NEW YORK (Sep. 7)
Anne Henderson Pollard has been granted a furlough from prison over the Jewish High Holy Days and a transfer to a halfway house in late November, pending the approval of her warden at the Danbury Federal Prison Camp in Connecticut.
Pollard, the wife of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, was told of the recommendation for the furlough and halfway house Wednesday.
On the same day, she was denied early release on parole by Daniel Lopez, the Northeast regional parole commissioner.
The parole denial came in spite of more than 200 telegrams and letters sent to Lopez’s office by Anne Pollard’s supporters.
They urged him to reverse the recommendation of a parole board, which ruled Aug. 22 that she should not be granted early release.
Lopez’s decision means that she will most likely not be finally released on parole until March 1990, three years after she began serving her five-year sentence.
Pollard’s family plans to submit an appeal of the parole decision to the national appeals board of the U.S. Parole Commission.
Pollard was convicted for possession of classified documents in connection with her husband’s espionage activities. He is serving a life sentence for spying for Israel.
Anne Pollard’s father, Bernard Henderson, said his daughter plans to celebrate the High Holy Days in New York at the Riverdale synagogue of Rabbi Avrahma Weiss.
Weiss has visited both Pollards in prison and is considered by the government as their rabbi.
“She has only been told orally so far,” Henderson said of his daughter’s impending furlough. “We’re trying to pin (the prison authorities) down and get it in writing.”
NO FINAL DECISION
Prison spokesman Craig Apker said Thursday the final decision on transfer has not yet been made, and that the warden has yet to rule on the decision.
“She’s been recommended for halfway house placement and a furlough, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to get it,” Apker said.
Henderson believes his daughter should be released to a halfway house immediately. He said he fears for her life if she remains incarcerated even until November.
Pollard is suffering from a rare gastrointestinal disease known as biliary dyskinesia.
Her family said her weight is down to 82 pounds and that she is not receiving adequate treatment in prison.
A decision to allow Pollard a release on furlough and to a halfway house would be a reversal of the prison authorities’ earlier stance that they would not grant Pollard the privileges because of her medical condition.
Ronald Seri, Pollard’s case manager, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency last week that because Pollard is taking medication which cannot be brought off prison grounds, she would not be permitted either furloughs or release to a halfway house.
Carol Pollard, her sister-in-law, said she was certain public pressure played a role in the prison authorities’ decision to reverse their position.