|SAME AS||SAME AS S08346|
|COSPNSR||Sepulveda, Taylor, Gottfried, Epstein|
|Amd §259-i, Exec L|
|Requires the state board of parole to find that an inmate presents an unreasonable current public safety risk to deny discretionary release to parole and provides that if parole is denied that release shall be presumed at subsequent hearings absent a preponderance of evidence that an inmate presents an unreasonable public safety risk.|
|05/01/2017||referred to correction|
|06/06/2017||reported referred to codes|
|01/03/2018||referred to codes|
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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: A7546 SPONSOR: Weprin
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to findings of the state board of parole necessary for discretionary release of inmates on parole   PURPOSE: Provides that the Board of Parole shall release inmates upon completion of their minimum terms of incarceration unless doing so presents an unreasonable public safety risk or the inmate is unlikely to live with- out violating the law.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends Executive Law § 259-i (2)(c)(A). Section 2 provides an effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: When making a decision about whether to release an inmate to community supervision, the Board of Parole is currently required to take into account the inmate's likelihood of committing future crimes upon release and to determine whether or not an inmate's release will deprecate the seriousness of the crime. In practice, the Board does not often release an inmate on his or her first appearance if the underlying crime was violent, even it if it took place more than 25 years prior to the board appearance and the inmate has a low risk of reoffending. Current law also makes the board susceptible to political pressure to deny parole to inmates with high profile crimes even if they are thoroughly rehabili- tated with excellent prison records because such a release could be considered by advocacy groups to "deprecate the seriousness of his crime." In 2015, only 17% of inmates were released upon their first board appearances, and only 20% on subsequent appearances. The Board's failure to grant parole to low risk inmates results in expensive, prolonged, unnecessary incarceration of middle aged and older inmates who have a very low probability of recidivism and who are very expensive to incarcerate because of high medical costs. This bill would require the board to release people to community super- vision when their minimum period of incarceration has been served unless there is a clearly articulated current public safety reason to keep them in prison. On subsequent board appearances, there would be a presumption of release unless the board determines by a preponderance of evidence that an inmate is unlikely to live without violating the law and that his or her release poses an unreasonable public safety risk.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: This bill will save the state approximately $60,000 per year for every inmate who is released upon the completion of his or her minimum sentence but who would have been kept in prison under current law. It has no costs associated with it.   LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7546 2017-2018 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY May 1, 2017 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. WEPRIN -- read once and referred to the Committee on Correction AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to findings of the state board of parole necessary for discretionary release of inmates on parole The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. Subparagraph (A) of paragraph (c) of subdivision 2 of 2 section 259-i of the executive law, as amended by chapter 130 of the 3 laws of 2016, is amended to read as follows: 4 (A) Discretionary release on parole shall [ not] be granted [ merely as5 a reward for good conduct or efficient performance of duties while6 confined but after considering if] upon completion of the minimum term 7 of incarceration imposed by the sentencing court if the board finds 8 there is a reasonable probability that, if such inmate is released, he 9 or she will live and remain at liberty without violating the law, and 10 that his or her release [ is not incompatible with the welfare of society11 and will not so deprecate the seriousness of his crime as to undermine12 respect for law] does not present an unreasonable current public safety 13 risk. If discretionary release to parole is not granted at the inmate's 14 initial parole board appearance, there shall be a presumption of release 15 at any subsequent board appearance absent a preponderance of evidence 16 that the inmate is unlikely to live without violating the law and that 17 his or her release presents an unreasonable current public safety risk. 18 In making the parole release decision, the procedures adopted pursuant 19 to subdivision four of section two hundred fifty-nine-c of this article 20 shall require that the following be considered: (i) the institutional 21 record including program goals and accomplishments, academic achieve- 22 ments, vocational education, training or work assignments, therapy and 23 interactions with staff and inmates; (ii) performance, if any, as a 24 participant in a temporary release program; (iii) release plans includ- EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11255-01-7A. 7546 2 1 ing community resources, employment, education and training and support 2 services available to the inmate; (iv) any deportation order issued by 3 the federal government against the inmate while in the custody of the 4 department and any recommendation regarding deportation made by the 5 commissioner of the department pursuant to section one hundred forty- 6 seven of the correction law; (v) any current or prior statement made to 7 the board by the crime victim or the victim's representative, where the 8 crime victim is deceased or is mentally or physically incapacitated; 9 (vi) the length of the determinate sentence to which the inmate would be 10 subject had he or she received a sentence pursuant to section 70.70 or 11 section 70.71 of the penal law for a felony defined in article two 12 hundred twenty or article two hundred twenty-one of the penal law; (vii) 13 the seriousness of the offense with due consideration to the type of 14 sentence, length of sentence and recommendations of the sentencing 15 court, the district attorney, the attorney for the inmate, the pre-sen- 16 tence probation report as well as consideration of any mitigating and 17 aggravating factors, and activities following arrest prior to confine- 18 ment; [ and] (viii) prior criminal record, including the nature and 19 pattern of offenses, adjustment to any previous probation or parole 20 supervision and institutional confinement; and (ix) all evidence of 21 rehabilitation and reform. The board shall provide toll free telephone 22 access for crime victims. In the case of an oral statement made in 23 accordance with subdivision one of section 440.50 of the criminal proce- 24 dure law, the parole board member shall present a written report of the 25 statement to the parole board. A crime victim's representative shall 26 mean the crime victim's closest surviving relative, the committee or 27 guardian of such person, or the legal representative of any such person. 28 Such statement submitted by the victim or victim's representative may 29 include information concerning threatening or intimidating conduct 30 toward the victim, the victim's representative, or the victim's family, 31 made by the person sentenced and occurring after the sentencing. Such 32 information may include, but need not be limited to, the threatening or 33 intimidating conduct of any other person who or which is directed by the 34 person sentenced. Any statement by a victim or the victim's represen- 35 tative made to the board shall be maintained by the department in the 36 file provided to the board when interviewing the inmate in consideration 37 of release. A victim or victim's representative who has submitted a 38 written request to the department for the transcript of such interview 39 shall be provided such transcript as soon as it becomes available. 40 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.