Release Aging People in Prison

RAPP ( promotes the release of people in New York State prisons who are age 50 and older, have served considerable time, and pose no threat to public safety. We urge the governor and other policy-makers to use existing mechanisms—parole, compassionate release, and clemency— to release these elders, and to pass the S.A.F.E. Parole Act to increase parole release rates for everyone.

Come to our monthly meeting in NYC: WEDNESDAY, September 6th, 2017 • 6:00-8:15 pm (with pizza and soda) • Columbia School of Social Work, 1255 Amsterdam Avenue (121/122nd Street), 8th Floor, New York, NY 10027

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Recent News

New York Times editorial: "Why Keep the Old and Sick Behind Bars?"
by the New York Times Editorial Board, January 3, 2017 Anyone who visits a prison these days might be shocked to see what looks more like a nursing home with bars and metal detectors. Prisoners put away y...
The 13th Amendment
"It is time for the U.S. to recognize not only our ugly past, but our ugly present..."
RAPP Slogan, "If the Risk is Low, Let Them Go," makes a good headline!
“If the Risk is Low, Let Them Go” —by Renee Feltz, the Indypendent How a man who served 33 years on a 15-to-life sentence is pushing New York’s intransigent parole board to release violent offenders who have aged out of crime, the fastest growing segment of ...
Elder Mohaman Koti dies after release from prison
RAPP mourns the passing of Mohaman Koti
“We have squeezed all the punishment we can out of [aging people in prison].”
Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp, in discussion of how VI prisons will be changed, cites need to release aging people.
NY Parole should release aging people, but bow to police & politics instead.
Long-time attorney Robert Boyle talks about how the police and politics are fueling the crisis of aging behind bars.
“An unjust lockdown on paroles,” from The Albany Times Union
An op-ed in the Albany Times Union explores how a New York police union influences parole board decisions—and how that could change, fast.
Reducing LWOP for Youth Can Reduce Future Crisis of Aging in Prison
The Supreme Court ruled that the ban on life without parole (LWOP) sentences for young people must be applied retroactively. This can alleviate the crisis of aging behind bars in the future.
Solving the Crisis of Aging in Prison: A Collaborative Report
Important new report on the crisis of aging in New York State prisons. More important still: Some solutions.
Mujahid Farid talks RAPP, parole, Correctional Association of NY
RAPP lead organizer Mujahid Farid talks about RAPP, the Correctional Association of NY, parole, and justice.
“Address the Graying of Prisons”
An editorial in the by Elizabeth Gaynes & Brian Fischer (Aging Reentry Task Force and the Osborne Association)
Poem for Standing Deer Wilson and All Old Men and Women in Prison
This poem was written in prison in 1998 by Laura Whitehorn, now an organizer for RAPP
NY Police Union Blocks Justice at the Parole Board as on the Streets
The very same police union that refuses to recognize that #BlackLivesMatter also prevents elders from winning release on parole from state prisons.
Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP): Challenging the Punishment Paradigm
An article from "The Roots of Mass Incarceration: Locking Up Black Dissidents and Punishing the Poor," edited by Mumia Abu-Jamal & Johanna Fernandez
Learn how to fight NY State’s unjust parole system with RAPP
Wednesday, January 28, 2015: How advocates & attorneys can fight for parole justice in NY state—a continuing legal education program
David Lenefsky in the NY Law Journal: Fix Parole
There wouldn't be so many elders incarcerated in NY prisons if the parole board worked as it should.
“As Outside, So Inside: America’s Aging Prison Population”
You can't escape this news: The number of elders behind bars in this country continues to rise. Time to release aging people in prison, we say.
If Cali Can, Why Can’t We?
Pay attention, New York! California has been changing its parole policies in ways favorable to basic human rights and economic good sense.
Attend our October meeting
Release Aging People in Prison/RAPP works to reduce the number of elderly and infirm people in New York State prisons. The number of people over age 50 in New York State has risen 84% since 2000; it now exceeds 9,000—more than 17% of the total incarcerated population. Learn how to get involved at our next meeting.
Demonizing People of Color: The Roots of the Crisis of Aging in Prison
Incarcerating elders makes no sense—unless the prison system is based on social control of people of color
Release My Father
My father, Robert Seth Hayes, is one of the longest held political prisoners in the United States. He has been an inmate of the New York State Correctional system since 1973. He was a member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army. Forty one years is long enough. It is time for him to come home.