A01909 Summary:

COSPNSRBlake, Weprin
Amd §§259-c, 259-e & 259-i, Exec L
Requires the use of risk and needs assessments in parole decisions; provides a process permitting inmates to correct verifiable factual mistakes or errors in their risk and needs assessments or other non-confidential documents given the board prior to their appearances.
Go to top    

A01909 Actions:

01/13/2017referred to correction
03/22/2017reported referred to codes
04/04/2017reported referred to rules
04/24/2017rules report cal.48
04/24/2017ordered to third reading rules cal.48
01/03/2018ordered to third reading cal.145
03/28/2018amended on third reading 1909a
Go to top

A01909 Committee Votes:

CORRECTION Chair:Weprin DATE:03/22/2017AYE/NAY:10/3 Action: Favorable refer to committee Codes
De La RosaAye

CODES Chair:Lentol DATE:04/04/2017AYE/NAY:15/6 Action: Favorable refer to committee Rules

RULES Chair:Heastie DATE:04/24/2017AYE/NAY:28/0 Action: Favorable

Go to top

A01909 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
Go to top

A01909 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: O'Donnell
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to the use of risk and needs principles in parole decisions   PURPOSE: To clarify the role of risk and needs assessments in parole release decisions   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends Executive Laws 259-c(4). Section 2 amends Executive Law § 259-e by adding new subdivisions 2 and 3. Section 3 amends Executive Law § 259-I (2)(c)(a). Section 4 provides an effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: In 2011, the Legislature amended section 259-c(4) of the Executive Law to mandate that the Board of Parole incorporate risk and needs assess- ments into their parole release decisions. It was the stated intention of the Legislature that the Board should use objective risk and needs principles in determining whether an inmate is rehabilitated and safe to release. In spite of this clear mandate, the Board decided the change in the law had no effect on their decision-making practices and declined to write new rules. When, after almost three years of pressure from advoca- cy groups and several law suits, the Board finally decided to promulgate formal rules pertaining to the use of risk and needs assessments, it added the assessments as an eleventh factor for consideration in parole release rather than an underlying principle to be incorporated through- out the decision-making process as required by the change in law. The rules were insufficient to satisfy the legislative intent or the letter of the law, and reflected a deep unwillingness on the Board's part to change the way it operates. In order to make it clear to the Board that the Legislature wants an objective assessment of risk to underlie all parole decisions, and to specify that they must consider the case plans and validated risk assessment instruments administered by the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, this bill provides that risk and needs principles "shall" be used by the Board as the basis for their determination as to whether or not an inmate can safely be released. It also provides that the Board may override such risk assessment but must explain its reasons for doing so. The bill further specifies that the Board must promulgate rules and regulations reflecting this change in the law. Additionally, the bill adds a new subdivision to Executive Law § 259-e to provide a process permitting inmates to correct verifiable factual mistakes or errors in their risk and needs assessments or other non-con- fidential documents given the Board prior to their appearances.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Referred to Correction in 2016. Advanced to Third Reading in 2016.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None   LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
Go to top

A01909 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                                                                Cal. No. 145
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 13, 2017
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  O'DONNELL,  BLAKE,  WEPRIN  -- read once and
          referred to the Committee on Correction -- ordered to a third reading,
          amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place  on  the  order  of
          third reading

