t refer to us as : Illegals,  irregular arrivals, queue jumpers

6. Being aware of misinformation about us perpetuated by the governments and tabloid media

7. Not expect us to educate your privilege

8. Boycott detention industry not only the governments.

9. Act against the government’s detention policies

10. Support anti-deportations

By Ramesh Fernandez , ex-detainee and RISE member

Link : http://riserefugee.org/10-things-you-can-do-if-you-are-not-a-boat-person-or-ex-detainee/

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At Louisiana’s Angola Prison, Lawsuit Claims, the Sick Face Neglect, Isolation, and Death

Men incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, commonly known as Angola, are suing prison officials and the Louisiana Department of Corrections for failing to provide adequate healthcare to the more than 6,000 people currently held there.

In a scathing, 63-page complaint, lawyers representing Angola’s prison population allege that men are routinely denied appropriate medical care, resulting in “unnecessary pain and suffering, exacerbation of existing conditions, permanent disability, disfigurement, and even death.” The class-action suit, Lewis v. Cain, was filed in the United States District Court in the Middle District of Louisiana and alleges violations of the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment as well as violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires that disabled prisoners receive reasonable access to programs, services, and activities.

The complaint was filed in May by the Promise of Justice Initiative, the Advocacy Center, the ACLU of Louisiana, and the law firm Cohen Milstein. It details dozens of examples of inadequate care culled from the experiences of over 200 poeple, painting a picture of callousness, neglect, and even cruelty. According to the complaint:

  • Lead plaintiff Joseph Lewis, who is 81 years old, was experiencing chronic throat problems for over two years, including coughing, spitting up mucus, and burning sensations. The only remedy prescribed by the prison doctors was Q-Tussin, an over-the-counter spray. After a visit from his attorneys, Lewis finally received a biopsy and was diagnosed with throat cancer.
  • Plaintiff Kentrell Parker, who is quadriplegic and cannot move any body part below his neck, was placed in solitary confinement in 2014 for complaining about his lack of care – despite the fact that he is totally incapable of notifying prison staff from his isolation cell should an emergency arise. Mr. Parker also alleges that he has often missed meals because, while food is delivered to his cell, medical staff is frequently unavailable to feed it to him. He claims he is regularly left to sit in his own feces for hours at a time due to chronic understaffing, and as a result he was recently diagnosed with a blood infection from bacteria entering his blood from his stool.
  • A 75-year-old man believed he was having a stroke due to numbness in his body, but was only examined after his fourth request to prison officials. Early intervention is critical during a stroke, and as a result of the delay in treatment, the man is now blind, unable to walk, and has difficulty chewing.
  • Plaintiff Otto Barrera, who is missing his lower jaw as the result of a gunshot wound and is unable to eat or take medication without an enteral tube, was referred for reconstructive surgery in 2014. Prison officials denied the request, deeming the surgery “cosmetic.” Mr. Berrera has been prescribed a “soft diet” but is given the same food as the other prisoners, forcing him to tear the food up into small pieces and place it in the back of his mouth to attempt to swallow.
  • James Johnson received treatment for multiple myeloma until 2012, when it was determined that the cost of treatment was prohibitive. His chemotherapy was replaced with steroids, which caused his legs to swell and his blood sugar to remain elevated. Mr. Johnson died last year, shortly after noting that doctors were only making the rounds once every month or two.

The complaint goes on to describe, in its words, “horror story after horror story” – a paralysis that could have been prevented, a torn knee ligament that was identified then ignored, a softball-sized hernia that required but did not receive surgery, a degenerative joint condition that has awaited surgery for a decade, endlessly delayed biopsies, and even a 16-year wait for a cane for a blind man.

