[Pnews] NY - Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP) to Gov. Cuomo - Reform Parole

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jan 14 10:17:04 EST 2014


*RAPP Urges Governor Cuomo to Push for Parole Reform and to Release 
Aging People in Prison *

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New York: Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken two positive steps toward 
criminal justice reform by announcing the creation of a Commission on 
Youth, Justice, and Public Safety, and a council on Community 
Reintegration and Reentry. The Commission will raise the age of criminal 
responsibility in New York, and the council will strengthen job training 
and other programs designed to reduce recidivism. Release Aging People 
in Prison (RAPP) applauds Governor Cuomo for his efforts while urging 
him to reform parole practices, especially as they pertain to the 
release of elders behind bars.

While the total prison population has decreased by more than 20 percent 
in the past decade, the number of incarcerated people over 55 years old 
has increased by more than 70 percent. “These elders do not need to be 
incarcerated,” said Mujahid Farid, lead organizer for RAPP. “The risk of 
committing a new crime is about 5% for older people, compared with an 
overall recidivism risk of nearly 40%,” he said.

Thousands of seniors are being confined to cruel and degrading 
conditions as Parole Commissioners deny their release from prison even 
when they pose a low risk of endangering public safety and show a clear 
ability to reintegrate. This culture of permanent punishment does 
nothing to enhance public safety, but it does violate human rights and 
waste financial and human resources.

To efficiently dismantle what Governor Cuomo himself has called "the 
madness of an incarceration society," further attention must be given to 
the regulations that govern parole decisions. Elders who pose no risk to 
public safety should be released. Interestingly, if this were done, the 
overall recidivism rate that Governor Cuomo criticized would fall.

Revisions to current parole regulations are posted for public comment 
until February 1. RAPP is calling on Parole Commissioners to promote 
release from prison based on fair and reliable guides, such as age, 
length of time already served, and risk of committing a new crime.

We ask Governor Cuomo to explicitly support fair and evidence-based 
parole practices. We also invite the media and public to review our 
proposed regulations at 
http://www.correctionalassociation.org/news/nys-parole-regulations.

*Two more things you can do—sign these petitions: *

* SIGN A PETITION to RELEASE AGING PEOPLE IN PRISON:* 
http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/6220/c/1508/p/dia/action3/common/public/index.sjs?action_KEY=15345

* SIGN A PETITION* for a commission on parole: 
http://www.change.org/petitions/governor-cuomo-establish-a-commission-on-parole-in-new-york-state?share_id=RztLbpBCKZ

*Release Aging People in Prison c/o Mujahid Farid 
(mfarid at correctionalassociation.org 
<mailto:mfarid at correctionalassociation.org>), 212-254-5700 ext. 317*

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