Release Aging People in Prison/RAPP
Contact: [email protected]
168 Canal St., 6th Floor
NY, NY 10013
Release Aging People in Prison/RAPP works to end mass incarceration and promote racial justice through the release from prison of older and aging people and those serving long and life sentences. The number of people aged 50 and older in New York State, where RAPP was founded, has doubled since 2000; it now exceeds 10,000—about 20% of the total NYS prison population. This reflects a national crisis in the prison system and the extension of a culture of revenge and punishment into all areas of our society. Co-founded and first led by the late Mujahid Farid, a 2013 Soros Justice Fellow who served 33 years in New York State prisons before his release in 2011, RAPP focuses on aging people behind bars, many of whom are longtermers convicted of serious crimes. Most of these women and men have transformed their lives and developed profound skills and abilities. They could be released from prison and would enhance public safety through mentoring and contributions to their communities. Yet many are denied release, often for political reasons, and they needlessly remain imprisoned into old age. These elders could return to their communities if current mechanisms such as parole and compassionate release were correctly utilized. We also support legislation in New York to correct the parole system and increase the number of releases.