Support Parole for Move Prisoners!

Join the International call for the rightful release of the Move Prisoners!

Over 35 years after the August 8, 1978 confrontation in Philadelphia, the eight remaining Move prisoners are still being denied parole.  After becoming eligible in 2008, their hearings are held roughly every year (sometimes every two-three years) and they are denied despite the fact that they meet all reasonable standards for parole including recommendations from the prison authorities where they are incarcerated.  The call-in happening now is a follow up to a letter campaign to Parole Board Chairman Michael Pottieger conducted from August-October 2013.  See move9parole.blogspot.com for more information.

call-inCALL the Board of Probation and Parole Inmate Inquiry Line: (717) 772-4343

Use these talking points when leaving a message for the Board to pressure them to do the right thing and parole the Move prisoners:

*[She/he/they] meet all of the reasonable standards for parole including recommendations from the prison authorities where they are incarcerated.

*[She/he/they] have excellent prison records, have kept down racial and gang violence in prison, helped inmates fight drug addiction, helped parents establish relationships with their children on the outside, and have been an overall positive influence on the prison population, both staff and inmates.

*[She/he/they] have served over 35 years of a 30-100 year sentence for third-degree murder even though the average sentence for that charge is 10-15 years.

*I am concerned about optional stipulations that the Parole Board may require, which I feel are unfair, and which many legal scholars contend is a violation of First Amendment rights. In the past, as a condition for parole, these prisoners have unfairly been required to renounce the religious organization they belong to, Move.

*I am concerned about the “taking responsibility” stipulation which basically asks a prisoner to admit guilt in order to be granted parole. [Prisoner(s) name] have always maintained their innocence and there is evidence that corroborates that the shot was from a police officer rather than any of the individuals currently incarcerated. It is unfair to require this stipulation from any prisoner who maintains innocence.

*I am also concerned about the “serious nature of the offense” stipulation. The judge took the nature of the offense into consideration when the sentence was issued so that barring misconduct, new charges, etc. [she/he/them] was to be released on their minimum.

*Since two of the members of the PA Parole Board are former police officers, this leads to bias against [she/he/them] and needs to addressed so that their right to parole is not compromised

*[She/he/they] have now spent most of their lives in prison, and the recidivism rate is very low for people released at [her/his/their] age. All of the Move members that have already been released from prison have not recidivated.

MOVE8Since the prison system insists on having DIN numbers to reference, make sure to have them when you call or write.  The prison recognizes them by their former last names (rather than Africa) which are also listed below.  The dates listed indicate when their next hearing should be held.

Charles Sims Africa #AM4975 (November 2014)
Debbie Sims Africa #OO6307 (May 2016)
Delbert Orr Africa #AM4985 (June 2015)
Edward Goodman Africa #AM4974 (October 2014)
Janet Holloway Africa #OO6308 (May 2016)
Janine Phillips Africa #OO6309 (May 2016)
Michael Davis Africa #AM4973 (November 2014)
William Phillips Africa #AM4984 (June 2015)

Make sure to have a paper and pen handy when you call, so you can write down who you spoke with and what their response was. This information can be sent to the Move organization: onamovellja[at]gmail.com.

If you’re on Facebook, make a note about who you speak to and the response on the Cause page for Free the MOVE 9 (and join the cause!). This way we can keep track of what they say and coordinate our response.

write-in

Sample Letter:

Board of Probation and Parole
Attn: Inmate Inquiry
1001 South Front Street, Suite 5300
Harrisburg, PA 17104

Regarding Parole of: [Insert prisoner(s) name and number here]

Dear Honorable Members of the Parole Board:

I am writing to ask that you please parole [prisoner(s) name] this year.  [She/he/they] have served over 35 years of a 30-100 year sentence for third-degree murder even though the average sentence for that charge is 10-15 years.  [She/he/they] are still in prison years after their minimum sentence despite having no major disciplinary problems in the last three decades as well as recommendations from all of the prison administrators they are in regular contact with.

I am concerned about optional stipulations that the Parole Board may require, which I feel are unfair, and which many legal scholars contend is a violation of First Amendment rights.  In the past, as a condition for parole, these prisoners have unfairly been required to renounce the religious organization they belong to, MOVE.  I am concerned about two other possible stipulations.  First is the “taking responsibility” stipulation which basically asks a prisoner to admit guilt in order to be granted parole.  [Prisoner(s) name] have always maintained their innocence and there is evidence that corroborates that the shot was from a police officer rather than any of the individuals currently incarcerated.  It is unfair to require this stipulation from any prisoner who maintains innocence.  The second is the serious nature of the offense” stipulation.  The judge took the nature of the offense into consideration when the sentence was issued so that barring misconduct, new charges, etc. [she/he/them] was to be released on their minimum.

[She/he/they] have now spent most of their lives in prison, and the recidivism rate for people released at [her/his/their] age is very low.  Please grant parole and allow [her/him/them] to be a part of, and contribute to, society as free citizens.  Let [her/him/them] return to their families.

Respectfully,
[Your name and signature]

If you write to the Board, send a copy of your letter to the email above or:

The MOVE Organization
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143

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