JAMES MUHAMMED TAYLOR

COMMUTATION SUPPORT CAMPAIGN

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WHO IS JAMES MUHAMMED TAYLOR?



Who Is James  Muhammed Taylor?
 
Mr.Taylor is a man who has spent virtually every day of his incarceration atoning, taking full responsibility for, and making restitution for his actions in 1971. Mr. Taylor participated in the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (“VORP”) -- the first of its kind in the United States -- directed by Howard Zehr, Ph.D. and the late Julia G. Hall, Ph.D. Not only did Mr. Taylor complete the program, he also wrote and placed on file a letter in which he atoned and took full responsibility for his actions that caused the death of Mr. Robert Morgan. Why? He wanted to personally atone for his actions to Mr. Morgan’s family in the event they wanted to meet with him.

In the eyes of the souls “on the inside” -- at SCI Phoenix -- whose lives he has helped to transform, he is a Teacher, Mentor, and Father Figure. For souls “on the outside” – particularly, community stakeholders in the metropolitan Philadelphia area – Mr. Taylor is a Criminal Justice Reform , Reentry, and Restorative Justice Thought Leader and consultant upon whom they rely for solutions-based strategies that will help them effectively address and resolve the myriad of challenges that marginalize their community – challenges that include, but are not limited to, gun violence, recidivism, 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 during his four (4) decades of incarceration:

  • The recipient of the Pennsylvania Prison Society’s Prisoner Of The Year Award, Mr. Taylor is the holder of an Associate’s 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.
  • On 17 February 2020, Mr. Taylor was one of the presenters for the SCI Phoenix LIFERS, Inc. – Senior Policy Advisors Presidential Campaign Criminal Justice Reform Conference Call with 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.
  • He is the founder of People Advancing Reintegration (“PAR”) (https://home.par-recycleworks.org/) – an idea he created in 1989 at SCI Graterford that has expanded into an US$1,000,000.00  501(c)(3) nonprofit organization now known as People Advancing Reintegration Recycle Works – a successful electronics waste recycling operation established in 2016 – which employs Returning Citizens and operates in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • For fifteen (15) years, Mr. Taylor was employed as a Dental Technician in the Dental Lab at SCI Graterford
  • A prolific writer and poet, Mr. Taylor is a Contributing Editor for IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD®,  a quarterly international Fatherhood and Men’s Issues Journal (http://globalfatherhooddialogue.blogspot.com). 
  • In his role as a key member of SCI Phoenix LIFERS, Inc.’s Internal Team which together with 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-to-stem-gun-violence-309345?e=0dfdd a1bd3), 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. 
  • 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”. 
How Will Mr. Taylor Successfully Reintegrate Into Society?

            Mr. Taylor’s journey to successful reintegration will be supported by a diverse group of community stakeholders who stand ready to lend their expertise and talents to his solutions-based initiatives.  He will employ the well-honed communications, entrepreneurial, leadership, business management, problem-solving, and research skills -- developed during his  four (4) decades of incarceration --  to transforming his vision for a business-driven Reentry Zone into an entity that reduces recidivism by providing a full-range of support services which includes housing and employment for Returning Citizens.  Under Mr. Taylor’s leadership, the Reentry Zone will simultaneously  create economic sustainability for the marginalized community it surrounds.  Mr. Taylor’s mentoring of incarcerated young adults, which spans numerous decades, serves as the foundation for the mentoring initiative he has established -- “Project Pipeline-To-Prison Youth/Reclaiming Their Lives As Men”.   The mentoring initiative, for which Mr. Taylor has developed a curriculum, will transform the mindset, decision making, and behavior of at-risk youths in marginalized communities.  At-risk youths enrolled in “Project Pipeline-To-Prison Youths/Reclaiming Their Lives As Men”  will learn entrepreneurial skills, develop communications, literacy, problem-solving and research skills, and will have access to and create legitimate real-life employment and career opportunities.  Mr. Taylor will continue his role as a consultant to community stakeholders  and national senior policy makers on Reentry, Criminal Justice Reform, .and Restorative Justice.

