In this Pennsylvania state prison system, there is an estimation of 5,000 people sentenced to prison. Most of those were men and women are African Americans. The balance of the 5,000 are poor whites and Latinos. However, with this in mind, the current clemency board of pardon under the leadership of Lieutenant Governor Fetterman, along with the final decision for clemency being with the Governor Tom Wolf, along with Secretary [inaudible].
There’s a ray of hope for freedom after years of no hope for clemency off parole eligibility. There also is strong aspirations for a bill for parole with eligibility in Pennsylvania. And supporters of the legislation for the bill are resilient in their quest to bring parole eligibility to fruition. I- calamity for life is for the first time in the history of commutation in Pennsylvania, and possibly the nation, now have former offenders who fill these roles. No one is more suitable for this position than two people who have gone through the process. And who have valuable institutional knowledge, Miss Naomi Blout and George Trudel. Two former life sentence prisoners who were commuted, but now put these expertise to work to help prisoners through the state’s commutation process.
Please keep in mind, the secretary of the board of partners was also a former prisoner in a boot camp for juvenile offenders. And had a physical scuffle with the former police chief of Haspery. And felony convictions and two [inaudible] prison sentences since for dealing crack cocaine and carrying an unlicensed gun. This turn around [inaudible] has shown society that once those of us who are able to undo the psychological slavery of misconceptions, and transcend the abnormal and achieve one’s purpose. In spite of difficulty, we then can become a productive asset in the endeavor to eradicate the ills of our society.
Thank you very much. My name is Omar Askia Ali.
(Sound of a cell door closing.) These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.