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Embracing Rehabilitation

PhotoEmbracing Rehabilitation Judith Clark, with Legend, one of the dogs she has trained in prison to work with veterans and law enforcement. She has served 35 years of her sentence for her role in an armed robbery that left two police officers and an armored car security guard dead. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

To the Editor:

In Denied Parole, a Former Radical Reflects on Symbolism and Redemption[1] (About New York, May 4), about my mother, Judith Clark, who has been in prison for 35 years for her role as a getaway driver in the fatal 1981 robbery of a Brink s armored car, Jim Dwyer quotes the Parole Board s statement that my mother is a symbol of violent and terroristic crime.

But parole decisions that refuse to take rehabilitation into account are their own kind of violence and create their own kind of terror. I am someone, my mother says, who once believed in violence and now believes in respecting human life.

New York s Parole Board members, who consistently refuse to release people they acknowledge are rehabilitated and low-risk, show no such respect for human life.

My mother says in the column that people in prison want to believe that what we do wrong matters, and that what we do right matters. What the Parole Board does matters, too to people inside and their loved ones outside, and it should matter to everyone concerned about this country s epidemic of excessive and inhumane incarceration.

HARRIET CLARK, OAKLAND, CALIF.

Continue reading the main story[2]

References

  1. ^ Denied Parole, a Former Radical Reflects on Symbolism and Redemption (www.nytimes.com)
  2. ^ Continue reading the main story (www.nytimes.com)

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