This is not the first time that Angola has been accused of having inadequate health care. In the early 1990s, the Department of Justice intervened as a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit called Lynn v. Williams that accused prison officials of many of the same deficiencies that are currently at issue. The DOJ summarized its findings as follows: “The medical care at LSP is grossly deficient. The medical care delivery system at LSP fails to recognize, diagnose, treat, or monitor the serious medical needs of LSP inmates, including serious chronic illnesses and dangerous infectious and contagious diseases… As a result of inadequate medical care at LSP, inmates have suffered and continue to suffer serious harm and even death.”

One of the areas of particular concern to the DOJ was the use of solitary confinement to house sick prisoners. As they noted at the time, “Defendants’ use of isolation rooms in the infirmary is improper and dangerous. Defendants place seriously ill patients in locked rooms that may adversely affect their medical conditions. Nurses in the nursing station are unable to see or hear inmates in the locked isolation rooms and infrequently check on the inmates in these rooms.”

Michael Puissis, who served as the plaintiffs’ medical expert in that lawsuit, observed that sick prisoners were often kept in locked cells unnecessarily. “These rooms have heavy gauge steel doors with a small (approximately 6 inch) viewing panel. Patients must gain the attention of nursing staff by screaming and banging on the door. Nurses sit behind an enclosed viewing area, which muffles sound from the ward. There is no nursing call button in these rooms. On the day of my visit, an infirm AIDS patient, who had difficulty walking, was locked up in one of these rooms because he was described as an escape risk.”

Fast-forward 23 years later, and it would appear that little has changed. The current warden, Burl Cain, is the same warden who ran the prison in 1998, when a consent decree was temporarily issued to resolve some of the problems enumerated by the DOJ. According to the Lewis plaintiffs, medical assistance is constantly delayed or denied, or offered only after individuals bring in attorneys and threaten litigation. Prescriptions go unfilled. Medical devices are virtually nonexistent. Record-keeping is inadequate. Men are threatened with disciplinary action for seeking medical care if they are deemed to be “malingering.” Untrained staff and prisoners are doing the work of doctors. And the list goes on.

The lawsuit even points out that one of the Defendants, Stephanie Lamartiniere, who is responsible for oversight and supervision of the entire medical staff at Angola, has no medical background. Her previous job? Warden Cain’s secretary.

What the complaint does not mention is the fact that many doctors working in state prisons have had histories of disciplinary actions that preclude them from practicing medicine in non-institutional settings. The problem is particularly prevalent in Louisiana, according to a 2012 investigative journalism piece by the Times-Picayune.  The newspaper uncovered that 60 percent of the doctors practicing in Louisiana state prisons had been disciplined by the state medical board for violations ranging from possession of child pornography to dealing methamphetamine to sexually abusing patients. This compares to 2 percent of the state’s non-prison physicians. Four of the doctors named in the article were working at Angola at the time of publication.

The plaintiffs in Lewis are seeking to force Angola to beef up their medical staff, provide patients access to needed surgeries, offer timely and competent responses to emergencies, improve sanitary conditions, and better accommodate the disabled, among other objectives. If successful, the suit could catalyze improvements at other correctional facilities seeking to avoid similar litigation.


Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863.9977
louisiana

Freedom fighter Safiya Bukhari and a voice for political prisoners

Freedom fighter Safiya Bukhari and a voice for political prisoners
September 23, 2015Uncategorized Edit

safiya-bukhari

http://amsterdamnews.com/staff/h-boyd/

| 9/18/2015

http://amsterdamnews.com/news/2015/sep/18/freedom-fighter-safiya-bukhari-and-voice-political/

Two things recently brought back memories of Safiya Bukhari: the release of Stanley Nelson’s film on the Black Panther Party and the various commemorations surrounding the uprising in Attica prison in 1971.

Given her political commitment to the legacy of the Panthers and relentless dedication to the welfare of political prisoners, she would have undoubtedly been in attendance at these events.

Much of what we obtain from her eventful life is gleaned from her writings, particularly a “coming of age” chapter included in “The War Before: The True Life of Safiya Bukhari” (Feminist Press, 2010), edited by Laura Whitehorn. Born Bernice Jones in the Bronx in 1950, she wrote, “I am one of a family of 10 children. My parents were strict and religious, but proud and independent.”

