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The Erie County Sheriff has a plan to close the Erie County Holding Center with sending the detainees and staff to the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden. This is an EMERGENCY!

You are invited to share your view. PLEASE READ and RESPOND!

This Community Emergency Needs YOUR Voice!

In June 2020, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order requiring all local governments that administer law enforcement agencies to develop a plan that reforms police strategies and programs in their communities.

The Erie County Sheriff, Timothy B. Howard, has proposed a plan that would close the Erie County Holding Center, transferring all detainees and staff to the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden, NY.

What do you think of this plan? How would this proposal limit your opportunities to visit your incarcerated friend or family member? Would bus scheduling create an undue hardship for you? Would you incur added expense? Would a lack of familiarity with the rules and regulations at the Correctional Facility result in added stress for you and your family? Is the downtown location of the Erie County Holding Center more convenient for you?

The Erie County Corrections Specialist Advisory Board invites you to express your concerns about the Sheriff’s plan at a Community Emergency Meeting on Wednesday, July 8, at 6pm at the Community Health Center of Buffalo, 34 Benwood Avenue near Main Street. The Advisory Board values your input.

For the safety of everyone, you must wear a mask and agree to have your temperature checked before entering the building. Space will be limited due to social distancing rules. This meeting will be videotaped.

Prior to this meeting, your comments may be sent to BaBa Eng by phone or e-mail: 716-491-5319, Be sure to write HOLDING CENTER in the subject line.

If you are unable to attend, consider using the Zoom platform:

Password: SGQ5dy9YUKtiSEQwVmFHRHkzZjA1Zz09

You can use the Zoom Chat Box for your comments.






July 7, 2018

PRP2 is going strong in our work with AFJ...the Alliance of Families for Justice. This past weekend, June 29 through July 1, we took some of our Buffalo members to Old Chatham, NY to participate in AFJ's first Family Retreat. It was wonderfully empowering and inspirational as family folks with incarcerated loved ones had an opportunity for networking, community building, and healing. It was a "working" retreat, fun-filled and rejuvenating that had participants looking forward to the next retreat. Kudos to Soffiyah Elijah, AFJ's Executive director and Kevin Barron, Photographer.

We will be partnering with JUSTLeadershipUSA during 2018 to work for BAIL REFORM, SPEEDY TRIAL and FULL DISCOVERY. Learn more about this effort at a TOWN HALL this week featuring a dynamic panel, documentary film, and recent data compiled from the courts by our friends @PPG. 


"LIFE STORIES: RESTORING JUSTICE," first presented on May 25, 2017, will be presented again on August 30, @ 1412 Main St., 7 to 9pm. Buffalo State College has asked for "Life Stories..." to be a part of this year's Anne Frank Project which is a Social Justice Festival. The theme this year is "Sharing Stories/Connecting Communities." We are honored to be a part of this Restorative Justice Initiative. We have been scheduled for a public event on October 4, 4:45 - 6:30pm, Social Hall, Student Union (Campbell Hall).

"Life Stories: Restoring Justice"

“Life Stories: Restoring Justice” A Success!

by Karima Amin

For the last two years, I have been trying to figure out a way to link activism with art. I knew that there must be a way to show on stage, that storytelling, which I have been doing for almost 40 years, could work with the activism that I embraced as an educator and as the founder/director of Prisoners Are People Too, Inc. From the day that Prisoners Are People Too, Inc. was launched, it has provided a platform for formerly incarcerated people and their loved ones to tell their stories. Over the last twelve years at our monthly meetings we have entertained all kinds of stories from men and women. Guest speakers delivered some of these stories, while others came unsolicited from the hearts and mouths of audience members who could no longer keep silent.

Everyone has a story and those stories have power. I always say, “Tell a story; save a life.” I wanted “Life Stories: Restoring Justice” to provide an opportunity for the community to hear stories from three women who turned to restorative thinking and restorative behaviors after losing loved ones to gun violence. I wanted the audience to have a better understanding of the value and benefits of restorative justice. As these women told their stories, parenthetically framed by their musical choices, bolstered by a poem that linked all three, and a talk-back that allowed the audience to share their feelings, the spiritual energy and emotion in the room was palpable. Tears flowed, people sighed, bodies rocked and unexpected stories came from the audience as “Life Stories: Restoring Justice” became a vehicle for healing.

