FROM THE NATIONAL CHAIRMAN’S DESK NATIONAL LIFERS OF AMERICA, INC. FEB/MAR 2023

This brief report is an update on our progress and lack of information circulated statewide to our Local Chapters. Some of our membership in various NLA Chapters, Women’s Huron Valley in particular, were curious about the lack of information they receive concerning the NLA’s direction statewide. I truly know and understand your concerns and feelings about what is happening. You feel “let down” and “forgotten”. You want updates on criminal justice reforms in Michigan. I promise we will correct our faults and do better. I would like to remind you who were instrumental.in writing the first Second Look Sentencing Bill. It was NLA National Vice -Chairman Jamie Neade and The Adolescent Redemption Project (TARP} Executive Director attorney Christian Wiesenberg.

At the moment, many NLA Local Chapters are still being held back from membership meetings because of COVID restrictions. We are hoping as progress is made with loosening the COVID stranglehold, Local Chapters will be able to get back to normal operations. I regularly communicate with Sybil Padgett giving her updates on what is transpiring with the Second Look Sentencing Bill so she can update chapter membership. My goal is to communicate with all NLA Local Chapter presidents so they can aiso update their membership.

Alexandra Bailey of The Sentencing Project (TSP) has informed our National Vice-Chairman Jamie Meade and National Director of Relations with TARP Joshua Puckett that the Second Look Sentencing legislation will be officially launched on April 12, 2023, at the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan. There will be a news conference and the United Church of Christ Michigan Conference leadership will be in attendance. This is a makeup for the ice-storm cancellation of the Day of Empathy on February 22, 2023. We are encouraging you to ask your family and friends to attend this event. While not everyone will be able to speak to their state representative or state senator, we want your family and friends to try. Have them tell your story and their experience having a loved one incarcerated.

Then the Second Look Sentencing Bill gets introduced, hopefully within the next couple weeks, I will personally have that information published in the Michigan Lifers Report Newsletter so ail Local Chapters around the state will receive it to share with their membership.

Also, we are currently working on a NLA National Agenda for all Local Chapters to collectively focus their attention. I would like to thank all Local Chapters who sent ideas for the National Agenda. In addition, as a juvenile parolable lifer who has served 35 years, I will be returning to court for re-sentencing and possible release pursuant to People v. Montez Stovall that ruled it is unconstitutional for a juvenile to be sentenced to a parolable life sentence. With my upcoming re-sentencing, it is imperative we remain focused on our National Agenda and the pending and upcoming criminal justice reform that will end mass incarceration in Michigan.

All Local Chapters will be receiving updates from Jamie Neade and myself keeping everyone abreast of what we are working on and what we need help with. We (NLA) are a collective force for change.

Eddie ‘Malijah’ Gee.

Eddie ‘Malijah’ Gee Robert Alfiero Jerry Metcalf Dwight Henley Former Michigan Prisoner and corrections officer.

BEST PAROLE RISKS

Robert Alfiero – Page 3 & 8 of the Michigan Lifers Report Feb/Mar 2023 Issue

Recidivism is defined as a convicted criminal’s likélihood to commit the same or similar offense within a designated period of time following their release from prison. According to the Department of Justice, the two lowest recidivism rates are homicide and sex offenses. However, the public has been misled as to the potential of these two types of offenses to reoffend, especially sex offenses. Politicians, police, prosecutors, anti-crime advocacy groups, and the media are the main sources of this misinformation and the likely creators of the stigmas attached to these offenses.If you were to listen to them, you would believe that these offenders cannot be rehabilitated and are a waste of tax- payers money and resources. The truth is quite the opposite.Criminologists and behavior psychologists will tell you that most people who commit homicide and/or sex offenses do not have a criminal mentality. That means that besides these instant offenses, they are basically had working and law abiding people. This is because most have genuine remorse and regrets for their actions…

SYSTEMIC RACISM IN AMERICAN PRISONS

Jerry Metcalf – Page 5 & 8 of the Michigan Lifers Report Feb/Mar 2023 Issue

A few days back, I sat in my cell listening to two white prison guards hold a conversation about systemic racism outside my window. One of them outright refused to acknowledge systemic racism might exist, claiming that it was all fake news, misinformation, and propaganda conjured up by left-wing Democrats, while the other mostly agreed, though he did finally concede that if systemic racism does exist in government “even a little’ bit” then It “definitely doesn’t exist in American prisons.” I chuckled when I heard that. Not because I think any kind of racism is funny, but because two seemingly sane people could believe such nonsense with so much evidence to the contrary. Later that night I tossed and turned as I replayed their conversation in my mind. The more I considered it, the more I didn’t like the idea of people thinking the system I’d been held captive in for more than 26 years was anything but racist. I tried to devise a way to prove how institutional racism does exist in prisons across America, but finally realized that I needed more information…

GOVERNOR WHITMER GRANTS 18 COMMUTATIONS AND # PARDONS

Dwight Henley, M.B.A. – Page 6 of the Michigan Lifers Report Feb/Mar 2023 Issue

In 2021 Governor Gretchen Whitmer commuted the sentence of a female serving time for drugs and weapons. Because of this female’s age and positive prison record, she would have been paroled within two years without any commutation. As a result, the Michigan Lifers Report Newsletter published an article question- ing whether the commutation was a political move for the upcoming election. Based on Governor Whitmer’s recent commutations, she was not playing politics, and the Michigan Lifers Report staff commend her for making a gracious number of commutations. Why do we say this, and can anything be gleaned from Governor Whitmer’s recent actions? Most Governor’s do not grant commutations until his or her last year in office. Nevertheless, Governor Whitmer chose to grant a generous number of commutations and pardons within the first month of her final 4-year term. Such timing suggests she believes in second chances and will most likely continue to use her executive power to grant future commutations. But which cohorts of prisoner stand to benefit from any future commutations?…

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