F.A.Q


How Will Society Benefit From Mr. Taylor's Release?

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 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, among other things, 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 street crime, create employment for Returning Citizens and community members, and invigorate neighborhood commercial corridors.  
 
Mr. Taylor’s mentoring of incarcerated young adults, which spans numerous decades, serves as the foundation for the mentoring initiative he has established -- “Project Pipe Line-To Prison Youth/Reclaiming Their Lives As Men”. The mentoring initiative, for which Mr. Taylor has developed a curriculum, will transform the mindset, decision making, and behavior of at-risk youths and young adults in marginalized communities. It will operate under the umbrella of the gun violence free, crime-free, and business-driven Reentry Zone. At-risk youths enrolled in “Project Pipe Line-To Prison Youths/Reclaiming Their Lives As Men” will learn entrepreneurial skills, develop communications, literacy, problem-solving and research skills, and will have access to and create legitimate real-life employment and career opportunities. Mr. Taylor will continue his role as a consultant to community stakeholders and national senior policy advisors on Reentry, Criminal Justice Reform and Social Reform issues.

What Are Some of Mr. Taylor's Accomplishments?

Mr. Taylor, who will celebrate his 80thi birthday on 20 December 2021 and has served 49 years of a life without parole sentence, is  a Teacher, Mentor, and Father Figure.  For souls “on the outside” – particularly, community stakeholders in the metropolitan Philadelphia  area – Mr. Taylor is a 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 that 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, crime free, and 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-andcriminaljustice-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, crime free, and business-driven Reentry Zone. As of this writing, work has commenced to establish the Reentry Zone in West Philadelphia.

Project Pipe Line 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 Pipe Line 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 which together with 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 mentoring initiative. The gun violence prevention/reduction mentoring initiative, which was approved and funded by the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Violence Prevention (https://mailchi.mp/phila.gov/cityawards-more-than-700000-to-grassroots-efforts-to-stem-gun-violence-309345?e=0dfdd a1bd3), prior to being suspended on 23 March 2020 due to COVID-19 was to operate for 13 weeks beginning on Saturday, 22 February 2020 through Saturday, 16 May 2020 in the Cobbs Creek section of West Philadelphia.

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 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), an “inside out” Reentry, Criminal Justice Reform and Social Justice think tank that 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/), 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”.   

Is there a Sample Commutation Support Letter I Can Use?

Your Name
Your Address
___(City___, ____ (State)__  __(Zip Code)
Telephone Number:  ___-___-____
E-Mail Address:________________

[Date]

Pennsylvania Board of Pardons
333 Market Street
15th Floor
Harrisburg, PA  17126
 
          Re:    Mr. James Taylor  
                    Identification Number:   #AF4120 
                    Institution: SCI Phoenix, 1200 Mokychic Road,
                    Collegeville, PA 19246
                    Letter in Support of Commutation 
 
Honorable Members of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons,

I am [insert your full name].and I support the commutation application of Mr. James Taylor #AF4120, an aging model prisoner, who has served 49 years of a life without parole sentence. Currently, Mr. Taylor who is 79 years old resides at SCI Phoenix in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. As a citizen concerned with ending gun violence and crime in communities and neighborhoods throughout the City of Philadelphia and upon learning of the work that Mr. Taylor has already produced in communities from behind prison walls, I would like to see this man return to our society so that he can provide the leadership needed to complete his vision of creating gun violence free and crime free zones and a business driven Reentry Zone in West Philadelphia for Returning Citizens from our prisons. Our community is respectfully requesting that Mr. Taylor be granted commutation and released into our custody.

          Thank you for your kind consideration and courtesy.

Respectfully submitted,

[Your Signature]
 
NOTE:  The address on the mailing envelope that encloses your letter should be addressed to:
The Honorable Brandon J. Flood
Secretary
Pennsylvania Board of Pardons
333 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA  17126