As our DJ, Patrick Cray, gave us just a little bit of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” the first storyteller, Sandra “Sandi” Green, stood silently for a moment next to a photograph of her beautiful babies, Steven and Corey, her only children, two sons, both lost to gun violence in 2010…one in Atlanta and one in Buffalo. She talked about her anger and the depression that nearly consumed her when she thought she was “all right.” Sandi, who spent 27 years as a corrections officer, learned that the path to wholeness includes forgiveness.

Danielle “Dani” Johnson followed with “Sunshine to the Rain” and a story about her nephew, Devon, who was killed at the age of 19 in New Orleans. Despite the distance from Buffalo, Devon and Dani were very close. She described the darkness of anger and bitterness that threatened to change her from the inside out until she discovered restorative justice at a peace circle at her church, facilitated by Baba Eng who later trained her in Restorative Justice Practices. She gave credit to BaBa and to Jerome Wright, a formerly incarcerated man whose story about transformation and redemption inspired her, a few months ago, to take an interest in working with Prisoners Are People Too, Inc. A large format poster in the staging area, depicted a three-year old Devon, held lovingly in the arms of his father, Dani’s big brother, whom Dani further acknowledged as a person who has been instrumental in her healing process.

Marquita Nailor lost her eighteen year old daughter, Sh’merea, to gun violence in 2014. Sh’merea was a star athlete, looking forward to her high school graduation, with a scholarship to Syracuse University. She was walking home from school with friends when someone mis-identified her, shot and killed her, and then “ran off before her body hit the ground.” Marquita ‘s grief was still apparent when she talked about the police who still have her daughter’s personal belongings and when she described the things she does to heal and keep her daughter’s name alive. She organizes annual fundraisers which allow her to give scholarships to promising high school students. She also created a van service, “Sh’merea World Transportation,” which she uses to transport people who want to visit their incarcerated loved ones around the state. The audience visibly responded to the heartbroken strains of Marquita’s musical choice, Wiz Khalfa’s “See You Again.”

Angela Woodson-Brice’s poem, “Beacon of Hope,” was a salute to the mothers and others who grieve; and a reminder to say the names of the children, gone but not forgotten; and a thank-you to the activists who work unceasingly in the name of Restorative Justice.

I expected this evening to be informational and inspirational. It was further described as strong, uplifting, and beautiful. I have to say that it was all that and more.

(Photo: Wayne Oates and BaBa Eng)

May 10, 2017, PRP2 was there! Speaking truth to Power!

State Capitol, Albany, NY

Dozens of organizations are coming together to

end mass incarceration in all its forms!

Parole reform now!

Bring our people home!

Raise the age

of criminal responsibility!

End the torture of

solitary confinement!

Close Attica! Stop all prison brutality!

Access to education and the right to vote for all currently and formerly incarcerated people!

Protect domestic violence survivors facing prosecution.!

Reduce sentences!

End post-prison discrimination.



Monday, May 18th,

2015, the statewide

Parole Justice Now!

coalition is releasing our new film,

"The Nature of the Crime,"

online in conjunction with its premiere in the state Capitol to pressure the legislature to pass the Safe and Fair Evaluations (SAFE) Parole Act.

You are invited to view the premiere


and then share it with everyone you know! We need more New Yorkers to understand the problem that affects us so painfully.


In New York State (NYS), almost 10,000 people are serving life sentences.

Approximately 3,000 are already eligible to return home, but the Board of Parole (“the Board”) has repeatedly denied them release. New York’s Board is known nationally for exceptionally low release rates. In 2011, the Board released only 15% of people serving indeterminate sentences appearing for the first time, and 17% of those re-appearing. In July 2015, these rates dropped to as low as 5% for those making their initial appearance.

Individuals are not permitted legal representation during parole interviews, which last,

on average, less than five minutes.

If denied, people usually must wait two years before seeing the Board again.

In 2011, in response to these atrociously low release rates, the

​New York State legislature demanded that the Board use more holistic and “forward looking” approaches to evaluate parole suitability. However, despite this statutory mandate to consider other factors, including a person's accomplishments in prison, the Board continually cites “the nature of the crime” as the primary reason for denial.

By looking only to facts of the underlying case, a person’s freedom is determined by a single, unchanging moment that often occurred over 30 years ago. The Board’s practices suggest it sees rehabilitation as a mere fiction, and retribution as the rule. They also raise a profound question: How much punishment is enough? Once a person has served far more than their minimum sentence, exhausted available programming, accepted responsibility for their crime, and done exceptional work to demonstrate their suitability for release, what more can they do?

These practices also systematically deny release to aging and elderly people. The majority of parole-eligible people serving life sentences are over age 50, with many entering their 60s and 70s.

