Release Aging People in Prison Project
“Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written:
It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord.” —Romans 12:19(NIV)
Aging men and women in New York prisons need our support. Between 2001 and 2014, nearly 30,000 people age 55 and older died in the isolation of our state prisons. Today, there are more than 10,150 older people in our prisons—most of whom have transformed their lives and could be released and allowed to live dignified lives with no threat to public safety. Yet they are kept behind bars by a culture of revenge and punishment, reflected in low rates of release on parole and medical parole.
Release Aging People In Prison/RAPP and other advocates promote the release of these elders. To do so would be both fiscally responsible and morally sound. We are appealing to the Leaders of the Church Community and their Congregations to support this movement for reason, justice, and mercy. As Christians we are charged with helping those in need, as stated in Proverbs 31:8
(NIV): “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.”
Earlier this year, a Victims Group spoke up just so, delivering a presentation before the Parole Board. To the surprise of the Parole Commissioners, the survivors of crime desire forgiveness and rehabilitation over revenge and perpetual punishment. This presentation was part of a community effort to convince the parole board to release more elders, to consider their readiness now to rejoin the community, rather than to focus solely on the crime they committed many years ago. Now we need our faith community to join us in telling the Parole Board, “Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Romans 31: 9 (NIV)
For more information, please visit the RAPP Campaign. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Della Johnson, Rapp Outreach Organizer at (917) 834-8479.