July 16, 2010

Building Bridges - July 2010 edition

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

Items in this edition include:

1. Activities for Advocates - State-wide
2. Coalition for Fair Criminal Justice Policies: on 259-i progress
3. Erie County Prisoners Rights Coalition
4. ICARE on celebrating independence
5. Legislation; one passed, one to go
6. Lifers and Longtermers Clearinghouse on the visit of Andrea Evans to Sullivan Correctional Facility
7. Parole News: statistics and biographies of new Parole Board members
8. Prison Media

Of particular relevance to parole reform:

* A discussion about the new members of the Parole Board. The current Board is heavily weighted with former police officers and DAs, which is not conducive to fair and unbiased decisions at parole hearings.

* The Lifers and Longtermers Clearinghouse give their report on the meeting of Andrea W. Evans, Chair of the Board of Parole, with the Second Look Think Tank at Sullivan Correctional Facility. "It was the first time that a sitting head of the Division visited a NYS prison to discuss the state of parole — to not only convey the Division’s intentions but, importantly, to seriously listen to the assessments and recommendations put forth by incarcerated men."

* The Coalition for Fair Criminal Justice Policies are currently meeting with victims' groups, and hope to collaborate with them on further refining their proposal for amending Executive Law §259 (i).