The prolonged incarceration of this aging and often infirm population means that our communities are deprived of our elders, and the state continues to confine people who pose no viable risk to public safety, at a great expense.

Ultimately, the amount of discretion the Board maintains is practically unbridled, and without intervention, thousands of parole-eligible people will remain behind bars indefinitely, isolated from their families, aging rapidly, subject to brutality and neglect, and largely alone, in their fight for release.


(NOTE: On May 15, 2015, Pastor James Giles and Karima Amin went into the Erie County Correctional Facility to introduce incarcerated youth (ages 16-21) to Restorative Justice and the methodology of Peace Circles for the first time!)

It’s Historic!

On September 9, 2014, a dedicated contingent of community partners convinced Erie County Jail Management of the need and value of implementing restorative justice practices, through peace circles and restorative justice conferencing at the Erie County Correctional Facility and the Erie County Holding Center. The community was represented by BaBa Eng (Program Director of Prisoners Are People Too, Inc.), Pastor James Giles (Executive Director of Back to Basics Outreach Ministries, Inc.), Pastor Dan Schifeling (retired Pastor of the Church of the Nativity-UCC), and Michael Okinczyc (Lead Community Organizer of VOICE-Buffalo). Superintendent Thomas Diiina and Chief John Rodriguez represented Erie County Jail Management. After two requests for a meeting to discuss the possibilities of using restorative practices to effectively reduce violence, conflict, and tensions in our Erie County jails, and much work with all of our partners in the “Open Buffalo” initiative, Jail Management agreed to allow for the implementation of restorative justice practices at the Erie County Correctional Facility beginning with our youth, starting October 1. Eventually, such practices will extend to the holding center and those confined will begin to use their time in positive, productive, and meaningful ways, to help themselves, their families, and their communities. Restorative Justice practices will also aid staff and management in improving conditions at our county jails.

As Buffalo moves forward with its “Open Buffalo” initiative this agreement is historic. BaBa Eng has just been given the title of Restorative Justice Developer. He says, “I am honored to work with partners who have never wavered in their strong, consistent, collaborative efforts to make Restorative Justice in the jails and in our community a reality.”  

Restorative Justice

by BaBa Eng

In sharing input in the community dialog about the very important issues surrounding the threat of entrapment of our youth in the Prison Industrial Complex and the abuse of our youth in the Public Educational System, we have reached a point where it is now imperative that we talk about specific strategies, methodologies, and solutions to these problems that have our communities in crisis.

One such solution is the application of Restorative Justice in our schools, in our communities and in the places where men, women, and children from our community find themselves in conflict. When individuals, families and communities are hurt and their peace broken by words or actions that manifest as conflict, whether it be the conflict that results from crime or other destructive behaviors, it is the victim, the families, and the community where that conflict occurred who should have ownership of whatever process is selected, or developed to resolve and heal those conflicts and work on the causes.      

It is the people most impacted by crime who should determine what process will most effectively serve their interest, which is to heal, repair, recover and be restored to the condition they enjoyed prior to the occurrence of conflict. That is why it is so essential that our community understand exactly what Restorative Justice is, and what it isn’t.    

First and foremost is the understanding that Restorative Justice is not a cosmetic overhaul of the same old system that we know as the “Criminal Justice System” , that is actually “Retributive Justice” processing, where punishment and vengeance are the primary outcomes. We know that has not only not worked, but has actually left victims and offenders in worse pain and suffering than when it began, because they are both left devalued and unheard in the entire process.  

It also created a revolving door of destruction and victimization . Systems wherein crimes committed against people, but punished by the Courts, prosecutors, and others that leave both the victim and the offender hurting, neglected and even devalued, must be changed. A system where both victims and offenders, each not only remain stuck in their roles as victims and offenders, but are condemned to repeat those roles because of the failure of the system to provide any healing to the victim or meaningful correction to the offender must be completely changed because they do not serve the people affected by crime.      

Restorative Justice begins a deeper consideration and understanding of offenses and the obligations created by offense to the individual or public peace. The first of those understandings and obligations are to focus on the needs of the victim of the offence to provide safety, repair, restitution, healing and recovery in a way that is meaningful to victims and which restores the power taken from them in victimization.

In Restorative Justice it is the victim who from the very beginning must be allowed and encouraged to give voice to the harm felt and experienced by them. It is the victim who determines the process(es) that will lead to the outcome that they want. Restorative Justice then focuses on the offender in a way to makes sure that the offender truly understands the extent of the harm caused by their negative behavior(s). Offenders must be made fully aware of what the Restorative Justice process is and what is expected of them in that process that begins with their taking full responsibility for their crime(s) and the making an apology to the victim.