Whitehorn’s introduction to the book fills in some of the details of Bukhari’s early years. “In 1968, she was attending Brooklyn’s New York City Community College as a premed student,” she wrote. Education was the magic elixir in Bukhari’s family, the portal through which they could escape the poverty and oppression of being Black in America.

One day, Bukhari and her friends were traveling through Harlem when they encountered members of the Black Panther Party. They were asked if they wanted to volunteer for the Panther’s Free Breakfast for Children Program. Bukhari liked what she saw and continued to return as a volunteer, though not yet a member of the Party.

Her membership began when she intervened to help a Panther selling the Party’s paper after he was harassed by the police. “It wasn’t the Panthers that made me join the Black Panther Party,” she often said. “It was the police.”

For her intervention, Bukhari was arrested, and a year later, in 1969, she was fully involved and working on projects from the Party’s Harlem office. “By the summer of 1970,” Bukhari related, “I was a full-time Party member and my daughter [Wonda] was staying with my mother. I was teaching some of the political education classes at the Party office and had established a liberation school in my section of the community.”

But the heat was on from various factions of the nation’s law enforcement agencies, none more insidious than the FBI’s COINTELPRO operation that, by 1971, had succeeded in driving a wedge in the Party, leaving it split with rival factions on the East and West coasts. Bukhari became communications director of the East Coast organization, editing its newspaper, Right On! “She also issued statements received from the clandestine Black Liberation Army, which was aligned with the East Coast Panthers,” Whitehorn added.

Many of the liberation fighters were forced to wage their struggle underground, though Bukhari, by now a Muslim, chose to stay above ground, where she could work to assist the BLA. In 1975, she and members of a militant collective were in Virginia to practice on a shooting range. After that, they planned to travel to Mississippi. Bukhari, in preparation for the trip, went to a grocery store for cold cuts to make sandwiches, thereby avoiding having to stop at restaurants.

She was in the store shopping when two of her comrades entered the store and what next happened was clouded in gunfire that led to a death and a wounding of her two comrades by the storeowners. Bukhari was arrested and soon the FBI was on the scene.

“My bail was set at $1 million for each of the five counts against me,” she wrote. Her trial lasted one day and she was sentenced to 40 years for armed robbery.

“Long before her arrest,” Whitehorn explained, “Safiya had developed massive fibroid tumors. In prison, her condition worsening, she received frighteningly little medical care. In late 1976, Safiya escaped.” Two months later she was recaptured and returned to the prison in Goochland, Va. By then her condition was so severe that she had to have a hysterectomy.

In 1983, after eight years and eight months in prison—the last four in which she deliberately tamped down her political voice so not to alienate “the Left”—she was granted parole and released. She rejoined her mother and daughter and secured employment in the Bronx office of the Legal Aid Society.

Between 1984 and 1998, Whitehorn recalled, Bukhari was unstinting in her involvement in the plight of political prisoners. She visited prisoners, “wrote to them, and always accepted their collect phone calls. She communicated their needs and ideas to the outside world, and she wrote and spoke on their behalf.”

Through these efforts, eventually, with the help of other activists, including the late Herman Ferguson and the still incarcerated Jalil Muntaqim, she created the Jericho Movement. “The name Jericho was used to conjure up the image of massive resistance that would succeed in bringing down the walls of prisoners, freeing the more than 100 political prisoners behind bars at that time,” Whitehorn observed.

Her work on behalf of political prisoners was wide-ranging, through forums, pamphlets, books, lectures and even a weekly radio show she conducted on WBAI with Sally O’Brien. Associated with this endeavor was her role in establishing the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition.

“In the early years of this century, Safiya’s health deteriorated,” Whitehorn wrote. “Not many of us knew how badly she suffered from a variety of ailments connected with hypertension. A week after the death of her mother in 2003, Safiya died of pulmonary embolism to the lungs. Her death at the age of 53 was mourned by leftists and progressives across the globe.”