        AN  ACT  to  amend the executive law, in relation to the use of risk and
          needs principles in parole decisions
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  Subdivision  4  of section 259-c of the executive law, as
     2  amended by section 38-b of subpart A of part C of chapter 62 of the laws
     3  of 2011, is amended to read as follows:
     4    4. establish written procedures for its use in making parole decisions
     5  as required by law. Such written procedures shall incorporate  risk  and
     6  needs  principles  to  measure  the  rehabilitation of persons appearing
     7  before the board,  the  likelihood  of  success  of  such  persons  upon
     8  release,  and  [assist]  shall  be used by members of the state board of
     9  parole in determining which inmates may be  released  to  parole  super-
    10  vision.  Such  principles  shall  provide the basis upon which the board
    11  shall determine if there is  a  reasonable  probability  that,  if  such
    12  inmate  is  released,  he or she will live and remain at liberty without
    13  violating the law. Procedures which incorporate risk and  needs  princi-
    14  ples  shall  include,  but  shall  not  be  limited to, a risk and needs
    15  assessment prepared pursuant  to  section  one  hundred  twelve  of  the
    16  correction  law  or other validated risk and needs assessment instrument
    17  adopted by the board to determine whether or not an inmate is likely  to
    18  re-offend  upon release from incarceration.  Such risk and needs assess-
    19  ment shall comprise presumptive evidence of the inmate's risk of  re-of-
    20  fense.  Should  the board choose to override such risk and needs assess-
    21  ment in deciding whether or not  an  inmate  will  live  and  remain  at
    22  liberty without violating the law, its decision must provide a detailed,
    23  individualized and nonconclusory statement as to its reasons for depart-
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 1909--A                          2
     1  ing  from  the risk and needs assessment findings which shall be subject
     2  to judicial review. Such override decision shall not be based solely  on
     3  information  relating  to  the instant offense and/or the pre-sentencing
     4  report for such offense. Pursuant to subdivision eleven of this section,
     5  the  board  shall amend the rules and regulations for the conduct of its
     6  work to reflect the procedures established by this subdivision;
     7    § 2. Section 259-e of the executive law, as amended by chapter 473  of
     8  the laws of 2016, is amended to read as follows:
     9    §  259-e.  Institutional  parole  services.  1.  The  department shall
    10  provide institutional parole services. Such services shall include prep-
    11  aration of risk and needs assessments, reports and other  data  required
    12  by  the  state  board  of  parole  in the exercise of its functions with
    13  respect to release on presumptive release, parole,  conditional  release
    14  or  post-release  supervision  of  inmates. Additionally, the department
    15  shall determine which inmates are in need of a deaf language interpreter
    16  or an English language interpreter, and shall inform the board  of  such
    17  need  within  a reasonable period of time prior to an inmate's scheduled
    18  appearance before the board. Employees of  the  department  who  collect
    19  data,  interview  inmates  and  prepare  reports  for the state board of
    20  parole in institutions under the jurisdiction of  the  department  shall
    21  work  under  the  direct  supervision  of the deputy commissioner of the
    22  department in charge of program services. Data and reports submitted  to
    23  the  board  shall  address the statutory factors to be considered by the
    24  board pursuant to the relevant provisions of section two hundred  fifty-
    25  nine-i of this article.
    26    2.  Two  months prior to a parole board appearance, an inmate shall be
    27  permitted to review his or her risk and needs  assessment,  reports  and
    28  any  other  non-confidential documents to be given to the board with the
    29  department employee charged with preparing such assessment, reports  and
    30  documents,  and  may  ask  for  any  such assessment, report or document
    31  prepared by the department  to  be  corrected  if  it  contains  factual
    32  mistakes  or  other  errors. The department shall immediately review the
    33  inmate's records and any evidence offered in  support  of  the  inmate's
    34  contention  that there is a factual mistake or other error in his or her
    35  records.  Upon confirmation that such mistake or error  has  been  made,
    36  the  department shall immediately correct such mistake or error prior to
    37  submitting such assessment, record or document  to  the  board.  If  the
    38  department  decides  not  to  correct  an  alleged mistake or error, the
    39  inmate shall be notified of his or her right to  submit  evidence  about
    40  any uncorrected mistake or uncorrected error to the board and may appeal
    41  the  decision  within  fifteen  days of the department's decision not to
    42  correct the mistake or error. The commissioner  shall  decide  any  such
    43  appeal  within  thirty  days of receipt of the appeal, but no later than
    44  two weeks before an inmate's  scheduled  appearance  before  the  parole
    45  board.
    46    3.  If  a  substantial  mistake  or error exists in the risk and needs
    47  assessment or in other reports or documents provided to  the  board  for
    48  use  at a parole interview and the inmate is subsequently denied parole,
    49  the inmate shall be given a de novo parole interview within  two  months
    50  of  the  discovery  of  such  mistake or error. A substantial mistake or
    51  error for the purposes of this subdivision is any mistake or error  that
    52  worsens  the inmate's overall score on his or her risk and needs assess-
    53  ment.
    54    § 3. Subparagraph (A) of paragraph (c) of  subdivision  2  of  section
    55  259-i  of  the  executive  law, as amended by chapter 130 of the laws of
    56  2016, is amended to read as follows:

