Maliki Shakur Latine is a person who has consistently acted, studied, and worked for the betterment of his community. He is a very peaceful and deeply spiritual person who spends his time helping others. In his youth, Mr. Latine made a series of mistakes that put him behind bars for much of his life. He has educated himself and served his community while serving his time in New York State correctional facilities.
Maliki Shakur Latine was born in the Bronx on August 23, 1953. An early sense of spirituality and community responsibility as a young Muslim lead him to join the Nation of Islam and then the Bronx Chapter of the Black Panther Party. He was taking political education classes, serving in community programs, and developing a life-long interest in history, philosophy, and spirituality. Due to COINTELPRO targeting the BPP, many went underground in the 70’s as did Maliki.
Unfortunately, on July 3rd, 1979, a traffic accident lead to a tragic event involving Maliki Shakur Latine, police officers, and others. The altercation resulted in arrests and some arrestees became career informants for the government. A month later, on August 7, 1979, Maliki Latine was arrested in St. Albans, Queens. On October 1, 1981, Maliki Shakur Latine was sentenced to twenty-five to life for attempted murder in the first degree and seven and one half to fifteen years for assault in the first degree.
Life in Prison
In prison Mr. Latine continued his community work and study, through increasingly wise, mature and peaceful means. He has continued to study philosophy, ancient civilizations, Islam, and many other topics. Mr. Latine has completed Aggression Replacement Training (ART), Abuse Treatment (ASAT). He has served as a program assistant and an electrician’s helper. He’s taken vocational classes and received his GED in 2011. He has not received any disciplinary action in the past six years. He has served on Inmate Liaison Committees at several facilities and has taught classes on reentry and release. He writes letters and receives visits so as to connect with his community, give advice, and make contributions. Unfortunately, Mr. Latine has also suffered from his life-long multiple food allergies and has been unable to receive an optimally appropriate diet while in prison, despite multiple recommendations from allergists, physicians and other health professionals.
In his most recent parole hearing, on April 15, 2014, the parole board acknowledged Maliki Shakur Latine’s positive behavior, the positions he’s held, and the programs he has taken to improve and educate himself. They also acknowledged that their COMPAS Reentry Risk Assessment found him to be at a low risk of reoffending. They acknowledged the letter that Mr. Latine wrote to the police officer’s family, expressing his remorse and giving his apology, yet still did not parole him.
They spent the majority of the hearing focusing on the original crime and on rumored and speculated affiliations, which have never been raised in court. It seems that the seriousness of a crime can never be mitigated and the false rumors can never be expunged from a record. The parole board seems to want to hold Mr. Latine forever, despite his achievements and his low risk of reoffending. Maliki Shakur Latine was 25 years old when the incident took place and he is now 61. He has served 35 years, over half of his life, in prison. He has appeared before the parole board six times and has been denied six times.