Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Request For Parole Hearing Support in the Case of Jalil Abdul Muntaqim, Political Prisoner

Request For Parole Hearing Support in the Case of Jalil Muntaqim (Herman Bell)

By Laura Whitehorn

Hi, all - You've probably heard that the judge in the San
Francisco 8 case has ordered that Jalil Muntaqim (and Herman Bell) be transported back to NY for parole hearings. Jalil is asking that we write letters supporting his request. Please address the letter to the Parole Commissioners (Re: Parole application of Anthony Jalil Bottom #77A4283) but send to:

Cheryl Kates, Attorney
PO Box 711
Honeoye, NY 14471

The more personal and individual your letter is, the better. You can write about visiting or communicating with Jalil, or if you haven't been in direct touch with him, you can write about the articles you've read by him or any other knowledge you have of his activities while in prison. Please say that you are aware of the case for which he is serving his sentence.

You can also talk about your own perspective -for example, if you are a teacher, you know how valuable it is that Jalil has counseled young prisoners. Any particular slant you can give to your assertion that he will be an excellent candidate for release can give the letter more force.

Some of Jalil's achievements while incarcerated:
In 1986, Mr. Bottom drafted a legislative bill for New York State prisoners to obtain good time off their sentence. The bill was submitted and introduced into the New York State Assembly - Committee on Corrections by former Assemblyman Arthur O. Eve.

In 1994, while incarcerated at Shawangunk Correctional Facility, Mr. Bottom established the first Men's Council in the United States prison.

His efforts were featured on television in Japan and written about in the NY Times. During this period, he also graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Sociology. Instead of resting on his success, he taught African Studies to a group of prisoners.

On two occasions, he received commendations from prison officials for quelling potential prison riots, one in the mess hall at Great Meadow Correctional Facility and another time in the auditorium at Greenhaven Correctional Facility.

From 1996 to 1999, Mr. Bottomm was the office manager of the prison computer lab at Eastern Correctional Facility. His duties consisted of teaching prisoners keyboarding skills and how to use computer software programs. Despite his busy schedule, he found the time to raise money from inmate accounts to support the charitable Children's Funds.

In 1999, in Auburn Correctional Facility, Mr. Bottom established sociology, poetry, and legal research and discussion classes under the auspices of the Lifer's Committee that he chaired.

Mr. Bottom co-sponsored the Victory Gardens Project, a program in which farmers in Maine grew tons of fresh produce for distribution to poor urban communities in New York, New Jersey and Boston, Massachusetts. In the four years of its existence, the Project distributed nearly 10,000 pounds of fresh produce in urban centers.

In response to the tragedy of September 11, 2001, while in Auburn Correctional Facility, Mr. Bottom proposed raising funds from inmates to donate to the American Red Cross. Former Deputy Superintendent of Programs, R. Nelson acknowledged Anthony's efforts in a memorandum.

While in Auburn Correctional Facility he worked as a Pre-GED Teacher's Assistant, earned a vocational certificate for Architectural Drafting. Mr. Bottom has proposed and gained the approval for a Life Skills Program for inmates.

Mr. Bottom is a published poet and essayist; his writings are found in several University sponsored books of compilations of prison writers. He has also written an unpublished novel and teleplay.

Parole Release Plans

In the event that Anthony Bottom's Application for Parole is approved, and he is released on bail pending the resolution of present (California) charges, he would live in either Syracuse, New York or Austell, Georgia.

In Syracuse, he would apply for the Master's program at Maxwell School Syracuse University, to obtain a degree in Public Administration and a certificate in Health Services Management. In Austell, Georgia, he has an offer of employment in the construction field and a home that is to be provided by his mother.

Anthony Bottom has a 37-year-old daughter, two grandchildren and one great grandchild. Over the decades of imprisonment, he has maintained a strong family relationship, although they reside in California and Georgia.

Throughout his years of imprisonment, there have been continuous family visits when they were able, including family trailer visits.

As an example, in the November 2000, issue of Essence Magazine, Anthony Bottom, his daughter and granddaughter were featured in an article titled "Daddy Says," discussing father and daughter relationships. Mr. Bottom will continue to be involved in community service, particularly in regards to AIDS education. He once initiated a campaign to provide school supplies to AIDS orphans in Africa.

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