Release Aging People in Prison/RAPP works to end mass incarceration and promote racial justice by getting elderly and infirm people out of prison.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 was incarcerated for 33 years in New York before his release in 2011, RAPP focuses on aging people in prison, many of whom are long-termers convicted of serious crimes. Many of these women and men have transformed their lives and developed profound skills and abilities. They could be released from prison with little or no threat to public safety; they could enhance public safety. 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.
We belong to a national network of groups, including the Sentencing Project, that focuses on transformation of the US prison system. We subscribe to a set of principles drafted by that group, ensuring that any reforms of the system are meaningful and do not benefit some people at the expense of others. We work in solidarity with many sectors. One of our most recent and critical partnerships is with the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, current and former members of law enforcement whose goal is “advancing justice and public safety solutions.”
Release Aging People in Prison/RAPP is an independent grassroots organizing and policy project. We are proud and grateful to be supported by:
• Abelard Foundation – East •
• A.J. Muste Memorial Foundation •
• Ben & Jerry’s Foundation •
• Elsie P. van Buren Foundation •
• National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls •
• New York Community Trust •
• New York Foundation •
• North Star Fund •
• Sonya Staff Foundation •
• Sparkplug Foundation •
• individual donors from the community •
• We welcome all donations •
RAPP challenges a fundamental pillar of mass incarceration: reliance on a system of permanent punishment, a culture of retribution and revenge rather than rehabilitation and healing.
The RAPP Campaign mobilizes currently and formerly incarcerated people, their families, and other concerned community members. From this united base and through the RAPP Coalition, we work with other prison justice advocates to raise public awareness about the destructiveness of mass incarceration and the benefits to society in releasing aging people, including those convicted of violent crimes, and promote the use of key mechanisms for releasing elderly people such as parole, compassionate release, and policy changes.
Join our e-list for updates on our work, events you can attend, and more: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact RAPP: 168 Canal St., 6th Floor, NY NY 10013, (631) 885-3565; email@example.com
Come to a NY RAPP Coalition meeting – the first Wednesday of every month at 6:00 pm at 168 Canal St., 6th Floor, NY NY 10013 (click here for more events)
Get ready to organize with RAPP:
• LEARN how RAPP advocates for the NYS legislature to pass laws for the release of elders, and how Parole Commissioners are chosen and approved.
Tell us about experiences with the parole board: Fill out our online form describing the experiences you or your family member/friend have had at the board. Created by RAPP and Parole Preparation Project