Allen Richardson


Allen Richardson, formerly known as Christopher Perlstein, attended the Rochester Institute of Technology as a photography student in 1971. He made the unfortunate mistake of selling 7 tabs of LSD—to an undercover cop. He was incarcerated under a sentence of up to 4 years, and served 6 of his 48 months. He began his time in Attica, and was next transferred to a minimum-security prison. A riot erupted in Attica leaving 43 dead; told that he would be returning to Attica, Christopher fled to Canada.

There he led an exemplary life in Western Vancouver. He began working as a lab technician in 1975. From 1982 until 2001, he worked as a senior technical researcher at UBC's TRIUMF laboratories, Canada's national laboratory of particle and nuclear physics. He also served as director of the Western Vancouver Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

He had been known as an activist in Rochester, and his supporters to this day believe the severity of his sentence was reflective of that fact.

Authorities were tipped off about his location in 1998, and he surrendered himself June of 2000. It was decided by the New York Parole Board that he must serve the final 9 months of his sentence. He was arrested the minute he stepped from his flight from Toronto to Rochester, NY. It was decided he would be released March of 2001. He served the agreed term and was released and allowed to return home, where he sought legal right to remain in Canada.

UBC's TRIUMF laboratory publicly stated his job was waiting for him, despite his working for 30 years under an assumed identity.

At the time of his second incarceration he was 50 years old, and his wife was in the process of fighting breast cancer. Hundreds of letters were sent in his support, attesting to his character and protesting his incarceration. According to his wife, he was kept in solitary confinement, denied phone calls, and was held without access to books or outdoor activity. He served 7 months in New York's medium-security [wikipedia]Woodbourne Correctional Facility.


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