June 25, 2013

Building Bridges - June/July 2013 edition

The June/July 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, including details of the new Parole Board Commissioners appointed on June 19th, and updates from the NYS Parole Reform Campaign.

1. The legislative session is over. So unless the governor calls a special session before then, no more bills will be passed before January 2014. That includes the SAFE Parole Act. The bills introduced in June include some that passed both houses. Summer Strategies. Viewpoint from Inside questions the motivation for sex offender bills.

2. The highly successful Merle Cooper Program is slated for closure on September 1. Read this letter from Ronald Hughes, a participant in the program and if it inspires you to take action, consider signing this petition to stop the closure of the program that many people credit for being the key to their transformation.

3. The SAFE Parole Act ended the session with fourteen sponsors in the Assembly and four in the Senate. We have a lot of work to do, but it can be done if you join us. We have an easy letter writing initiative, and we'll help you plan a visit to your representatives' district offices this summer.

4. Parole News: May release statistics. Detailed biographies of the newly appointed Parole Board Commissioners including notes from their confirmation hearing. Another positive ruling in favor of the plaintiff in a parole board case was handed down in Manhattan Supreme Court: Kozlowski v. New York State Board of Parole, 104097/2012, New York State Supreme Court, NY County (Manhattan).

5. Corey Parks asks us to join him to 'Accomplish Peace, Not Violence' and learn to build up our communities after being conditioned to destroy them.

6. Eddie Ellis has been interviewed by the Sun Magazine.

7. Baba Eng finally is back in New York State. He was the guest speaker at the June 24th meeting of Prisoners Are People Too, which was also celebrating the organization's 8th anniversary.