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Old 06-26-2007, 03:09 PM
PTO-92958 PTO-92958 is offline
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Well, as promised, I'm beginning the dialogue amongst the NY PTO fam about PFNY.
As I already told y'all in the Check-In, it was an amazing experience to bond with 34 other women who have loved ones incarcerated in NY, or are somehow affected by DOCS.
Even more incredible, was the presence of Deputy Commissioner of Program Services John Nuttall, and the Executive Director of the Board of Parole Felix Rosa and two staff from the Central Office,Pat Fitzmaurice (sp) Director of Upstate re-entry, and Ed Fraley Central Office re-entry service. As I may have mentioned in the Check-in, this was a first! PFNY is on their radar now, and they cannot deny knowledge of us and our power as a group.
John Nuttall expressed that the main focus, since the new administration has taken, over are these following concerns:
*Meeting program needs for re-entry
*Families and parenting
*Bringing back post-secondary education/TAP
*Getting organized religions to step up to the plate and mentor parolees
*Move inmates closer to home 3-6 months prior to release to facilitate addressing specific re-entry needs
*Implementing parenting courses in all facilities
***And, a BIG one, change the department's mission statement from "Care,Custody and Control" to RE-ENTRY! They are focusing on re-entry from the first day of incarceration rather than near the end of the bid.

Please, keep in mind, it takes time to implement change. The greatest journey begins with the first step.

These were (briefly) some of the many things we discussed with him on Friday. He has specifically asked for help with suggestions as to what will be helpful for long-termers and inmates coming home in 3-6 months. He is also quite concerned with reports of bad experiences in VI and programs our loved ones are in, or need to be in, as well as CO/inmate issues. Feelings, and fears of "repercussions", must be put aside if we are to address our problems and see results. He truly wants to hear from anyone who has any issues, suggestions, ideas, observations etc. He is a very pleasant man to speak with and he most definately reads all email and snail mail. If he doesn't respond in person, his office will. PM me for his email address please. I don't think I'm supposed to post it on the open board. (?)

Well, this a beginning. I have lots more to share, but I thought this was a good place to start.
I am still waiting to hear back from certain individuals as to whether or not I can share their contact info. Specifically NYC based people. Please be patient. We're all winding down still from the retreat and trying to break back into everyday business slowly.

My next post, I'll talk some about CURE NY.

I'm looking forward to hearing what y'all have to say, add or ask.

Last edited by PTO-92958; 06-26-2007 at 03:13 PM..
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:48 PM
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thanks for sharing....ill be waiting for the rest
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:03 PM
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Thanx Golden For Sharing This Info With Us
Greatly Appreciatd.
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Old 06-26-2007, 05:33 PM
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Good info. Thanks for sharing golden!!
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:12 PM
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THanks golden for sharing,
I remember Momma Ann posting info on PFNY. I checked their site out and it seems that they do a lot of work hands on with prisoner families. Good job!! Thanks for sharing maybe we all can join and meet up on these retreats I know thay had one at Lake George Not sure if that's still the spot. but Lake george is BEEEE UUU TEEE FUL!!! Thanks again
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:44 PM
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~Momma Ann~ !!!! I don't know why I didn't think of you first!? You been doing this longer than I have and you always have the best info and advice! What do you know about WNY chapters of PFNY? What about NYC? I'm still quite green when it comes right down to it, and I'm doing my damnedest (sp) to become as active in the struggle as possible. I'm so invigorated and energized since the retreat...and it's been building steadily within me for a long time now. I guess I've shed my shell and am ready to come forth and work to better the system and the impact it has on us all. You are definately our resident expert on all things DOCS. Please give me/us your insight and connections if you wouldn't mind. Thanks!

Are you on NYIF site? Could you tell me or PM me your screen name if you are, please? Mine is soulmate2000. But I'm hardly ever on there because I have alot of trouble connecting to the site for reasons unknown to me. I have to keep asking a friend of mine to send me the link.

And, Vee, yes it is held in Lake George at Wiawaka every year in June. And you are right...it IS beee-u-ti-ful !!!! I will post some pics as soon as I figure out how to.
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:44 PM
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Golden this is really good information. i would really like to know more about post-secondary education as well as re-entry programs.
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Old 06-27-2007, 12:41 AM
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Thanks golden I'll keep watch
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Old 06-27-2007, 07:33 AM
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Golden-Very good information.
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Old 06-27-2007, 07:37 AM
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Thanks for all the good advice keep sharing the love and the info to all of us your PTO family.
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:17 AM
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thank you golden for the info.
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:29 AM
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Golden, thank you for posting this information...I look forward to reading more.
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:33 PM
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Just a quick note to say I haven't forgotten about the daily post...but it's not going to be "daily" just now. I'm really feeling this heat today, and tomorrow I'm getting a package together for my VI Friday. So bear with me, and as promised, I will be back with more produtive and positive news for everyone very soon!

