And here in New York, Mujahid Farid, a leading organizer in the push to release elderly people from prison, has passed away from cancer. He died Tuesday, at home, surrounded by friends and family. Farid founded the campaign Release Aging People in Prison, known as RAPP, when he was released from prison in 2011, after serving 33 years on a 15-to-life sentence. In a 2016 interview on Democracy Now!, he described RAPP’s message: “If the risk is low, let them go.”
Mujahid Farid: “One of the reasons that our campaign focused on the elderly is because they present the lowest risk of recidivism. And if parole boards were really concerned about public safety when a person comes up for release, these are the people who should be released. We are actually concerned about mass incarceration, in general, and the whole spectrum, but we thought that by focusing on this particular population, it would present us as the voice of reason and show how this punitive policy that is in place has really gone amok.”
That’s Mujahid Farid, who died Tuesday at the age of 69. Click here to see his full interview.