May 17, 2010

Building Bridges - May 2010 edition

The May edition of Building Bridges has just been issued by the Prison Action Network.

Items covered in this edition include:

1. Activities for advocates; statewide
2. Coalition for Fair Criminal Justice Policies report
3. Erie County Prisoners Rights Coalition
4. ICARE - Mother's Day Poem
5. Job Training Opportunity
6. Legislation
7. Medical Parole
8. Milk Not Jails
9. NYS Prisoner Justice Network
10. Parole News
11. Prison Media
12. Prisoners of the Census

The Coalition For Fair Criminal Justice Policies present an update on the progress of the proposed revisions to Executive Law § 259-i:

"Since the nature of our proposed bill would require it to be passed first by the Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee in the Senate, and since Sen. Hassell-Thompson is the committee's chair, we need to give her first chance at sponsorship. We've been meeting with her staff and we expect to have a definitive response by the June 15 edition. We are also meeting with Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry to address some of his concerns about our proposal and we are optimistic that his sponsorship will be forthcoming, but probably not during this legislative session.

Some concerns about the portion of our proposal that limits what victims or their families can present to the parole board have been voiced to us by victims' advocacy groups. In order to better understand those concerns we have had several discussions and one lengthy in-person meeting with a victim's advocacy group. We are working to find common ground that would strengthen our bill and would meet their concerns. Our discussions and efforts continue."