The power of Bukhari’s legacy resonates from “The War Before,” and testimonies by Bukhari’s daughter, Wonda Jones, Angela Davis and Mumia Abu-Jamal bracket Whitehorn’s superb editing of the essays, articles and speeches by Bukhari.

At the close of one of the many documents included in the book, Bukhari stated, “The issue of political prisoners is part of that movement that we are building, and in building that movement we must understand that this is not a separate issue. It is an integral part of that movement. It can’t be put in front of the movement and it can’t be an afterthought. It must be woven into the very fiber.”

Woven into the fiber in the same way, Bukhari was an inextricable part of that tapestry for total liberation of the world’s political prisoners.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863.9977 http://www.freedomarchives.org

Freedom fighter Safiya Bukhari and a voice for political prisoners

safiya-bukhari

Freedom fighter Safiya Bukhari and a voice for political prisoners
http://amsterdamnews.com/staff/h-boyd/

| 9/18/2015

http://amsterdamnews.com/news/2015/sep/18/freedom-fighter-safiya-bukhari-and-voice-political/

Two things recently brought back memories of Safiya Bukhari: the release of Stanley Nelson’s film on the Black Panther Party and the various commemorations surrounding the uprising in Attica prison in 1971.

Given her political commitment to the legacy of the Panthers and relentless dedication to the welfare of political prisoners, she would have undoubtedly been in attendance at these events.

Much of what we obtain from her eventful life is gleaned from her writings, particularly a “coming of age” chapter included in “The War Before: The True Life of Safiya Bukhari” (Feminist Press, 2010), edited by Laura Whitehorn. Born Bernice Jones in the Bronx in 1950, she wrote, “I am one of a family of 10 children. My parents were strict and religious, but proud and independent.”

Whitehorn’s introduction to the book fills in some of the details of Bukhari’s early years. “In 1968, she was attending Brooklyn’s New York City Community College as a premed student,” she wrote. Education was the magic elixir in Bukhari’s family, the portal through which they could escape the poverty and oppression of being Black in America.

One day, Bukhari and her friends were traveling through Harlem when they encountered members of the Black Panther Party. They were asked if they wanted to volunteer for the Panther’s Free Breakfast for Children Program. Bukhari liked what she saw and continued to return as a volunteer, though not yet a member of the Party.

Her membership began when she intervened to help a Panther selling the Party’s paper after he was harassed by the police. “It wasn’t the Panthers that made me join the Black Panther Party,” she often said. “It was the police.”

For her intervention, Bukhari was arrested, and a year later, in 1969, she was fully involved and working on projects from the Party’s Harlem office. “By the summer of 1970,” Bukhari related, “I was a full-time Party member and my daughter [Wonda] was staying with my mother. I was teaching some of the political education classes at the Party office and had established a liberation school in my section of the community.”

But the heat was on from various factions of the nation’s law enforcement agencies, none more insidious than the FBI’s COINTELPRO operation that, by 1971, had succeeded in driving a wedge in the Party, leaving it split with rival factions on the East and West coasts. Bukhari became communications director of the East Coast organization, editing its newspaper, Right On! “She also issued statements received from the clandestine Black Liberation Army, which was aligned with the East Coast Panthers,” Whitehorn added.

Many of the liberation fighters were forced to wage their struggle underground, though Bukhari, by now a Muslim, chose to stay above ground, where she could work to assist the BLA. In 1975, she and members of a militant collective were in Virginia to practice on a shooting range. After that, they planned to travel to Mississippi. Bukhari, in preparation for the trip, went to a grocery store for cold cuts to make sandwiches, thereby avoiding having to stop at restaurants.

She was in the store shopping when two of her comrades entered the store and what next happened was clouded in gunfire that led to a death and a wounding of her two comrades by the storeowners. Bukhari was arrested and soon the FBI was on the scene.

