The United States has the highest rates of elderly prisoner incarceration in the world. Historically over time this poli-socio-economic policy making practice has resulted in the national crisis called aging people in prison. Men and women are spending decades in prison up to 30, 40, 50, and even 60 years or more separated from parents, children, families, and communities. A person incarcerated in their youth and over time aging in prison creates broken families and a fractured society with little hope for those left but to languish and die in prison.

In the last two decades in the advent of mass and generational incarceration a group of dedicated people emerged to delay this societal normalcy of over incarceration.  Inevitably as prison sentences grew longer and parole denials increased across the States, a new prison demographic evolved that would mark the United States as Incarceration Nation. Combined with draconian sentences, Juvenile Lifers Without Parole, and the public's thirst for punishment and vengeance; the young and delayed became old, sick, and dying in prison. It is these historical elements combined with a formerly incarcerated elderly person Mujahid Farid released after 33 years in prison in 2011 as living testimony to the punishment paradigm. Thus in 2013 Farid co-founded RAPP (Release Aging People in Prison) the first organization to publicly advocate for the release of elderly people in prison through the modification of the parole board. In as little as 7 years until his dying breath in 2018 Farid had inserted into the national prison, mass incarceration dialogue that of the elderly prisoner. 

Ultimately as the dialogue became a national human rights issue so was the evolution and branching off of RAPP to a national space and human rights organization in 2017 aptly named Aging People in Prison Human Rights Campaign; led by dedicated directly impacted peoples. APP-HRC is a national human rights abolition organization that locates the aging woman and man imprisoned into the framework of human rights. In fact, as the punishment time has been served and lapsed by several decades, the original crime is superseded by the exorbitant amount of time people are kept in prison; thus, leading to the human rights crisis of our time aging people in prison. One basic human right is to live and die in the most humane way possible; growing up, living, and dying in prison violates that human birth right deemed by moral law. Thus, Aging People in Prison Human Rights Campaign is a group of committed mitigation specialists, advocates, educators, and policy representatives for the human rights of aging people in prison; and their ultimate release and return of them to their family and community before their natural life expires.

APP-HRC- For contact: Aging People in Prison Human Rights Campaign, P.O. Box 2909, 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE Washington DC, 20013.


West Coast Legal Coalition

Mid-Atlantic Legal Coalition

DMV Legal Coalition

Racial Justice Act Project

Founding Director; Tomiko Shine; Cultural Anthropologist and Mitigation Specialist

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