In 2013, people incarcerated at Otisville Correctional Facility invited advocates to the first annual Parole Summit to discuss parole policy in New York State and share how parole denials impacted their lives and hopes for the future. The Summit’s organizers asked attendees for critical guidance and support in the parole preparation process, and the Parole Preparation Project (PPP) was born.
Since our founding, PPP has trained more than 350 volunteers to assist and collaborate with parole applicants in prison. Our volunteers have worked with over 175 people to develop solid release plans, create compelling advocacy packets to submit to the Parole Board, and practice interviewing skills necessary for parole appearances. Our volunteers have spent countless hours in prison visiting rooms, on the phone, and corresponding with parole applicants and their families. With a release rate nearly double the state-wide average, it is clear that our efforts are working, and the deep connections that form between volunteers and people in prison are among the most meaningful aspects of PPP’s work.
In addition to facilitating the release of over 120 incarcerated people, PPP has helped to lead the statewide movement for parole justice, successfully advocating for key reforms, including revisions to parole policy, preventing the reappointment of unqualified Parole Commissioners, securing the appointments of new Commissioners who better reflect the identities and experiences of people in prison, and mobilizing the legal community to litigate on behalf of incarcerated people.
PPP believes that all people have value, and are capable of transformation, worthy of compassion, and will make meaningful contributions to their communities. By building relationships with people in prison and their families, we are creating spaces for accountability and collective healing from the effects of crime and incarceration. We also believe that currently and formerly incarcerated people are the natural leaders of the parole justice movement, and we are committed to amplifying their voices and implementing their visions.