“My bail was set at $1 million for each of the five counts against me,” she wrote. Her trial lasted one day and she was sentenced to 40 years for armed robbery.

“Long before her arrest,” Whitehorn explained, “Safiya had developed massive fibroid tumors. In prison, her condition worsening, she received frighteningly little medical care. In late 1976, Safiya escaped.” Two months later she was recaptured and returned to the prison in Goochland, Va. By then her condition was so severe that she had to have a hysterectomy.

In 1983, after eight years and eight months in prison—the last four in which she deliberately tamped down her political voice so not to alienate “the Left”—she was granted parole and released. She rejoined her mother and daughter and secured employment in the Bronx office of the Legal Aid Society.

Between 1984 and 1998, Whitehorn recalled, Bukhari was unstinting in her involvement in the plight of political prisoners. She visited prisoners, “wrote to them, and always accepted their collect phone calls. She communicated their needs and ideas to the outside world, and she wrote and spoke on their behalf.”

Through these efforts, eventually, with the help of other activists, including the late Herman Ferguson and the still incarcerated Jalil Muntaqim, she created the Jericho Movement. “The name Jericho was used to conjure up the image of massive resistance that would succeed in bringing down the walls of prisoners, freeing the more than 100 political prisoners behind bars at that time,” Whitehorn observed.

Her work on behalf of political prisoners was wide-ranging, through forums, pamphlets, books, lectures and even a weekly radio show she conducted on WBAI with Sally O’Brien. Associated with this endeavor was her role in establishing the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition.

“In the early years of this century, Safiya’s health deteriorated,” Whitehorn wrote. “Not many of us knew how badly she suffered from a variety of ailments connected with hypertension. A week after the death of her mother in 2003, Safiya died of pulmonary embolism to the lungs. Her death at the age of 53 was mourned by leftists and progressives across the globe.”

The power of Bukhari’s legacy resonates from “The War Before,” and testimonies by Bukhari’s daughter, Wonda Jones, Angela Davis and Mumia Abu-Jamal bracket Whitehorn’s superb editing of the essays, articles and speeches by Bukhari.

At the close of one of the many documents included in the book, Bukhari stated, “The issue of political prisoners is part of that movement that we are building, and in building that movement we must understand that this is not a separate issue. It is an integral part of that movement. It can’t be put in front of the movement and it can’t be an afterthought. It must be woven into the very fiber.”

Woven into the fiber in the same way, Bukhari was an inextricable part of that tapestry for total liberation of the world’s political prisoners.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863.9977 http://www.freedomarchives.org

Russian jailed for 14 years for a job application 22.09.15

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Gennady Kravtsov, a 36-year-old radio engineer, has been convicted of state treason and sentenced to 14 years maximum security prison because of a letter he wrote in search of a job having waited the requisite five years after leaving his post his post in military intelligence [GRU].

The sentence was passed in a closed court hearing by Judge Nikolai Tkachuk. Kravtsov’s lawyer Ivan Pavlov writes that the sentence was fully in keeping with the nature of this ‘trial’ in which every single application from the defence was rejected.

Pavlov points out that the prosecution’s case was based on secret normative acts which the defence were not allowed to see.

In fact, Kravtsov was himself unable to see some of the orders which he supposedly breached since they were passed after he left military intelligence.

The situation was in grave breach of fundamental principles of law since the accused was prevented from preparing for his own defence by working with the material of the case since that was classified as secret.

The main ‘evidence’ against Kravtsov was an expert assessment as to whether there had been secret information in the letter sent. Since this contained many terminological inaccuracies, the defence prepared over 200 questions. These they were prevented from asking since the judge turned down their request to have the experts summoned for questioning. Pavlov notes that in the case of Grigory Pasko, the initial 60 points of the indictment were reduced to two after the questioning of experts.

