senate Bill S1330

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

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION
  • 29 / Jan / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION
  • 29 / Jan / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 1330A

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:
S1330
S1330A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
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:
2011-2012: S103A
2009-2010: S1268A
2007-2008: S2014

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1330

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 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.

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.2549A 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.1268E Died in Committee
2011-2012: S.103-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
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1330

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. MONTGOMERY, DIAZ, DILAN, 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 section 38-a of subpart A of part C of chapter 62 of the laws
of 2011, is amended to read as follows:
  1.  There  shall  be in the department a state board of parole [which]
THAT shall possess the powers  and  duties  hereinafter  specified.  The
board  shall  function  independently of the department regarding all of
its decision-making functions, as well as any other  powers  and  duties
specified  in  this  article,  provided,  however,  that  administrative
matters of general applicability within the department shall be applica-
ble to the board. [Such] ON AND AFTER JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND  FOUR-
TEEN,  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

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03893-01-3

S. 1330                             2

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, 2014. Members of the
state board of parole as  constituted  pursuant  to  the  provisions  of
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, 2014, 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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