|SAME AS||SAME AS S00807|
|Amd §259-b, Exec L|
|Alters the composition of the state board of parole to include members to be appointed upon the recommendation of the four legislative leaders.|
|03/04/2019||referred to correction|
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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A6221 SPONSOR: Walker
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to distributing the appointing authority of the state board of parole among the governor, senate and assembly   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To distribute the appointing authority of the state board of parole among the Governor, Senate and Assembly. On and after January 1, 2017 the Parole Board shall consist of 19 members. Of such members nine shall be appointed by the governor, three shall be appointed upon recommenda- tion of the temporary president of the senate, three shall be appointed upon the recommendation of the speaker of the assembly, two shall be appointed upon the recommendation of the minority leader of the senate and two shall be appointed upon the recommendation of the minority lead- er of the assembly.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends subdivision 1 of section 259-b of the executive law, as amended by section 38a of subpart A of part C of chapter 62 of the laws of 2011, to require that the members of the board of parole be appointed by the governor, the temporary president of the senate, the speaker of the assembly, the minority leader of the senate, and the minority leader of the assembly   DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE): Under subdivision 1 of section 259-b of the executive law, the governor appoints not more than 19 members of the parole board with the advice and consent of the Senate.   JUSTIFICATION: The Executive Law mandates that in making a parole release decision, the following factors are to be considered: the institutional record includ- ing program goals and accomplishments, academic achievements, vocational Education, training or work assignments, therapy and interpersonal relationships with staff and inmates; performance, if any, as a partic- ipant in a temporary release program; release plans including community resources, employment, education and training and support services available to the inmate; and the written statement of the crime victim or the victim's representative (see Executive Law 259-i(2) (e)). This mandate, however, has been undermined by the Parole Board as a result of a shift in parole policy. In 1991, the New York State Board of Parole granted parole to 66.7 percent of the 22,604 inmates who applied when they had served their minimum sentences. Since 1995, the rate of parole has steadily declined, so that by 1999, the parole rate had dropped to 46.6 percent of those seeking parole for the first time, After, a denial, the parole board can require an inmate to wait up to two years before reapplying. The approval rates for later appearances have fallen by similar amounts.Parole has dropped most sharply for inmates convicted of violent crimes like murder, assault, race, and robbery. For these criminals, the release rate fell from 24 percent of applicants at initial interviews in 1991 to 8 per cent in 1998. For other categories of violent crimes, the drop matched the decrease for all inmates.The sharp drop in parole rates is the result of two major changes in parole laws since 1995 in an effort to get tough on crime. In 1995, a law was passed that requires all people convicted of a second violent felony to serve 85 percent of their sentences. And in 1998, Jenna's Law required that all violent felons serve 85 percent of their terms.This shift in policy away from determining parole based on an individual, case-by-case basis to an en masse denial of parole based on the original crime under- mines the purpose of parole. Parole is advantageous to the offender, to the state and to society as a whole for a number of reasons. The offen- der has the benefit of a shorter time behind bars an d a period of time under supervision to adjust to life on the outside while still having access to certain support services. Parole helps reconnect the offender with family relationships sooner; less harm is done to the family struc- ture, reducing the social cost of family break- down. There is also a reduced risk of criminal socialization which can occur in prison. It is also far less expensive for the individual to be on parole rather than behind bars. It costs approximately $32,000 a year to maintain a pris- oner. Overcrowding in prisons is also eased. The monitoring of individ- uals on parole allows a measure of control and safety for the community while permitting the parole officer to evaluate whether a parolee is adjusting successfully to life on the outside. A person with the oppor- tunity to adjust gradually to life outside prison poses less danger to society than one who walks out the prison door unprepared. Parole also plays an important role in maintaining order in correctional facilities. Correctional facilities use the enticement or good time to induce pris- oners to participate in programs and maintain good behavior while incar- cerated. Without this inducement, maintaining order in the State's over- crowded prisons would be more difficult. In order that the mandates for parole be followed, it is necessary that the Legislature have the authority to appoint members of the parole board. This legislation will give the Legislature the authority to recommend members of the Parole Board to the Governor; this will help ensure that parole policy, as established by the Legislature under the Executive Law, will be observed.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2017-18:A.5939 - Referred to Corrections 2015-16:A.9795 - Referred to Corrections   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: none   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6221 2019-2020 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY March 4, 2019 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. WALKER -- read once and referred to the Committee on Correction AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to distributing the appointing authority of the state board of parole among the governor, senate and assembly The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 259-b of the executive law, as 2 amended by section 38-a of subpart A of part C of chapter 62 of the laws 3 of 2011, is amended to read as follows: 4 1. There shall be in the department a state board of parole [ which] 5 that shall possess the powers and duties hereinafter specified. The 6 board shall function independently of the department regarding all of 7 its decision-making functions, as well as any other powers and duties 8 specified in this article, provided, however, that administrative 9 matters of general applicability within the department shall be applica- 10 ble to the board. [ Such] On and after January first, two thousand twen- 11 ty-one, such board shall consist of [ not more than] nineteen members 12 [ appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate], 13 nine of whom shall be appointed by the governor, three of whom shall be 14 appointed by the temporary president of the senate, three of whom shall 15 be appointed by the speaker of the assembly, two of whom shall be 16 appointed by the minority leader of the senate, and two of whom shall be 17 appointed by the minority leader of the assembly. The term of office of 18 each member of such board shall be for six years; provided, however, 19 that any member chosen to fill a vacancy occurring otherwise than by 20 expiration of term shall be appointed for the remainder of the unexpired 21 term of the member whom he or she is to succeed. In the event of the 22 inability to act of any member, the governor may appoint some competent 23 informed person to act in his or her stead during the continuance of 24 such disability. EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02937-01-9A. 6221 2 1 § 2. The state board of parole as constituted on the effective date of 2 this section is hereby abolished as of January 1, 2021. Members of the 3 state board of parole as constituted pursuant to the provisions of 4 subdivision 1 of section 259-b of the executive law, as amended by 5 section one of this act, shall be appointed by the appropriate state 6 official prior to January 1, 2021, so that such board may be fully oper- 7 ative on and after such date. 8 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.