The prosecution claimed, and the court accepted, that Kravtsov had passed secret information to Sweden about the Tselina-2 military space-based radio surveillance system. How state secrets could seriously be revealed in a job application remains a mystery.

Pavlov said in an interview after the court verdict that various options are now open to them. They will certainly appeal against the rule, with this relatively straightforward given the huge number of infringements. They will also turn to the Constitutional Court since there are issues here of a constitutional-legal nature. The most glaring issue is the use in court of unpublished normative acts which the defendant was not allowed access to, of which some were published after he had left his job.

“Kravtsov was accused of breaching rules he isn’t allowed to see. This is legal nonsense.”

The defence was also prevented from seeing the normative acts and, according to Pavlov, was generally restricted in their access to the file material. The level of secrecy and restrictions on the defence’s access, he adds, are far worse than during the 2001 trial of Grigory Pasko.

Both the prosecution and the court totally ignored another requirement, namely the need to prove that Kravtsov’s actions were aimed against Russia and were harmful to Russia’s security.

Why such ‘treason charges’?

Pavlov’s answer to a question about the reason for such trials is chilling: promotion. All of those who took part in a case can expect to be promoted.

This was doubtless the case in the trials of Valentin Danilov, Igor Sutyagin, Pasko and many others who were convicted of treason or spying for revealing, for example, information widely available on the Internet.

Most incredibly, those individuals who arrested Svetlana Davydova while she was still breastfeeding the youngest of seven children on charges of treason over a phone call to the Ukrainian embassy, probably also expected a career leap as ‘reward’. On that occasion, they miscalculated.

Here a man who had done everything according to the rules – or those rules he knew about – has been sentenced to 14 years for a CV. The fact that he has young children was deemed a ‘mitigating factor’ – the prosecution had sought 15 years.

Halya Coynash

“Fenix didn’t rise from the ashes”.

fcs

Hello
We have new actual poster for print, so please share it in your
countries, countries and spaces.
antifenix.noblogs.org/files/2015/09/A3.pdf

Also we released the English translation of our pamphlet about whole
repression wave in Czech republic “Fenix didn’t rise from the ashes”. We
are sorry for many local details in it, but there is many not Czech
speaking people living in the country who will appreciate all the
content.
http://antifenix.noblogs.org/files/2015/09/sazba_fenix_EN.pdf

As well we are pretty desperate about our budget (legal support etc), so
please if you could organize any benefits we would be grateful.

For the US contacts: Some of our supporters are just touring around USA
with “To Change Everything” info tour so if you would like to meet them
check the tour dates. The tour is over two months so there is big
probability they will be somewhere near by.

Thank you for spreading the message.

“Fenix didn’t rise from the ashes”.

fcs

Hello
We have new actual poster for print, so please share it in your
countries, countries and spaces.
antifenix.noblogs.org/files/2015/09/A3.pdf

Also we released the English translation of our pamphlet about whole
repression wave in Czech republic fcs We
are sorry for many local details in it, but there is many not Czech
speaking people living in the country who will appreciate all the
content.
http://antifenix.noblogs.org/files/2015/09/sazba_fenix_EN.pdf

As well we are pretty desperate about our budget (legal support etc), so
please if you could organize any benefits we would be grateful.

For the US contacts: Some of our supporters are just touring around USA
with “To Change Everything” info tour so if you would like to meet them
check the tour dates. The tour is over two months so there is big
probability they will be somewhere near by.

please share wide

International week of solidarity with anarchist prisoners

Saturday 5th of September anarchist black cross Melbourne, Latin American Solidarity Network (LASNET) and other anarchist, joined to gathered in solidarity for International week of solidarity with anarchist prisoners and in solidarity with first nation people in Australia also the in justice of aboriginal deaths in custody free all anarchist prisoners in sol abcmelb
abcmmmm
http://www.latinamericansolidaritynetwork.org/

