Alejo Rodriguez

Publication Date

Summer 2019


There are more people and experiences that have given reason, support, inspiration and challenge to this work than I am able to acknowledge fully. To these I offer salutations with an open heart. I would like to acknowledge my mother, Laura Rodriguez, daughter, Jada Ade Rodriguez and grandmother Miriam Mercado, none of who have read a single word of this work, but whose presence in my life has been a quiet inspiration to not only own the power of my voice but the value of my sharing. I would also like to thank many friends, both inside and outside of prison, who encouraged me to write. There were also some who discouraged me, because in their eyes the idea of seeking to gain constitutional rights to parole was a moot issue. I learned to value every- one’s perspective. No matter the yeas or nays, these were not critics, these were dear friends and I truly learned to appreciate and value their time, comments, and challenges. If I may take a moment to acknowledge a few of these friends I would like to start with Charlene Sinclair who pushed me to write, rewrite and rewrite it again. To Susan Crile, Zevi and Mary Ellen Kramer, Stephen Smith, Derek Livingston, and Melissa Gonzalez, who graciously encouraged me to strive for clarity, if for no other reason but to give the vision of my work its due. I also would like to acknowledge my friends from the Release of Aging People in Prison, Dave George, Laura Whitehorn, and the late Mujahid Farid. In addition, my dear friends at Parole Preparation Project, namely Michelle Lewin, Nora Carroll, and Andrea Bible. I cannot forget about Professor Steve Zeidman of City of University New York Law School who presented this paper to CUNY Law Review for consideration. Last but not least I cannot begin to thank CUNY Law Review editors Katherine Dennis and Sophie Cohen, and team Alejo, for their commitment and enduring patience. The writing of this piece began at Otisville Correctional Facility.

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