senate Bill S103

Amended

Alters the composition of the state board of parole

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 05 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION
  • 21 / Feb / 2012
    • NOTICE OF COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION - REQUESTED
  • 02 / Mar / 2012
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION
  • 02 / Mar / 2012
    • PRINT NUMBER 103A
  • 07 / Mar / 2012
    • DEFEATED IN CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION

Summary

Alters the composition of the state board of parole to include members to be appointed upon the recommendation of the four legislative leaders.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S103
S103A
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Crime Victims, Crime And Correction
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §259-b, Exec L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: S1268A
2007-2008: S2014

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S103

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the executive law, in relation to altering the membership of
the state board of parole

PURPOSE:
To distribute the appointing authority of the state board of parole
among the Governor, Senate and Assembly. On and after January 1,2012
the Parole Board shall consist of 19 members. Of such members nine
shall be appointed by the governor, three shall be appointed upon
recommendation 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 leader of the assembly.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends subdivision 1 of section 259-b of the executive law,
as amended by chapter 123 of the laws of 1987.

EXISTING LAW:
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
including 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 participant 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, rape and robbery. For these criminals,
the release rate fell from 24 percent of applicants at initial
interviews in 1991 to 8 percent 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 undermines 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 offender has the benefit of a shorter
time behind bars and 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 structure,
reducing the social cost of family breakdown. 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
prisoner. Overcrowding in prisons is also eased. The monitoring of
individuals 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 opportunity 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
of good time to induce prisoners to participate in programs and
maintain good behavior while incarcerated. without this inducement,
maintaining order in the State's overcrowded 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.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2001-2002: S.2549-A Died in Committee
2003-2004: S.1633 Died in Committee
2005-2006: S.1565 Died in Committee
2007-2008: S.2013 Died in Committee
2009-2010: S.1268-A Died in Committee

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   103

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  MONTGOMERY, DIAZ, DILAN, DUANE, HASSELL-THOMPSON,
  KRUEGER, PARKER, STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and  when
  printed  to  be committed to the Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and
  Correction

AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to altering  the  member-
  ship of the state board of parole

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 259-b of  the  executive  law,  as
amended  by  chapter  123  of  the  laws  of 1987, is amended to read as
follows:
  1. There shall be in the state division of parole  a  state  board  of
parole  [which]  THAT  shall  possess  the powers and duties hereinafter
specified. [Such] ON AND AFTER JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND TWELVE,  SUCH
board  shall  consist  of [not more than] nineteen members [appointed by
the governor with the advice and consent of the senate],  NINE  OF  WHOM
SHALL  BE APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR, THREE OF WHOM SHALL BE APPOINTED BY
THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, THREE OF WHOM SHALL BE  APPOINTED
BY  THE  SPEAKER  OF THE ASSEMBLY, TWO OF WHOM SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE
MINORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE, AND TWO OF WHOM SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE
MINORITY LEADER OF THE ASSEMBLY.  The term of office of each  member  of
such  board  shall  be for six years; provided, however, that any member
chosen to fill a vacancy occurring otherwise than by expiration of  term
shall be appointed for the remainder of the unexpired term of the member
whom  he  OR  SHE is to succeed. In the event of the inability to act of
any member, the governor may appoint some competent informed  person  to
act in his OR HER stead during the continuance of such disability.
  S 2. The state board of parole as constituted on the effective date of
this  section  is hereby abolished as of January 1, 2012. Members of the
state board of parole as  constituted  pursuant  to  the  provisions  of

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01513-01-1

S. 103                              2

subdivision  1  of  section  259-b  of  the executive law, as amended by
section one of this act, shall be appointed  by  the  appropriate  state
official prior to January 1, 2012, so that such board may be fully oper-
ative on and after such date.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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