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New Afrikan Community Parole, Pardon and Clemency Review Board – Mission Statement

September 4, 2016

U.S. policies of mass incarceration have devastated New Afrikan and poor communities across Amerika. They have fractured family units, exacerbated generational poverty, facilitated the school to prison pipeline and solidi­fied social containment policies for New Afrikans and the poor into concrete barriers to social progress no less real than the prison walls which hold so many New Afrikan men and women. Central to the maintenance of the failed policies of the prison industrial slave complex (PISC) is the compo­sition, social perspective and political intent of parole boards in the United States.

George Jackson University logoCurrently, state and federal parole boards are composed of police, district attorneys, former judges and other state law enforcement officials, none of whom live, work and in many cases have ever seen the communities from which those subject to their decisions will return. The decision to deny or grant parole is rarely based on the positive accomplishments, potential positive impact on the community or years of consistent commitment to improving social life for us all demonstrated by the subject up for consideration. In­stead, they are based largely on the political climate of the day, punitive conservative policies and the economic and political interests of the prison industrial slave complex.

A prime example of state parole boards’ ineptness and politically motivated decision making is the case of Geronimo Ji Jaga Pratt, who was denied parole six times based solely on his commitment offense, despite having consistently served to improve his community and people while in prison – only to discover he was an innocent man. Such overt injustice has been all but ignored by society as a whole to the detriment of us all.

Equally ignored in the deliberations of parole boards, but clearly of greatest importance, is the will and wishes of the community itself. It is our communities which have the greatest interest in determining who is returned to them. They have to live side by side with those released, work with those released, build with those released and as such are the single greatest stakeholders in determining who is returned home and when.

Central to the maintenance of the failed policies of the prison industrial slave complex (PISC) is the compo­sition, social perspective and political intent of parole boards in the United States.

Basic logic dictates it is the community who should be vested with the power to parole, pardon or grant clemency to those who, in their determination, would have a positive impact on their communities and society as a whole if released. This is a concept developed by George Jackson University (GJU) known as strategic release. Visit www.georgejacksonuniversity.com.

To this end, we are announcing our campaign to develop – and establish nat­ionally – New Afrikan Community Parole, Pardon and Clemency Review Board, which will be composed of nine board members: chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary, deputy secretary and five additional board members. Each community will elect or select established community activists from their respective communities to repre­sent their interests on their community-based NACPPCRB.

Along with community activists, each community-based board should have at least one college student, an elder and a known clergy activist. Note: In the near future we will develop a New Afrikan Community Parole, Pardon and Clemency Review Board Rule Manual, consisting of the protocols and guidelines that each community board will adhere to.

Basic logic dictates it is the community who should be vested with the power to parole, pardon or grant clemency to those who, in their determination, would have a positive impact on their communities and society as a whole if released.

The primary basis for parole, pardon or clemency by the Review Board will be the subject’s qualifications and suitability under strategic release. Under strategic release, a prisoner’s grant of parole, pardon or clemency is based on the positive impact he or she has had on their community and society during his or her imprisonment – and the even greater positive impact they will have on society as a whole if released. Consideration for strategic releas­e by the Review Board is based on the subject’s work product and proven record of service to the community and society as a whole.

As such, it is the height of social restitution, providing direct restorative justice to the people and our communities, requiring a lifetime commitment to society’s progress and welfare. Strategic release also requires a minimum of 25 years of con­finement as, according to the state’s own Bureau of Justice Statistics, recidi­vism rates for those 50 and over, or who have served 25 years or more, are virtually non-existent. This means strategic release is the highest threshold of rehabilitation, public safety and social justice any prisoner can achieve, warranting the highest reward: a second chance to serve society, physically present in their own communities.

Under strategic release, a prisoner’s grant of parole, pardon or clemency is based on the positive impact he or she has had on their community and society during his or her imprisonment – and the even greater positive impact they will have on society as a whole if released.

The Review Boards’ use of strategic release as the primary basis of con­sideration will have a direct impact on reducing crime and violence in communi­ties where it has been generational, while diminishing the social inequities at the root of criminalization through the contributions and activities of those granted release. The prospective prisoners considered for strategic release are committed to solving the ills of society without working with the state and law enforcement, but instead through directly working with the peop­le and community; thus they remain perpetually accountable to those who’ve granted them release.

The New Afrikan Community Parole, Pardon and Clemency Review Board, in con­junction with George Jackson University (GJU), has canvassed and interviewed activists and communities across the U.S. and, under the direction of Pro­ject Coordinator Akili Mwalimu Shakur, compiled a list of over 70 prisoners nationally who meet the criteria for strategic release. Due to lack of resources at present, we are pursuing the establishment of Review Boards in states corresponding to 15 initial subjects who are eligible for consideration under strategic release.

Those selected by the Coordinating Committee Surveying Campaign, while imprisoned, have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the betterment of our communities and social life for us all. These efforts include, but are not limited to, developing a comprehensive disaster preparedness mandate for our communities, organizing effective public opposition to torture in indefinite solitary confinement, developing comprehensive economic and urban agricultural development initiatives for the community, providing mentorship and literacy to at risk and underdeveloped youth and prisoners, transforming the criminal mentality into a progressive mentality and so much more.

Each sista and brotha, if released, would increase the positive impact of their lifelong mission to serve the people a hundredfold. Dialectically, their continued imprisonment serves no one but the economic interests of prison industrialists and their political constituents. It is our communities who must ultimately deal with the ramifications of those released back to them, so it is our communities who should decide who that is, and when that is. Below are the initial 15, and more names from the national list will be added as the campaign resources progress:

l] Sundiata Acoli, 2] Dr.Mutulu Shakur, 3] Abdul Olugbala Shakur, 4] Mumia Abu Jamal, 5] Russell Maroon Shoats, 6] Saani Al-Seez Muraad, 7] Darryl Ifoma Burnett, 8] Jalil Muntaqim, 9] Herman Bell, 10] Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, 11] Debbie Afrika, 12] Janet Afrika, 13] Janine Afrika, 14] Joka Heshima Jinsai, 15] Robert Seth Hayes

Establishment of the New Afrikan Community Parole, Pardon and Clemency Review Board ensures we reclaim the power to determine the composition and direction of our communities from state and federal exploitive interests, who have pro­ven that they view us and our communities as nothing more than a pool of bod­ies from which the school-to-poverty-to-prison pipeline delivers fresh human commodities to their ever expanding prison industry. They have woefully and criminally mismanaged this vital public safety responsibility at our collective expense and it is incumbent upon us to now take responsibility for our own communities. We must be responsible for not only demanding our best and brightest – those who have given their very lives to us – be returned to us, but also building the institutions to see that this is done – institutions built by us, for us and of us.

We invite you all to join and support us in the campaign to establish and seek formal recognition and authority for the New Afrikan Community Parole, Pardon and Clemency Review Board in your community – and every community – in the United States.

We must be responsible for not only demanding our best and brightest – those who have given their very lives to us – be returned to us, but also building the institutions to see that this is done – institutions built by us, for us and of us.

New Afrikan Community Parole, Pardon and Clemency Review Board Coordinating Committee

  • Akili Mwalimu Shakur, project coordinator
  • Kilaika Baruti Shakur
  • Bomani Jihad Shakur
  • Rafiki Jemel
  • Michael Anajaku Cole
  • Mabu Shakur
  • Malik Jamaa Shakur

To learn more, visit www.georgejacksonuniversity.com or email georgejacksonuniversity@gmail.com, call 214-861-8068 or write to 422 N. Marsalis #2, Dallas, TX 75203.

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