NYSBA Task Force Report Identifies
Problems with the State’s Current Parole System, Proposes Solutions
The New York State Bar Association
(NYSBA) has adopted the initial report and recommendations by the task force
studying the state’s current system of parole. The report, which proposes
several reforms, was approved at the State Bar’s Nov. 2 House of Delegates
meeting in Albany.
“NYSBA’s Task Force on the Parole System has developed actionable solutions to the woefully high reincarceration rate of
parolees in New York state, which we urge the legislature to consider when it
reconvenes in January,” said NYSBA President Hank Greenberg. “This includes
eliminating mandatory detention for alleged technical violations of parole, establishing
a system of ‘earned good time credits’ and increasing the number of parole
“While the state legislature should be
commended for its wide-ranging criminal justice reforms, it is now time to
tackle this important issue.”
The initial report’s three
- Eliminating mandatory pre-adjudication detention of a parolee for
a non-criminal alleged technical parole violation, such as missing a
- Establishing a system of “earned good time credits” to incentivize
good behavior while on parole, which would reduce a parolee’s time under
- Increasing the number of parole commissioners from 19 to 30, to
alleviate the current case-to-commissioner ratio of 526 to 1.
Task force co-chairs past NYSBA President
Seymour W. James, Jr. (Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco) and William
T. Russell, Jr. (Simpson Thacher & Bartlett) presented the report. Members
of the task force represent the broad range of stakeholders in the criminal
justice system, including judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys.
Parole is a period of conditional
release to supervision in the community following a period of incarceration in
state or federal prison. Parolees include individuals serving indeterminate
sentences who are discretionarily released from prison to community supervision
and those serving determinate sentences who are required to serve a specific
period of supervised release in the community after serving a designated term
Revocation of parole for alleged
technical violations results in reincarceration for thousands of people.
According to the New York State Department of Corrections and Community
Supervision, in 2016, of the 21,675 people sent to New York state prison, 29%
were jailed for technical violations of their parole.
The Task Force on the Parole System will
continue its review and analysis of the parole system and anticipates
submitting additional reports and recommendations for reform.
Click here to view the full report.
About the New York State Bar
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar
association in the nation. Since 1876, NYSBA has helped shape the development
of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and
championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our
Contact: Christian Nolan