Then it is the victim, who after hearing all parties speak, in a circle that they have contributed to the formation of, will make the final decision about what it is that they require of the offender, of the process, of the resources that The Restorative Justice Center has assembled, to make them feel , as much as possible, restored, what it is that will restore them to the peace they enjoyed before the offense occurred.     

From the beginning of the engagement, to the end, it is the victim who is in full charge of the process in terms of how it proceeds and it’s final outcome. It must be fully voluntary by all parties involved. The Restorative Justice process offers no guarantee of immunity to offenders, but only an opportunity to make or at least attempt to repair or restore what was hurt or broken by their negative behavior(s).             

Offenders must be willing to agree to do whatever they can to help victims recover and heal. This includes, but is not limited to restitution, in cases of theft or property damage. Restorative Justice is a process to make things as right as possible. This includes focusing on the needs of the victim that were created by the offense, such as safety, repair of injury to relationships, or property damaged, loss or stolen.        

During the Restorative Justice process, needs that are related to the causes of the offense(s), such as addictions, mental health issues, lack of educational, social, or employment skills, and or lack of moral or ethical base will often surface and those responsible for the Restorative Justice Center will make the necessary referrals and connections to social service agencies that are a part of our network to address those issues and needs.      

Once the Restorative Justice Process has been completed there will be bi-monthly case reviews where evaluation and intervention assurance teams will assess the fulfillment of the commitments made in the Restorative Justice circle to make sure those commitments are met. 

This is a new, but very old practice of real and meaningful Justice that our Ancestors engaged in for thousands of years when families and communities were truly the building blocks of Nationhood. It works or fails based on what we put into it, how fully we own it, what we as a community demand of it, because it belongs to US, it is for US, and it is by US, dealing with our own problems as much as possible. 

The Power belongs to The People. Restorative Justice belongs to Us. All of Us. The People! Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak with you about issues that concern US.

May 5, 2014, Albany, NY

We were there and the Buffalo contingent stood tall and strong!

Advocates rallied, asking the state Legislature to pass widespread prison reforms, including legislation that would end current solitary confinement practices and allow judges' discretion when sentencing domestic abuse victims.

Approximately 500 people joined the New York State Prisoner Justice Network, a coalition of prisoners' rights advocates, for their advocacy day, in a rally to promote legislation that would tackle criminal justice inequalities.

The group is asking for the passage of the HALT Solitary Confinement Act (A.8588-a/s.6466-a); Safe parole Act (A.4108/S.1128); Domestic Violence Survivors Act (A.4314-c/S.3337-c); and the creation of a Truth and Justice Commission to address the injustice within the state's criminal justice system.

According to New York Prisoner Justice Network, New York State incarcerates nearly 90,000 people, spending millions in tax-payer dollars.

Keynote speaker Dr. Cornel West called for an end to the war on drugs and racist and classist practices when it comes to the criminal justice system.

New York Against Prison Injustice! MARCH and RALLY coming to Albany, NY on May 5, 2014!


Ban Post-Prison Discrimination~~~ Reform Parole~~~ Overhaul Public Defense

Release Elders~~~ Create Truth/Justice Commission~~~ Raise the Age

End the War on Drugs~~~

End Isolated Confinement~~~

Contact us for details. There will be a FREE bus going from Upstate NY.

YOU need to be on it! Come out and speak TRUTH to POWER!

E-mail your questions to


December-2013...WE BELIEVE THAT SOLITARY CONFINEMENT IS TORTURE! The New York State campaign against Isolated Confinement is ramping-up. To learn more, go to the website for information about Solitary Confinement in NY. Click here. (Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement.)

Also.....THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. (Click here.)



We support the RTA ("raise the age") Campaign.

New York is one of only two states in the country—in company with North Carolina—that automatically prosecutes all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. New York also prosecutes 13-, 14- and 15-year-olds charged with certain serious offenses as adults. These young people are subject to lifelong criminal records and drastic consequences including denial of educational loans, barriers to employment, deportation, and loss of housing for both themselves and their families. Children prosecuted as adults have been shown to return to prison at higher rates than those prosecuted in juvenile courts.

For more information, please visit the Correctional Association's website.

PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO participated in a "Raise the Age" Press Conference and Rally which took place in front of the Erie County Holding Center on December 10, 2013.