I'm still hoping to hear from Momma Ann ...perhaps a PM is in order when I get back from my visit.

Be well, NY, and stay STRONG!
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Old 06-28-2007, 08:09 PM
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Lake George in upstate NY? Exit 21 off I-87? I live literally 3 minutes from there! If it is...I'm sorry I missed it...I would have loved to have gone!
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Old 06-29-2007, 06:54 AM
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Golden, great post. I think that with many DOC, since I live in another state I am aware of our situation as well-- say Re-entry. I believe focus on development of counselors is going to be critical. But before they Re-enter, there has to be some address about parole processes and the decisions to be paroled.

Because I live in another state, the struggle to link resources is crazy. I found that many agencies said "come see me when you are out". At that point, the demand to perform is high and so is the anxiety. I could create a list, outline and overview of where I see some programs fall short in achieving their goals.

I am glad for the honest and open dialogue the retreat created. I believe in political action of agitate, agitate, agitate. It should become so uncomfortable for business as usual to be permissable.

Thanks for taking up the cause...
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Old 06-30-2007, 08:50 PM
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Tonight, I'll share some info on CURE-NY for those who aren't already familiar with the organization.
But first the bad news...
Executive Law 259-I(c)
**"Discretionary release on parole shall not be granted merely as a reward for good conduct or efficient performance of duties while confined but after considering if there is a reasonable probablility that, if such inmate is released,he will live and remain at liberty without violating the law, and that his release is not incompatible with the welfare of society and will not so depricate the seriousness of his crime as to undermine respect for law"...... (In the intrest of getting to the point I will be skipping to the end of this Executive Law. You can find this law in it's entirety online)......"The board shall provide toll free telephone access for crime victims. In the case of an oral statement made in accordance with subdivision one of section 440.50 of the criminal procedure law, the parole board member shall present a written report of the statement to the parole board. A crime victim's representative shall mean the crime victims closest surviving relative, the committee or guardian of such person, or the legal representative of such person. Such statement submitted by the victim or victim's representative may include information concerning threatning or intimidating conduct toward the victim, the victim's representative, or the victims familiy, made by the person sentenced and occurring after the sentencing.".......(Again, please refer to the remainder of this order online.)**

The problem we all face in regards to "the nature of the crime", which we know can never change no matter how much rehabilitation has taken place, is a very real problem our loved ones face. In the case of a crime where a victim, or victim's family, makes a statement at the parole hearing, there is a heart-wrenching consideration on behalf of the board. A factor they cannot ignore, and often sways them to keep the inmate in custody long after the punitive stage of the sentance. It is law that the victim or victim's family or representative can appear at all board hearings. They can plead each and every time our loved one goes before the board.
This, I feel, needs to change. You cannot bring back a life lost. Yes, it is a horrible, tragic thing to take a life. But what about 20 years later? 35 years? A man can feel deep remorse and have an exemplary institutional record, but as long as there is someone crying and pleading at each board hearing, the chance of the inmate going home is slim.

The order remains, and Executive Order for Work Release stands as is...no change.

Now, as for the information about CURE-NY...
CURE stands for Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants.
*CURE-NY is a chapter of CURE-National, whose headquarters are in Washington DC.
*CURE-NY is among CURE chapters in 40 states, following the constitution and direction of CURE-National.
*CURE-NY does not condone crime, but seeks measured justice combined with healing for victims as well as offenders
*CURE-NY works for anti-crime measures that will save human-resources and taxpayer money, both in NY and nationally.
*CURE-NY recognizes that today's people in prison are tomorrow's neighbors. CURE-NY therefore works to improve the productivity and civility of people in prison, including the increased use of prisons for education, training, treatment, and general rehabilitation.
*CURE-NY works to educate the public, public officials, and interested organizations regarding the best options available in issues that have an impact on the criminal justice and socialization systems.
*CURE-NY works to mobilize public opinion in favor of needed reforms of the criminal justice system, so as to achieve its crime-reduction, rehabilitation, and civilization goals.

*CURE-NY can be reached at:
CURE-NY
P.O. Box 1314
Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
asjo55@yahoo.com (Amy James-Oliveras, President)

An informed citizenry can move mountains! You can join CURE to add your voice to much needed improvements in our criminal justice system.

Types of membership are:
Sponsor-$500
Life-$100
Sustaining-$50
Basic-$10
Newsletter only-$5
Person in Jail/Prison-$2
(If you can afford it. If truly indigent, join anyway. No one is excluded.)

If you choose to join, email CURE-NY, and send a message that includes your name, mail address, phone number, and membership type desired.

