There are over 10,000 parole eligible men in women in NYS correctional facilities who are denied release every year, often based on reasons related to their past rather than the present. Information about who someone is the moment that they are sentenced is easy to find. But its hard to find information about who people become after the years pass. This section of the Parole Hearing Data Project will explore this theme.
Below is an audio clip from Hamza Saldana who is 63 years old and has been incarcerated in New York State since 1988. I came to know him over a year ago when he participated in Ask A Prisoner, a project launched at the New Museum's 2013 IDEAS CITY StreetFest exploring the idea of prisoners as "untapped capital." You can learn more about the project here.
In this clip, which came from an interview from over 6 months ago, Hamza talks about the strain of his incarceration on his daughters.
Hamza is due to face the NYS parole board this week (second week of September, 2014).*
*Update: Hamza was denied release.
He plans to appeal the determination, and if he is successful, he will appear in front of the parole board for a new hearing. If he loses the appeal, his next parole board hearing will be in two years. It is not uncommon for appeals to take up to two years to be heard, at which point they become moot, or irrelevant, because a new hearing would be scheduled regardless of the appeal.