We Support Legislation Approving the Use of Medical Marijuana

For more information, please visit the Drug Policy Alliances's website

Buffalo (12-05-13) -- Today, dozens of patients and caregivers of those living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, severe seizure disorders, and other serious, debilitating medical conditions gathered in Buffalo for a hearing of the NY State Assembly Health Committee. In a series of compelling personal testimonies, they demanded that the New York State Senate pass the Compassionate Care Act -- A.6357-A(Gottfried) / S.4406-A (Savino). The bill would create one of the nation’s most tightly regulated medical marijuana programs, allowing seriously ill patients access to a small amount of marijuana under the supervision of their healthcare provider. PRP2 Board Members testified at this hearing: Karima Amin, Rev. Eugene Pierce, Chuck Culhane.




FREE CONFERENCE this week at the Burchfield Penney Art Center (1300 Elmwood Ave. in Buffalo), on Thursday, May 16 @ 6pm. With a guided tour, view Bruce Jackson's exhibit

of photographs taken in the SOUTH while visiting penitentiaries in the early 60s. The exhibit, titled "BEING THERE," will be followed by a panel discussion: "HOW MASS INCARCERATION IMPRISONS COMMUNITIES."

Sponsored by Burchfield Penney and McMillan Empowerment Enterprises, the panel will feature:

Moderator, Buffalo News columnist Rod Watson

Karima Amin, founder/director, Prisoners Are People Too

Ron Stewart, Ph.D., SUNY Buffalo State Sociology Department

Umar Adeyola - founder, HEART (Helping Empower At-Risk Teens)

Alfonso Carter - ex-offender and successful entrepreneur

Please RSVP to no later than Tuesday, May 14. Donations to the Burchfield Penney Art Center are welcome.


May 2 - 3, 2013... BUFFALO was the site of a

Landmark Conference at the 40th anniversary of the Rockefeller Drug Laws. The conference explored how NY can become the National Model , shifting drug policy from a criminalization-based to a health-based approach.

Sadly, the war against drugs has been a 40-year war against people....mostly Black, Brown, and poor.

The conference, Leading the Way: Toward a Public Health and Safety Approach to Drug Policy in New York, was a historic event, hosted by the DRUG POLICY ALLIANCE of NY and The Baldy Center for Social Law and Policy at the University of Buffalo. The conference was free and PRP2's Director, Karima Amin, sat on the Thursday evening panel with--

Moderator: asha bandele, Director, Advocacy Grants Program, Drug Policy Alliance

. Nuno Capaz, Vice President, Dissuasion Commission of Lisbon, Ministry of Health, Portugal Soffiyah Elijah, Executive Director, Correctional Association of NY

Elizabeth Glazer, Deputy Secretary for Public Safety, New York

Svante Myrick, Mayor of Ithaca

Crystal Peoples-Stokes, NYS Assemblymember- Buffalo

Christopher St. John, Producer, The House I Live In

For more information about the Drug Policy Alliance, click here.


Our March 23, 2013 Conference, which was hosted by the Niagara County Chapter of PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO, INC., was an astounding success. Kudos to CLAUDIA RACINE, our Niagara County Facilitator, and our partners at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Niagara in Niagara Falls. One of our keynote speakers, Allison Hollihan, Director of the Osborne Association's NY Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents, wrote this very favorable account.

We thank Allison Hollihan and Kharon Benson, from the

Osborne Association, for ensuring the success of this event. 60 families were represented!

The Niagara County Chapter of PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO, INC. will present this conference on March 23, 2013. It is bound to be an inspirational and enlightening event, featuring staff from the Osborne Association (based in New York City) which has advocated for prisoners and their families for several decades. In 2006, the Osborne Association established a special project: the New York Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents, which works in partnership with government agencies and community and faith-based organizations to achieve policies and practices thatmeet the needs and respect the rights of children whose parents are in the criminal justice system. (Read more about this initiative here.)

In addition to the keynote by the Osborne Association, there will be a panel discussion featuring: JEFF CONRAD, Regional Director for the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO); DANETTE TURNER, Every Person Influences Children (EPIC); CALLAN BUCKSHOT, Native American Community Services; PAMELA LANICH, Catholic Charities' Kinship Caregivers Program; and TAMMY KINAN, Northpointe Council's Prevention Education.

CLAUDIA RACINE is the Facilitator for the Niagara County Chapter. For additional information, e-mail KARIMA AMIN (See flier above.) or call Karima at 716-834-8438.