        A. 1909--A                          3
     1    (A) Discretionary release on parole shall not be granted merely  as  a
     2  reward  for  good  conduct  or  efficient  performance  of  duties while
     3  confined but after considering if  there  is  a  reasonable  probability
     4  that,  if  such  inmate  is  released, he or she will live and remain at
     5  liberty  without  violating  the law, and that his or her release is not
     6  incompatible with the welfare of society and will not so  deprecate  the
     7  seriousness  of  his  or  her  crime as to undermine respect for law. In
     8  making the parole release decision,  the  procedures,  rules  and  regu-
     9  lations  incorporating  risk  and  needs  principles adopted pursuant to
    10  subdivision four of section two hundred  fifty-nine-c  of  this  article
    11  shall require that the following be considered if not already taken into
    12  account  by  the risk and needs assessment: (i) the institutional record
    13  including program  goals  and  accomplishments,  academic  achievements,
    14  vocational  education,  training or work assignments, therapy and inter-
    15  actions with staff and inmates; (ii) performance, if any, as  a  partic-
    16  ipant  in  a  temporary  release  program; (iii) release plans including
    17  community resources, employment,  education  and  training  and  support
    18  services  available  to the inmate; (iv) any deportation order issued by
    19  the federal government against the inmate while in the  custody  of  the
    20  department  and  any  recommendation  regarding  deportation made by the
    21  commissioner of the department pursuant to section  one  hundred  forty-
    22  seven  of the correction law; (v) any current or prior statement made to
    23  the board by the crime victim or the victim's representative, where  the
    24  crime  victim  is  deceased  or is mentally or physically incapacitated;
    25  (vi) the length of the determinate sentence to which the inmate would be
    26  subject had he or she received a sentence pursuant to section  70.70  or
    27  section  70.71  of  the  penal  law  for a felony defined in article two
    28  hundred twenty or article two hundred twenty-one of the penal law; (vii)
    29  the seriousness of the offense with due consideration  to  the  type  of
    30  sentence,  length  of  sentence  and  recommendations  of the sentencing
    31  court, the district attorney, the attorney for the inmate, the  pre-sen-
    32  tence  probation  report  as well as consideration of any mitigating and
    33  aggravating factors, and activities following arrest prior  to  confine-
    34  ment; and (viii) prior criminal record, including the nature and pattern
    35  of  offenses, adjustment to any previous probation or parole supervision
    36  and institutional confinement. The board shall provide toll  free  tele-
    37  phone access for crime victims. In the case of an oral statement made in
    38  accordance with subdivision one of section 440.50 of the criminal proce-
    39  dure  law, the parole board member shall present a written report of the
    40  statement to the parole board. A  crime  victim's  representative  shall
    41  mean  the  crime  victim's  closest surviving relative, the committee or
    42  guardian of such person, or the legal representative of any such person.
    43  Such statement submitted by the victim or  victim's  representative  may
    44  include  information  concerning  threatening  or  intimidating  conduct
    45  toward the victim, the victim's representative, or the victim's  family,
    46  made  by  the  person sentenced and occurring after the sentencing. Such
    47  information may include, but need not be limited to, the threatening  or
    48  intimidating conduct of any other person who or which is directed by the
    49  person  sentenced.  Any  statement by a victim or the victim's represen-
    50  tative made to the board shall be maintained by the  department  in  the
    51  file provided to the board when interviewing the inmate in consideration
    52  of  release.  A  victim  or  victim's representative who has submitted a
    53  written request to the department for the transcript of  such  interview
    54  shall be provided such transcript as soon as it becomes available.
    55    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
Go to top