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02 February, 2021

PATHWAY TO ACCELERATED COMMUTATION OPENING FOR MR. JAMES MUHAMMED TAYLOR (#AF4120), REENTRY VISIONARY AND MODEL PRISONER AT SCI PHOENIX




        On Sunday, 20 December 2020, Mr. James Muhammed Taylor (#AF4120) (www.jamesmuhammedtaylor.com)  celebrated his 79th birthday at SCI Phoenix in Collegeville, Pennsylvania where he has flawlessly served 49 years of a life without parole sentence. A pathway that could lead to Mr. Taylor being granted accelerated commutation has opened.  It is a pathway that requires your support.  Why should you support Mr. Taylor’s pathway for accelerated commutation?   Who is Mr. James Muhammed Taylor?

 

          To souls “on the inside”  -- at SCI Phoenix -- whose lives he has helped to transform, Mr. Taylor is  a Teacher, Mentor, and Father Figure.  For souls “on the outside” – particularly, community stakeholders in the metropolitan Philadelphia  area – Mr. Taylor is an “inside out” Reentry, Criminal Justice Reform, and Social Justice Thought Leader and consultant upon whom they rely for solutions-based strategies that will help effectively address and resolve the myriad of challenges that marginalize their communities – challenges that include, but are not limited to, gun violence, recidivism, street crime, the “school-to-prison” pipeline,  and lack of access to legitimate real-life career and employment opportunities for at risk-youths and young adult males.  This speaks volumes about Mr. Taylor’s value to the community he will return to.  Provided below is a snapshot of Mr. Taylor’s accomplishments which have positively enhanced his institutional environment and transformed the lives of other incarcerated souls along with the work he has done from “the inside out” to address the myriad of issues that marginalize our society: 

 

·                     People Advancing Reintegration - Mr. James Taylor, is the founder of People Advancing Reintegration (“PAR”) which was established in 1989 at SCI Graterford (now SCI Phoenix) to reduce recidivism by helping incarcerated souls prepare for their freedom in a realistic and responsible manner through its Day One Parole Preparation Course.  In 2016, Mr. Taylor’s initiative morphed into People Advancing Reintegration—Recycle Works (“PAR-Recycle Works”) (https://par-recyleworks.org), a non-profit organization that employs Returning Citizens in Philadelphia and has an estimated annual income of US$1,000,000.  

 

·                     Reentry Zone -  West Philadelphia has been selected as the proposed site for a gun violence free and crime free business-driven Reentry Zone  (https://www.newsbreak. com/pennsylvania/philadelphia/news/2053246096542/business-driven-reentry-zone plans-unveiled-by-inside-out-social-justice-reentry-and-criminal-justice-reform-visionary-mr.-james-muhammed-taylor and https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/business -driven-reentry-plans-unveiled-by-inside-out-social-justice-reentry-and-criminaljustice-reform-visionary-mr-james-muhammed-taylor).  The business-driven Reentry Zone will provide Returning Citizens with housing, jobs, vocational and entrepreneurial training, clothing, food, and transportation.  Mentoring and vocational and entrepreneurial skills training will be provided to at-risk youths and young adults through Project Pipe Line To Prison Youth/Reclaiming Their Lives As Men at the gun violence free and crime free business-driven Reentry Zone.  As of this writing, work has commenced to establish the Reentry Zone in West Philadelphia. 

 

·                     Project Pipeline To Prison Youth/Reclaiming Their Lives As Men –  Barriers to successful reintegration that confront incarcerated African American young men upon their release from prison were addressed through mentoring sessions conducted at SCI Phoenix (formerly SCI Graterford) prior to its temporary cessation that occurred in March 2020 due to COVID-19.   Designed by Mr. Taylor, Project Pipeline Prison To Youth/Reclaiming Their Lives As Men has successfully transformed the decision making and behavior of incarcerated young adults through mentoring sessions. The initiative will serve as one of the components of a gun violence free, crime free, and business-driven Reentry Zone which Mr. Taylor has also designed.  