Rufus and Jenny Triplett of Powder Springs, GA

Keynoters at FAMILY EMPOWERMENT DAY 5 in Buffalo, NY


by Karima Amin

Incarceration affects everybody, from families and communities to employers and society in general. If you think that incarceration has nothing to do with you, then you need to think again and take a second look. Do you realize that your tax dollars are used to support a broken system that does not keep communities safe nor reduce crime?

Family Empowerment Day was the brainchild of some proactive prisoners in 2005, the Otisville Lifers and Long- termers Group in Otisville Correctional Facility in Otisville, NY. They believed that men and women on the inside, working with committed and compassionate folks on the outside, could move forward better with changes that could reform the prison system. FED1, FED2, FED3 and FED4 in NYC were all created by the collaborative effort of Prison Action Network and the Otisville Lifers. Another FED3 (in 2007) was held in Buffalo, NY. Hosted by Prisoners Are People Too, this conference was amazingly successful with 150 attendees from across the state participating. A third FED3, focusing on prison health care, took place in Albany NY. FED4 in NYC resulted in a commitment to change the parole statute so that the Parole Board can no longer base a denial solely on the nature of the crime. A second FED4, held in Albany, focused on mental health care.

This year, FED5 was hosted in Buffalo on October 5-6, with Karima Amin, founder/director of Prisoners Are People Too, Inc., collaborating with Claudia Racine (PRP2-Niagara County Chapter) and Judith Brink (Prison Action Network). Buffalo was honored to welcome Rufus and Jenny Triplett of Powder Springs, GA, “Ebony Magazine’s 2012 “Couple of the Year,” who delivered the keynote address. They were present at a press conference and reception, held on October 5 at the Golden Cup on Jefferson Avenue. On the next day, October 6, they set the tone at the day-long conference at SS Columba-Brigid Church when they shared the story of Jenny’s incarceration and how they managed to keep the marriage and the family intact and raise three sons. Their testimony moved some in the audience to give them a standing ovation. The Tripletts moved above and beyond their negative circumstances to create Dawah International, LLC, a multimedia company that publishes “Prisonworld Magazine” and produces “Prisonworld Radio Network” online. The couple received high praise for sharing their inspiring story. (As a side note, the Tripletts were happy to see Niagara Falls and to get an early start on celebrating their 23rd wedding anniversary.)

Chair Betty Jean Grant provided two proclamations from the Erie County Legislature: one acknowledging the work of Rufus and Jenny Triplett and another designating October 6, 2012 as Prisoners Are People Too, Inc. and Family Empowerment Day.

We thank all of our generous supporters and facilitators who value the importance of sharing information about voting, women’s issues, employment, kinship caregivers, family issues, mental health, reentry and parole. While families with incarcerated loved ones may have benefited most, this conference provided a wealth of information for formerly incarcerated people, professionals working with these populations, and anyone having an interest in community betterment.

Family Empowerment Day5 was a major success and another step on the journey toward fairness, justice and increased understanding.


We support the NY Campaign for the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act.

(Click statement above for info on DVSJA.)



We stand in SOLIDARITY with hunger striking prisoners everywhere!

Feb. 18, 2013

PRP2 Board Member, Chuck Culhane, applauds the efforts of

Hunger Striking Prisoners in California:

Greetings from Buffalo, NY. Thank you for forwarding the latest

communication from the strike group to the California authorities. As an

activist -- formerly condemned, formerly a NY Lifer, currently a parolee

for the last 20 years -- I salute and welcome your persistence in asserting

rights and privileges in the face of official indifference. I joined, in

solidarity, the hunger strike of July 1, 2011 -- I joined on July 4th, and

recruited at least a half-dozen local activists to form a chain-fast where

we would each do one day a week, while trying to get the word out and

educate people around the importance and necessity for direct action and

support of your efforts. I don't know what yardstick to use to measure

success or failure, but the fact you are still there articulating the

details of your struggle, and there are still people outside listening and

willing to take supportive actions, sounds like success to me.

Thank you for the great and significant work you are doing. "Intensify the

struggle!" said Mandela on the day of his release. Good advice for us all,

on both sides of the wall.

Chuck Culhane

Buffalo, NY

For the latest news on California, follow the information at WORDPRESS.COM.

Unfortunately, a person with mental health issues might find himself in the SHU for years, strictly for administrative convenience. In 2006, the U.S. Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons recommended ending long-term solitary confinement. Prisons throughout the country have mostly ignored this recommendation.

Click here to visit the Solitary Watch website to find out what

is being done in NYS and around the country to address this common practice of gross abuse and torture.

