January 15, 2012

Building Bridges - January 2012 edition

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

Articles in this issue include the following:

1. Crime After Crime, a powerful documentary film about a woman who was sentenced to 25-Life for her role in the death of her abusive boyfriend. She and a pair of pro-bono rookie attorneys take viewers with them as they encounter the corrupt and politically driven twists and turns of the criminal justice system. Free showing includes discussion with one of the lawyers and the legislators who are sponsoring the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act, A7874/S5436.

2. Legislation - Update on the status of last year’s major CJ bills. Most are back in committee, starting over, but some have made significant movement:

A7782/S5427 - Aubry/Hassell-Thompson BAN THE BOX BILL
Was reintroduced in the Assembly and then sent to Investigations and Government Operations.

S0107/A5355 - Montgomery/Aubry EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Was vetoed by Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee last session. It’s been referred back to the Committee this session, and also to the Assembly’s Crime Committee.

S0338/A0154 - Montgomery/Aubry MERIT TIME BILL
Has been referred back to the Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee where it was defeated last session.

S0476-A/A7870 - Nozzolio/Tediso $7 CO-PAYMENTS FOR PRISON MEDICAL CARE
Was referred back to the Assembly where it died, and was returned to the Senate where it was sent to the Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee.

S2057 - Kruger no Assembly bill 85% OF MINIMUM (of an indeterminate sentence) MUST BE SERVED.
Has not been reintroduced so far.

Referred to Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee, amended, and sent back, but not reintroduced in Assembly so far.

S3645-C/A 7015-B - Griffo/Spano “BRITTANY’S LAW” VFO REGISTRY
Died in Assembly, sent back to Senate, referred to Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee.

S3747/A8478 - Nozzolio/Giglio FRP BILL
Died in Assembly, returned to Senate, referred to Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee.

S5374/A7939 - Duane/Aubry THE SAFE PAROLE ACT
Senator Perkins and Assembly Members Stevenson, Farrel, and Gottfried have added their names as sponsors.

3. NYS Parole Reform Campaign invites readers to attend their workshop at the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus Weekend, on February 18 in Albany. This is part of a series of social, civil and criminal justice workshops.

4. NYS Prisoner Justice believes these are the worst of times and the best of times. The best is the many movements and campaigns that are working to solve social problems by providing people with positive opportunities to realize their potential and contribute to their communities. The worst is that after hundreds of years racism is still thriving, now through the mass incarceration of predominately poor and Black people. We haven’t won the war, but we haven’t lost it either.

5. Parole News takes five pages to report this month! November and December statistics; a year-end summary; memo to the Parole Board from Chairwoman Evans; Thwaites and Graziano court decisions.

6. Prisoners of the Census - a victory! Prisoners will be counted in their home districts for redistricting purposes. Kudos to the Prison Policy Institute which was instrumental in exposing the inequities of counting prisoners where they are incarcerated.