JAMIL AL-AMIN IS VERY ILL & NOT GETTING MEDICAL CARE

         agood picjpg,
On Sep 3, 2015 Jericho received a call from a Political Prisoner at USP Canaan concerning Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin. The caller said that Imam Jamil was in serious need of medical attention. His jaw was swollen to at least twice its normal size, and there is a lot of pain. We were told that the institution had been a lockdown for two weeks which is why no word was gotten out earlier. A family member was later able to speak with Imam Jamil and confirms the information. The Jericho Medical Committee will try to see what , if any, medical info can be gotten from the institution.  We are asking that people please call  or fax the institution and ask, demand, that Imam Jamil be given immediate adequate medical attention.  A more  detailed statement will be forthcoming
The phone number is 570-488-8000 The fax number is 570-488-8130.  Let them know you are concerned about:   Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin  99974-555
For those who want to write the Imam the address is :   USP Canaan
                                                                                         P. O. Box 300
                                                                                         Waymart, PA  18472
You may not get an immediate response from him but we know all cards and letters are appreciated.
In struggle,
masai

Eddie Africa is set to make another appearance before the Pa Parole Board your letters of support is urgently needed all of the information is below as follows.

Ona Move
In October 2015 our Brother Eddie Africa is set to make another appearance before the Pa Parole Board your letters of support is urgently needed all of the information is below as follows.
Ona Move
Orie

We are asking for your support at this critical stage to secure the freedom Eddie deserves.  Feel free to use the sample letter below and write in your own words.

NOTE: Please send all letters of support to Orie Ross, P.O. Box 575, Times Square Station, New York, NY, U.S.A 10108-0575 so they can be reviewed and sent to the Board. The deadline for letters will be Wednesday September 30th

Sample Letter:


Board of Probation and Parole
Attn: Inmate Inquiry
1001 South Front Street, Suite 5300

Harrisburg, PA  USA 17104

September  3, 2015

Regarding October 2015 Parole Hearing for: Edward Goodman #AM-4974

Dear Honorable Members of the Parole Board:

As a concerned citizen interested in helping Mr. Goodman successfully
transition into life outside prison, I am writing to ask that you
please grant him parole.  He has served now  37 years of a 30-100 year
sentence, even though the average sentence for his charges is 10-15
years.  He is still in prison years after his minimum sentence despite
having no major disciplinary problems in the last three decades.
The notice provided to Mr. Goodman for his last parole denial lists
the reasons for the denial as:
“Your minimization/denial of the nature and circumstances of the
offense(s) committed,” “Your refusal to accept responsibility for the
offense(s) committed” and
“The negative recommendation made by the prosecuting attorney.”

I understand the severe nature of the crime of which Mr. Goodman was
convicted, however, I am concerned that Mr. Goodman maintaining his
innocence is seen as an attempt to minimize or deny the nature and
circumstances of the offense(s) or refuse to take responsibility, even
while there is evidence that corroborates that the shot was fired from
a location where it is well known he was nowhere near.  This
phenomenon is referred to as “the innocent prisoner’s dilemma”
implying that it is unfair and unethical to require someone who may
have been wrongly convicted to provide false admission of guilt or
remorse.  Please take this dilemma into consideration.

I also understand that Mr. Goodman has not been recommended for parole
by the institution where he is held despite having a clear
disciplinary record for many years.  In fact, the only time he
received a disciplinary infraction in the last fifteen years was for
not cutting his hair.  He has completed all of the institutional
programs he was asked to complete and has volunteered for others.
Please take into consideration his good conduct as well as him having
housing and employment secured upon his release.  These factors, along
with strong family and community support, make it very unlikely that
Mr. Goodman will recidivate and I firmly believe that he is an
excellent candidate for parole.  I will personally help him acclimate
in any way I can upon his release.

Mr. Goodman has now spent most of his life in prison, and the
recidivism rate for people released at his age is very low.  Please
grant parole and allow him to be a part of, and contribute to, society
as free citizen, a loving father and grandfather.

Sincerely,

[Name and signature]