NOTE: As of 12-28-11, there have been 3 suicides in the Erie County Holding Center in Buffalo, NY within the last 4 months and 9 suicides in NYS prisons

this year (2011).

Given that 95 percent of all inmates are eventually released into the public, and that many of these will be released without any form of transition or therapy, solitary confinement is a problem that potentially affects every one of us.

November 17, 2011

In Western NY, our solidarity fasting continues. Members of Prisoners Are People Too, Inc. and the Western NY Peace Center are continuing a chain fast until conditions change for the prisoners in California and New York State.

Prisons affects everybody.

Three Prisoners Die in Hunger Strike Related Incidents

Pelican Bay Solidarity Event in SanDiego Inspires

This image has become the logo for the CA Prisoner Hunger Strike. It was created by a young man who has been incarcerated in VA since 1993. He is an author and an accomplished artist. His name is Kevin "Rashid" Johnson. The logo shows multicultural arms linked in UNITY with fork and spoon crossed out.

Please take time to read his statement: What is the Meaning of the California Prisoner Hunger Strike?

Also link to Rashid's book, Defying the Tomb.

September 26, 2011 - October 15, 2011

The CDCR has, once again, made promises to the prisoners.

The CDCR (California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation) has not honored the promises that were made to California prisoners who waged a Hunger Strike for 21 days in July 2011. (See CALIFORNIA PRISONER HUNGER STRIKE, July 2011, BELOW.) Risking their physical well-being and leaving themselves open to retaliation by the prisons' administration, these prisoners have vowed to resume the Hunger Strike on September 26.


September 21, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant a stay of execution, and Troy Davis was murdered by the state of Georgia at 11:08 p.m. Eastern Time.

Here are Troy's words relayed earlier today: "The struggle for justice doesn't end with me. This struggle is for all the Troy Davises who came before me and all the ones who will come after me. I'm in good spirits and I'm prayerful and at peace. But I will not stop fighting until I've taken my last breath. Georgia is prepared to snuff out the life of an innocent man."

Dear PRP2 Folks: Your signatures, prayers, and phone calls on behalf of TROY DAVIS were NOT in vain. We simply must re-double our efforts in this struggle for JUSTICE.



I cannot answer all of your letters but I do read them all, I cannot see you all but I can imagine your faces, I cannot hear you speak but your letters take me to the far reaches of the world, I cannot touch you physically but I feel your warmth everyday I exist.

So Thank you and remember I am in a place where execution can only destroy your physical form but because of my faith in God, my family and all of you I have been spiritually free for some time and no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated. There are so many more Troy Davis'. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country.

I can't wait to Stand with you, no matter if that is in physical or spiritual form, I will one day be announcing,


Never Stop Fighting for Justice and We Will Win!


NYS Parole Reform Campaign

As a member of the NYS Prisoner Justice Network, we support the purpose and intent of the SAFE (Safe And Fair Evaluations) Parole Act. This act has now become a bill in both houses of the NYS Legislature.

We are working to change unjust and unfair parole policies.

Click HERE for up-to-date info on Parole Reform in NYS.



You are invited to Mass Incarceration: Its Impact on Community, an event that will be held at Bethesda World Harvest International Church in conjunction with University at Buffalo Law School on September 12, 2011 from 6:00 – 8:00pm. Here we will be led by the following community leaders in a discussion on the impact of incarceration on families in our local Buffalo community: Rev. Eugene L. Pierce of WNY Outreach Ministries, Inc.; Pastor James Giles of Back-to-Basics Outreach Ministries, Inc.; Rev. Jeff E. Carter, of Ephesus Ministries; Rev. Alberto Lanzot of First United Methodist Church (Primera Iglesia Metodista Unida) and Br. Michael Oberst, Peaceprints Prison Ministries. This event will be moderated by Dr. Henry Taylor, Director of the UB Center for Urban Studies and is being organized by Karima Amin, Executive Director of Prisoners are People Too, Inc. Closing remarks will be given by the First Lady, Pastor Joyce Badger.

