Release on Parole for Talib M. Shakir!
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We, the undersigned, call on the Commissioners of the U.S. Parole Commission to grant release to Talib Mustafa Shakir at his upcoming 2018 parole hearing. After being incarcerated as an adult at the young age of 17, Talib has used his 25 years behind bars to amend the harm he caused his community, transform his life for the better, and positively contribute to the lives of those around him.
Although exceptionally qualified, Talib was denied release on parole after his 2013 hearing based on the nature of the offense he committed over 20 years ago, rather than his development and corrective actions during the past 25 years. We ask that the Commissioners firstly consider Talib's strong character development, exceptional leadership and community contributions, highly adaptive job skills, readiness for reentry, and extensive family support when making Talib's parole decision.
Talib’s sentence was designed to release him once he achieved rehabilitation and served the minimum time of 20 years. While incarcerated, Talib has seized every opportunity to strengthen his deficiencies by pursuing education and job training, and developing victim advocacy, counseling and life coaching skills. He has worked tirelessly to not only turn his own life around, but also to influence and mentor those around him. Some of Talib’s accomplishments while incarcerated include: obtaining a GED and beginning college coursework; gaining fluency in Spanish and Arabic; attaining professional certification in barbering, physical training, GED instruction, and Teaching English as a Second and Other Language (TESOL) for business, adults, and children; and initiating the first Life Coaching training program to be held within a federal prison, which has now trained over 90 men in the life coaching methodology. Talib has worked with Dr. Patrick Williams, founder of the Institute for Life Coach Training and Coaching the Global Village, to initiate this pilot program at FCI McKean and become trained in professional life and wellness coaching. Most recently, Talib has helped to initiate another pilote life coaching program at FCI Cumberland. Although he is incarcerated, Talib has a very high level of dedication to making a positive impact on himself and society. He would have an even greater reach and impact to break the cycle of violence, crime, and recidivism upon release from prison.
In 2013 Talib went before the parole board a second time, prepared for a successful transition home. With abundant community and family support, and job opportunities lined up, the assistant warden and parole hearing examiner both recommended Talib for release on parole within a 9 month period of his hearing. However, the U.S. Parole Commission, who oversees the final decision for both federal and DC parolable inmates, made a split decision to deny him parole, handing down an additional 5 years before his next hearing.
Talib’s time in prison has been served, rehabilitation has been achieved, and his skills and presence are needed back in the community where he can continue to flourish and give back as an active member of society. We ask the Commission to strongly consider Talib's evident commitment to rehabilitation, as well as the recommendations of the 2013 parole hearing examiner, former assistant warden Ms. Folk, and countless others, and grant Talib release on parole.
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