NEW YORK—First, I want to thank all of you who wrote letters and signed the petition in support of my release on parole. We did everything right!
However, the problem is that the New York State parole system is overwhelmingly comprised of law enforcement advocates and sympathizers prejudicial to community growth and development.
Obviously, if the community’s needs were supported by policy makers, crime would decrease, job security in the overall Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) would be threatened and the profit-based prison system would be less profitable.
Therefore, any prisoner who advocates, as I do, community control of the institutions, is deemed a threat to the PIC’s future and we are continuously denied release on parole.
We presented an excellent parole plan with over fifty support letters, 750 names on a signature petition, two independent psychological risk assessment reports favoring release on parole, the (New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s) own computer Risk Assessment analysis and report that indicated low risk to be a recidivist, two housing and work assurance letters, no prison disciplinary reports, every recognized certificate for rehabilitation programs, copies of (my) high school diploma and two college degrees (BA in Sociology and BS in Psychology) and, just as importantly, two letters from the victim’s family expressing forgiveness and urging my release on parole.
Nonetheless, as you can see, the parole board issued a “boilerplate” denial in abject disregard of the factual record of community support for my release and return to the community, disrespecting the victim’s family and their own risk assessment analysis and report.
It has become ever more apparent that the New York State Division of Parole is a political institution with a right-wing agenda, which Governor Andrew Cuomo supports.
He recently failed to appoint a single Black person as a commissioner to the parole board, despite the fact (that) 48 percent of all New York State prisoners are Black.
The parole denial will be appealed, so the fight for freedom continues.
We need a community review board of the parole system, community direct involvement in the decision-making process on who will be returned to the community.
Again, thank you for your support.
-Jalil Muntaqim, August 27, 2012