[Pnews] Parole Support letters for Herman Bell due December 15

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Dec 7 14:53:42 EST 2017

Reminder: Parole Support letters for Herman Bell due December 15

  *P*arole Support for Herman Bell

*Herman has been to the New York State Parole Board seven times and has 
been denied seven times. Read more to learn why supporters think 
Herman's eighth parole attempt, coming up in February, might be 
different, and what you can do to support this effort to bring Herman 
home at last.*

Herman Bell, 2015. Photo by Bryan Shih

*When Herman Bell**appears before the parole board for the eighth time 
in February 2018, he will be 70 years old.*

At this next appearance, we hope that Herman will have a better chance 
of being seriously considered and therefore released.

New regulations governing parole hearings mandate that an applicant’s 
risk of recidivism be considered as a “guiding principle” of the 
hearing. Herman has the very lowest risk score, based on the Department 
of Corrections and Community Supervision’s measures.

In addition, six new parole commissioners were added to the Board and 
several, though not all, of the older, law-enforcement connected ones 
have been retired. The new commissioners are mostly from social service 
and reentry backgrounds. Personal letters of recommendation and 
community support can play an important role in Herman’s next hearing.

On September 5th, Herman was brutally assaulted by a group of 
correctional officers at Great Meadow Correctional Facility. As is most 
often the case in these incidents, Herman was initially charged with 
assault on a guard. In fact, Herman had done nothing to provoke this 
attack – and, furthermore, showed restraint, non-violence, and 
discipline in the face of brutality.

In 95% of the cases in New York where a prisoner is charged with 
assaulting a guard, the prisoner is convicted and sentenced to box 
(Security Housing Unit) time.  However, the charges against Herman were 
dropped within a few weeks, as letters of support poured in from all 
over the world.  This is a stark reminder that, while Herman poses no 
danger to society, his continued imprisonment as an elder subjects him 
to extreme danger. He needs to come home.

Herman Bell with his grandchildren Simone (left) and Sage, 2007.

*H**ow you can help:*

Herman has accepted full responsibility for his part in the Black 
Liberation Movement.His years of excellent accomplishments in prison 
show that he has taken deep responsibility to the broad community and to 
creating a better, more peaceful society.He has paid a great price – 44 
years of imprisonment, thus far. He is going to the New York state 
parole board for the eighth time in February, 2018 and deserves to be 
paroled, to come home to his family and community.

*1 -* Your letter should "accentuate the positive."  Rather than 
pointing out the injustices of prior parole appearances, the letters 
should state that Herman Bell will be an asset to the community if 

*   A* - Those who have met/know Herman should speak about their 
impressions of him and why he will be an asset and lead a law abiding 
life after release. Those who have known him a long time should speak of 
how he has matured over the years of his imprisonment.

    B*-* Those who have not met Herman should state how they have become 
aware of him (through writings, etc.) and also reiterate their belief 
that he will be an asset and lead a law abiding life.

**C *-* Those who know Herman and/or only know of him should offer to 
make available whatever support they have in re-integrating him back 
into the community (jobs, counseling, medical, educational).

*2 -* Please write your letter to the attention of the New York State 
Parole Commissioners -- on professional letterhead, if possible.

*3 -* Please indicate how you know Herman, or if you don’t know him 
personally, how you know of him.  The “Re:” line of your letter should 
be “Herman Bell, 79C-0262.”

    Please sign your letter and mail to:

Tyler Morse & KB White
Parole Preparation Project
c/o Law Office of Michelle L. Lewin
168 Canal Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10013

Letters Due By *December 15, 2017*
(For more details, click here 

Herman very much appreciates your efforts and your support.
Click here 
to read his message

*Some facts about Herman's parole efforts:*

  * When Herman Bell goes again to the NY parole board in February 2018,
    he will have been imprisoned over 44 years.

  * Herman has appeared before the NY parole board 7 times and been
    denied each time.

  * The parole board cites the nature of Herman's charge of conviction
    for their denials - a fact which will never change - instead of
    Herman's impressive, 38+ years prison record.

  * Herman has earned both his Bachelors and Masters degrees while in

  * Herman has earned his paralegal certificate in prison.

  * Herman has devoted his time to mentoring, educating, inspiring
    others he's in with, encouraging them to educate themselves and
    learn skills so that they may live successful, recidivist-free lives
    when they get out.

  * Herman is renowned for his football coaching skills throughout the
    NY state prison system.

  * Herman has taught English grammar and writing skills as well as
    Black History, and has organized countless Black History month
    celebrations through the years.

  * With activist farmers in Maine, Herman organized the Victory Gardens
    Project, where for eight years diverse urban and rural communities
    came together to learn to grow organic produce which they harvested
    and distributed, free, back into their communities.

  * Herman has devoted his adult life to uplifting and protecting Black
    people, and to the betterment of all people in our society.

  * After more than four decades of imprisonment, Herman deserves to
    come home!

Go to Herman's website 
for more information on his case, to see his writing, or to learn more 
about projects he has worked on.
Herman Bell <freehermanbell at gmail.com>

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