sethLike many long-term comrades in New York State (NYS), political prisoner Robert Seth Hayes is coming before the parole board this summer. This will be Seth’s tenth appearance before such a board. We are asking that you participate in his freedom campaign per his request in whatever way works for you. While we harbor no false hope in this parole campaign and those of other NYS comrades likeHerman BellJalil Muntaquim, and Maliki Shakur Latine, we always respond to calls for solidarity and will continue to push the parole board to let our people come home.

Despite setbacks in the movement to implement a genuine, fair and just parole system in New York (such as this recent court decision), there is resistance to the endless politicizing and denials of the parole system. Groups like RAPP (Release Aging People in Prison)–founded and run in part by former prisoners–are making great strides educating the public and highlighting specific examples of elder prisoners and the need for parole reform. Time will tell whether or not the state of New York will make a significant change in how it implements parole for all prisoners and specifically, the NYS political prisoners.


Below is the action alert sent out by Seth’s supporters.

Greetings Friends, Family, Supporters,

We are writing to request letters of support for parole for Robert Seth Hayes who is scheduled for his tenth trip to the parole board in June 2014. Seth is in his mid-60s and has been imprisoned for 41 years. Below you will find a draft letter and talking points to assist you in writing a letter urging parole for Seth. The more personalized your letter is, the better.

Be sure to include in the letter:

-Your relationship to Seth, family or supporter.
-Who you are and your occupation
-Please refrain from any profanity and be professional

Please send your letters to Seth’s lawyer only:
Cheryl Kates
Post Office Box 734
Victor, New York 14564

Below is a long list of Seth’s accomplishments for you to include in your
letter. There is also an online petition for Seth’s parole here.

Seth’s accomplishments

-Completed phase I, Phase II, and Phase III of “mandatory programming” of Department of Corrections.

-Facilitator of Pre-Release programs; completed ART, and AVP (basic, advanced, workshop leadership and facilitator training); completed the state education department, Adult Peer Counseling Compadre Helper Program. In 1999, he completed the Inmate Program Associate Training; and completed Department of Labor Apprenticeship Program in Teachers Aide.

-Studied Business Law and Economics at Ohio University through correspondence courses; Hudson Links College inmate courses thus far completing Basic Math, English, presently engaged in American History and Ethics.

-Served as a clerk in both the General Library and Law Library as a paralegal assistant.

-Worked in Food Service, Grounds Maintenance, IGRC, General Business and Ethnic Studies.

-On a path of continued learning to improve and enhance his community devoted mind.

-He has not had a disciplinary ticket since 1999. That was dismissed 4 months later, but prior to that, none since 1989. Since 1999 he has received no disciplinary tickets of any type but rather accommodations for his hard work, dedication and positive role responsibilities in whatever course or level of work called upon to complete.

-He is now engaged in his 41 year of incarceration. With a discipline and work accredited mannerism, one is hard press to understand why he is time after time, turned down for parole release.Many incarcerated have strong offenses for which they are serving time for, but one would be hard pressed to find a case of someone like Seth. He has been denied parole since 1998, completed his original sentence and has remorse for his past actions.

-While in prison, Seth continues to work for the betterment of the community in which he lives. He has participated in programs with the NAACP, the Jaycees and other organizations and has worked as a librarian, pre-release adviser and AIDS counselor. Whenever possible, he has taken college courses. He is also a longtime adviser and collaborator in the annual “Certain Days” Political Prisoner calendar project. He is dedicated to continuing to work for social justice when he gets out of prison. While at Wende correctional facility, Seth was working to put together a “lifers program” to help rehabilitate prisoners and prepare them to reenter the community. Seth also coached basketball and worked on assisting a local restorative justice project taking place in Buffalo.