Sundiata Acoli is part of those statistics.
He is an 84-year-old prisoner who has served 48 years and will continue serving if we don’t take action. Sundiata, like so many of our elders in prisons across the country (5,000 in New Jersey alone), faces significant health challenges.
He currently suffers from early-stage dementia, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, emphysema, lingering post-COVID 19 symptoms, and glaucoma. As long as he remains in prison, his life and health are in jeopardy.
For the past several years, Sundiata has been assigned by the Federal Bureau of Prisons to teach the course at Cumberland FCI, “Avoiding Criminal Thinking”. Despite this, his failing health and the fact that he has had no disciplinary infractions for 27 years, the New Jersey parole board continues to deny him release on parole, repeatedly asserting that he is a risk to public safety.