April 25, 2013

Building Bridges - April/May 2013 edition

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

Prison Action Network's brief summary is given below. Please see Building Bridges for full details and their current news about parole, ways to help and get involved.

1. Especially if you're a veteran who's done time in prison, or are the family member of an incarcerated veteran, you will welcome this opportunity to do some important healing - not only of your own pain, but of the system that then landed you in prison - in a luxurious setting, with all expenses except your transportation paid. All veterans and their families are invited!

2. Legislation considered in both houses of our legislature reveals the progress of our movement to make change in the legal system that controls our lives. Merit time bill is defeated.

3. Second Look Think Tank at Sullivan met with retiring DOCCS Commissioner Fischer and Vanda Seward, Director of Statewide Reentry Services, for a discussion of issues that affect all stakeholders in the reintegration process.

4. Parole News: March releases; Volunteer wanted to help with statistics; Morris’s judicial victory validates that the Parole Board deliberately holds some people in prison despite their readiness for reentry; Howard Marnell's case and rescission hearing; advice on meeting appeal deadlines; Legal Aid Society wins Article 78 claiming Division of Parole used illegal tactics to avoid FOIL disclosures.

5. Preceding Michelle Alexander's presentation at Hamilton College, the NYS Prisoner Justice Network held a meet-up for its statewide membership to describe their roles in this growing movement for justice; your group, including organizations from inside prisons, is invited to be listed in their revised 2013/2014 Prisoner Justice Network Directory.

6. The NYS Parole Reform Campaign has revitalized their attempts to convince NYS legislators to do what so many New Yorkers understand is the morally correct thing to do, pass the SAFE Parole Act. It is time the Parole Board has legislation that allows them to fully commit their attention to evaluating the risks an applicant poses to his or her community.

7. Buffalo's Prisoners Are People Too, Inc. will meet on April 29 to discuss the stigma that exists throughout our communities and taints the decisions designed to provide "justice for all".

8. RAPP and DTR join in taking on the critical issue of people ageing and dying in prison.

9. Cory Parks points out the importance of self-reflection to our health and our vocational success.

10. Job opportunities in Albany NY.

11. Mothers of Bedford screening in Hudson NY follows women who are learning to provide their children with positive nurturing even from behind bars.

12. Keeping Jerry Balone's memory alive begins by sharing our stories of his impact on our lives. It will appear monthly in these pages as long as the stories keep coming.

13. Our actions are the seeds of our children's futures. A 12 year old child asks her advocate mother why there are so many black people in prison. Many who are decades older have yet to pose that important question.

14. Needle Wizards can't have crochet hooks in the colors reserved for prison staff only. Imagine confusing a crochet hook with a correctional officer!