 

              In his role as a key member of SCI Phoenix LIFERS, Inc.’s (www.palifersincpa.org) Internal Team and assisted by an External Team comprised of key community stakeholders, Mr. Taylor   co-implemented the “Middle Neighborhoods At-Risk Youth And Young Adults Mentoring Program, A Branch Of LIFERS, Inc. Public Safety Initiative External Affiliations” --  a gun violence prevention/reduction initiative.  The initiative, which was approved and funded by the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Violence Prevention  (https://mailchi.mp/phila.gov/city-awards-more-than-700000-to-grassroots-efforts-tostem-gun-violence-309345?e=0dfdda1bd3), prior to being suspended on 23 March 2020 due to Coronavirus-2019, was to operate for 13 weeks beginning on Saturday, 22 February 2020 through Saturday, 16 May 2020  in the Cobbs Creek section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  

 

              On 17 February 2020, Mr. Taylor was one of the co-facilitators of and presenters for the SCI Phoenix LIFERS, Inc. – Senior Policy Advisors Presidential Campaign Criminal Justice Reform Conference Call with, among others, the National Policy Director for the Buttigieg Presidential Campaign.  Mr. Taylor presented his solutions-based initiatives that addressed the underlying causes of recidivism, street crime, gun violence, and mass incarceration.

 

              The recipient of the Pennsylvania Prison Society’s Prisoner Of The Year Award, Mr. Taylor is the holder of an Associate Degree in Business and Accounting from the Pennsylvania Business Institute, and  a key member of SCI Phoenix   LIFERS, Inc.       (https://www.lifersincpa.org/) which represents Criminal Justice Reform from the “inside out” and has amassed a research-driven written body of  work and solutions-based initiatives that span three (3) decades.

 

              Mr. Taylor served as a tutor in the Prison Literacy Project and completed a correspondence course in Short Story Writing offered by the Writer’s Digest School.

 

              During his incarceration, he was granted escorted leave twice – to receive “The Prisoner Of The Year Award” from The Pennsylvania Prison Society in recognition of his establishment of People Advancing Reintegration (https://home.par-recycleworks.org/) in 1989, an inmate self-help program at SCI Graterford – and to speak at Philadelphia’s Academy of Natural Sciences on behalf of Educating Children for Parenting (www.ecparenting.org)

 

              For nine (9) years, Mr. Taylor taught  “Thresholds, A Problem-Solving & Decision Making Course”.  

 

           When Mr. Taylor returns to society, he will be equipped with  well-honed communications, entrepreneurial, leadership, business management, problem-solving, and research skills that he  developed during his  four (4) decades of incarceration.  Supported by a diverse group of community stakeholders who will welcome him with open arms, Mr. Taylor will utilize his skills to complete the transformation of his vision for a gun violence free, crime free, and business-driven Reentry Zone into an entity that reduces recidivism by providing Returning Citizens with housing, jobs, vocational and entrepreneurial skills training, clothing, transportation, and food.  The Reentry Zone removes the barriers to successful reintegration that many Returning Citizens struggle with; drastically reduces recidivism; and stabilizes the communities the Returning Citizens will reside and work in.  The reduction in recidivism reduces the taxpayers’ burden and frees up funding that city governments can employ to, as an example, rebuild decaying infrastructures, improve the public education system, and expand local and regional transportation services.  Under Mr. Taylor’s leadership, the gun violence free, crime free, and business-driven Reentry Zone will simultaneously  create economic sustainability for the marginalized community it surrounds.  This will, in turn, reduce gun violence and street crime, create employment for Returning Citizens and community members, and invigorate neighborhood commercial corridors. 


          As a city, as a nation, and as a society, we have everything to gain by granting Mr. Taylor a second chance.  He stands ready to return to society to prevent and reduce  gun violence, recidivism, and the “school-to-prison” pipeline and to prepare at-risk youths and young adults to become our city’s “Next Generation of Leaders” by implementing the research-driven and solutions-based initiatives he has designed during his 49 years of incarceration.     


           You can join fellow community stakeholders in supporting Mr. Taylor’s pathway to accelerated commutation by writing a Letter of Support on his behalf. 


           The Letter of Support should be addressed to


Pennsylvania Board of Pardons

333 Market Street

15th Floor

Harrisburg, PA  17126

 

            Your Letter of Support should be placed in a mailing envelope which is addressed to the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons as follows:

 

The Honorable Brandon J.. Flood

Secretary

Board of Pardons

333 Market Street, 15th Floor

Harrisburg, PA  17126

 

          Alternatively, you can e-mail a signed and scanned copy of your Letter of Support to the Commutation Support Campaign for James Muhammed Taylor #AF4120 by sending it to: insearchoffatherhood@gmail.com.   The Commutation Support Campaign is hand delivering Commutation Support Letters for Mr. Taylor to the United States Post Office where they will be mailed beginning Friday, 5 February 2021.     Please direct any questions you may have to:  insearchoffatherhood@gmail.com

 

            Mr. James Muhammed Taylor (www.jamesmuhammedtaylor.com) and his Commutation Support Campaign extend our heartfelt thanks to each of you. 


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