This event is being held in commemoration of the 40 Anniversary of the Attica Prison Rebellion and will take place as part of a three-day conference sponsored by the University at Buffalo Law School. This conference is called “40 Years After the Attica Uprising: Looking Back, Moving Forward” and features several of the original key players of the uprising to speak, including former prisoners, negotiators, hostages, and attorneys all directly involved. This historical perspective will be coupled with a dialogue on prison reform with influential policy makers, academics and organizations in order to reconsider new possibilities for improving the current situation of mass incarceration. The conference will begin on September 11, 2011, at the Burchfield Penney Theater at Buffalo State College with a screening of Ghosts of Attica at 5:30. The introduction and panels held on September 12, 2011 will begin at 8:30am and be held at the Allen Hall Amphitheater at UB South Campus. The panels on September 13, 2011 will begin at 9:00am and be held at the Student Union Theater at UB North Campus. Admission is free (with pre-registration) and open to the public.      

Bethesda World Harvest International Church is officiated by Bishop Michael A. Badger, Sr. and is located at 1365 Main Street, Buffalo, NY, 14209. For more information on the 40 Years After the Attica Uprising: Looking Back, Moving Forward conference and registration, please visit: or call (716) 645-2012. All events are free (registration required) and open to the public.


August 12, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011 was a special day. Around the country, small groups of determined individuals participated in a National Day of Protest Against Family Court Abuse. Here in Buffalo, NY, PRP2 member, Jackie X Bontzolakes led a day long action, from 8:30am – 4:30pm, at the Family Court building, 1 Niagara Plaza, which brought these alleged abuses to the forefront of the community’s attention. Participants shared stories of abuse that illustrated violations of constitutional rights and human rights by governmental entities as well as C.P.S. We are unfortunately living in an era in which the desire to keep a family together has been criminalized. Across the nation, people are standing up and speaking out against a court system that pits government against humanity everyday. On August 12, protest rallies in California, Michigan, Illinois and Buffalo, NY reminded us that, “Family is First!” 

Update (08-30-12): Jackie X Bontzolakes-Harris has moved forward with an initiative known as the "Family Solution Center." She facilitates the "Pro Family Rally," bi-weekly rallies, in front of the Family Court Building @ 1 Plaza.

On September 28, 2012, 8:30am - 3:00pm, the Family Solution Center will sponsor the INTERNATIONAL RALLY FOR THE LOVE OF CHILDREN to bring awareness to Family Court Injustice. Come out and support our children! Come out and save our families! (Call Jacqueline X for more info -- 716-715-7884.)



Support the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike!

This video explains what the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike is all about, with former prisoners detailing why prisoners are protesting, how this action relates to a history of prisoner-led resistance, and ...

"Milk NOT Jails" is a campaign that we support. A "Milk NOT Jails "event was held at the

Merriweather Library on September 25, 2010. (See photos above.) This event attracted children and adults who enjoyed an ice cream social and activities that were both educational and entertaining. If you want to know what ice cream has to do with prisons, click here.


On May 3, 2011, 16 members of PRP2 attended Legislative Awareness Day in Albany, NY hosted by the NYS Prisoner Justice Network.We spoke to our senators and assembly members about the prison issues that concern us most. Pictures above show NYSPJN members, from Albany, at a PRP2 meeting, sharing pertinent info in preparation for Legislative Awareness Day.


The Circle of Supporters for Reformed Offenders and the Friends of George Baba Eng

Update - Holiday/New Year's Message from BaBa - December 2011

Happy Kwanzaa!

Earth's Bounty, nourish our wonder;

Mishumaa Saba of the Kinara, light our path!

Update - September 2011

Update - June 2011

After nearly 34 years of incarceration in NYS and four parole denials, BaBa was finally granted "release to parole supervision." Before he could even enjoy one day of freedom "in the world," he was sent to NJ to respond to an open warrant for a crime that he committed when he was 18 years old. Since June of 2010 he has served time in Rahway, Northern State, South Woods, and Bayside. He is 63 years old

Today he is in Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (Rutgers University), having brain surgery for an injury suffered at the hands of correctional officers several decades ago. BaBa sued the NYSDOCS for this abuse and won. His condition is stable at this time. His family and supporters are praying for his recovery. 

BaBa Thanks the Community, February 2010

Dear Family, Friends, Supporters, and Community: 

Thanks to your love, letters, prayers, advice, encouragement and continuing support, I FINALLY MADE PAROLE after nearly 34 years of incarceration!  

I am happy and humbled by your willingness to embrace me with your care and concern. Some of you have supported me for decades. I thank you for believing in my ability to transform my life. 

Some of you have only heard or read about me, and yet you were willing to tell the Parole Board that I deserve a second chance at life on the outside. I thank you for believing in my ability to atone.

Your letters and your phone calls tipped the scales, and soon I will be FREE to join you in your efforts to promote justice, fairness, and humane treatment for all. 


I love you all! 

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