THE PAROLE BOARD PROJECT
If you are looking for a way to be involved in activism and research, volunteer with The Parole Board Project! We aim to highlight the Board of Parole (BPH) and their seeming inability or unwillingness to use the BPH process for what it is intended, and that is to release people at their earliest opportunity for parole; the system is failing miserably. The project will consist of data entry, learning to and assisting in fundraising, writing to people incarcerated, ordering and reviewing the parole board hearing transcripts of those denied parole to find similarities.
If you are interested or have any questions, please email Alesha Monteiro (Alesha.firstname.lastname@example.org).
Once we get past all of the administrative work and it's time to get into the actual research part of it, Alesha will schedule a zoom for all volunteers that are still wanting to move forward to have a training and brainstorming session on what that will look like and what the goals are.
We have outlined the specific steps of the project here:
• DATA ENTRY - She has created a google sheets workbook with 12 different spreadsheets March 2020 - Current. The outcome of all CDCR BPH (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) (Board of Parole Hearings) results are public record and are posted online. We would start with March 2020 and enter all denials into the spreadsheet. This is time-consuming; if you look here at the March 2020 BPH results, there were 638 hearings 127 were denials, but only 87 were granted parole (not even 14%). While Alesha will note the grant rates for each month, we are looking at the denials.
• COMMUNICATION - Alesha will be creating a letter to send to those that end up on our denial list. We think some demographics are essential to highlight; sending in communication gives us the chance to let people know that we are pulling their information. Allowing them the opportunity to object to their info being used for this project if they choose and also allows us a chance to gather some information from them, granted they decide to stay involved.
• ORDERING TRANSCRIPTS - California BPH transcripts are public records. We will need to start ordering all of the transcripts for all BPH hearings that resulted in a denial during Covid.
• REVIEWING TRANSCRIPTS - This will be the most time-consuming. We want to go through every single BPH denial and note the reason for rejection. This will be more involved than just marking why a person was denied; we will be looking for specific, commonly used, ambiguous language. Alesha will have a detailed outline of how to review these documents and what exactly we will be looking for.
Now that the work is being done, it's become apparent that funding would be beneficial, so we are focused right now on raising the money needed to move forward with this project most efficiently and effectively possible. We would appreciate any help in that regard, whether it be researching grants, applying for grants, etc.
This program is currently applying to be a field study site, and typically that requirement is 5 hours a week. It is a quarter commitment you can being before Spring or Week 1 Spring Quarter. There is not an end date for the project because we aim to analyze the entirety of the BPH denials, so it may not be completed for a while, but we only ask for a quarter commitment at a time.
Thank you for wanting to take part in changing the system. I look forward to seeing where this project takes us. Please do not hesitate to reach out with additional questions.
FOUNDED SOLELY BY ALESHA MONTEIRO, PARTNERED WITH PEP AT UCI.