These letters should not be form letters. They should be sincere and in your own words!
- The letters should be addressed to me at Moira Meltzer-Cohen, Attorney at Law, 11 Park Place Suite 914, NY NY 10007, but on the top left-hand side of the page, they should say TO: NYS Board of Parole, 1220 Washington Avenue, Building 2, Albany, NY 12226-2050
- Put the date on the letter
- There should be a subject line that says: Re: 2015 Parole Hearing for Abdul Majid, DIN#83-A-0483
- Your salutation can be Dear Honorable Members of the Parole Board:
- Identify yourself, and where you live, explain who you are and what you do, and your relationship with Abdul.
- If there is any way in which you personally can help him acclimate and reenter society, explain your relationship to him, if any, or how you see yourself being able to help him if and when he is released.
- Do not argue Abdul’s criminal case, or discuss the reasons that the state or the police are bad.
- Do include in your letter the following:
- Abdul has spent more than three decades in prison for a crime he has always said he didn’t commit
- The recidivism rate for people of his age is extremely low
- His disciplinary record is nonviolent and in the last decade has been extremely good
- He has a support system, skills, and a place to live
- He has a strong faith, and a strong faith community
- He spent his time in prison acquiring skills, for example:
– Associate’s Degree in business administration,
– Several legal certifications,
– Participated in the Islamic Therapeutic Program, including classes for GED, substance abuse, Anti-aggression resolution, parenting, and anti-recidivism
– Participation in the African Cultural Awareness Organization, including classes on history, sponsoring community forums on reentry after incarceration, and fundraisers to give back to the community
– Worked with the Lifers Organization to propose legislation on sentencing reform, and teaching classes, including classes for young adults on adjusting to prison and coping with long sentences, legal research, and civics.
Thank you, everyone, for helping to support Abdul.
Remember to sign your letter.