The portion of this post that is in brown is taken directly from the information sheet that Amy gave me at the retreat. She is a truly dynamic woman with an infectious laugh and a passion for reform. Her husband has been home for 5 years, and I had the pleasure of meeting him as well.

On September 25th in Albany, at the Schuyler Inn (which is owned and operated exclusively by former inmates) Father Peter Young will be hosting a conference on Re-entry. Beginning at 8AM, CURE-NY will have their portion of the conference, and at 9AM, it continues with matters concerning re-entry. I plan to be there and am looking forward to it very much. I hope to see some of you there, if you are able to make the trip.

Last edited by PTO-92958; 06-30-2007 at 09:38 PM..
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Old 07-01-2007, 12:34 PM
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I agree golden; but in mnay cases, the familes do not continue to speak and the rulings remain the same. Teh law has been argued that due to incarceration there is an expectation for liberty to be saught on behalf of those held for determinate sentences. Because the languarge stated in the Exceutive Law does not outline or indicate who has factual knowledge to make the judgement for what is compatiable or incompatibale for society leave much more descretion and subjectivity in the hands of the parole board.

Thanks for sharing, I could go on for days; but I'll keep readig your notes.
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Old 07-01-2007, 01:06 PM
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Yes, rywill, you're right. Unfortunately, and Felix Rosa made mention of this at the retreat, the board remains very conservative although our current administration is far more progressive now. It will take time to "cycle through" this board and establish a group of forward thinking individuals on the board. You said you could go on for days, please continue to make your point heard. I was hoping this thread would become an open dialogue among us in the LLL, and not a monologue by me. Thanks for your replies!

Last edited by PTO-92958; 07-01-2007 at 01:08 PM..
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Old 07-01-2007, 03:06 PM
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I have another tidbit...
I think I mentioned CPR in a previous post? Well anyway, it stands for The Coalition for Parole Restoration and I'd like to pass on the contact info for them. They have a newsletter that I found interesting and informative called The Deuce Club. The president of CPR is Susan Wright. She is a very motivated (and motivating) woman.
CPR can be reached at:
P.O. Box 1379
New York, NY 10013-0877
888-590-9212
parolecpr@yahoo.com

Their mission statement is:
"The Coalition for Parole Reform is a broad-based grassroots organization created to inform, organize and bring to light all aspects of the prison industrial complex as it affects our communities, families, people in prison and formerly incarcerated persons.
Our mission is two-fold: to assist people in prison in obtaining parole release and to assist formerly incarcerated persons and their families with transition and re-entry."

Membership and Dues are as follows:
*Family or individual membership-$10 per year (person in prison included)
*Person in prison-$1 per year
*Benefactor membership-more than $100 per year
Membership includes quarterly newsletter and notification of all CPR-sponsored meetings, rallies and events.
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Old 07-01-2007, 03:24 PM
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Hey Girlie girl....you forgot your brief excursion into crime ......your mug.....
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Old 07-01-2007, 03:42 PM
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Hey Deb! Nice to see ya around the boards!
BTW... WHO'S excursion???? LOL!
I love my mug! Glad it didn't result in my mugshot!
How's your return to the real world? I'm still on my lil high from 5 days in chilly but beautiful Lake George.
Love ya Sweetie! Call me sometime soon, you got the # right?
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:16 PM
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I love PFNY...Alison is great.
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:46 PM
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~Vonne~
Isn't she amazing?! Will I ever get to meet you on a Monday night sometime? I would love to get the chance to meet you, especially since we are so close by.
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Old 07-02-2007, 07:58 AM
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CPR is great. And I have been supposedly renewing my memebership for a year now.

I think the problem with the board is upon conclusion of a board and really the denial at the board is there is no specific course of action and on either the inmate or the boards part a reasonable plan or expectation for release. If the focus from inception or reception is REHABILITATION, then there should be some facors and true gauges of when rehabilitation is achieved. The board has no specific mechanisms in place that indentify after a board denial what an inmate must focus on achieve to be indicate adequate progress. The executive law and its language does not force the dialogue to be understood or evern reasonaby argued. Many cases are being litigated through appeals adn article 78 based on that premise and so much more in the draconian or even unreasonable and boarding on irrational arguements. The language leaves it bar too broad for true judicial examniation of these cases.

I would love to be there because with the administration change it is a new group of persons to hear and truly evaluate our causes. I feel like I need to get mor eactive agin; but I have taken a step back for a while, because I feel I don't understand what will truly motivate for true and radical change with the parole.
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Old 07-02-2007, 08:43 AM
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I feel like I've been missing some good info. Man golden Thanks for the info

Ry, and vonne thanks for the secondary input as I only "heard" or CPR but not really know EXACTLY what they do. I suppose I will have to join and I need to prepare for re- entry soon as well as to give to a organization that's there to help us and our loved ones. Thanks
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