This week, the New York State Parole Board voted to release David Gilbert, a 76 year-old person who spent nearly 40 years in prison. In response, Jose Saldana, Director of the Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP) Campaign, released the following statement:
We support the Parole Board’s decisions to release incarcerated people who have served decades in prison and pose no risk to public safety. The purpose of parole is to evaluate people for release based on who they are today, not to extend sentences into perpetuity. Mr. Gilbert spent decades in prison creating rehabilitative programs and has been an unparalleled positive influence on the lives of countless incarcerated people. There is no doubt that he will be an asset to his community. This and other recent decisions the Parole Board has made based on those principles are the right ones.
David Gilbert is a Monthly Review author. He has received every issue of Monthly Review in the decades he has been in the prison system in New York State. He is a much loved member of our community, and no news could have been more welcome We thank every one of our subscribers and friends who at our request contacted the Governor’s office to obtain the commutation of his sentence (without the commutation he would not have been eligible for parole until 2056), and a special thanks to those who joined us in writing letters to the Parole Board.