senate Bill S4431A

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Alters the composition of the state board of parole

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 28, 2014 print number 4431a
amend and recommit to crime victims, crime and correction
Jan 08, 2014 referred to crime victims, crime and correction
Apr 01, 2013 referred to crime victims, crime and correction

Bill Amendments

Original
A (Active)
Original
A (Active)

Co-Sponsors

S4431 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §259-b, Exec L

S4431 - Bill Texts

view summary

Alters the composition of the state board of parole to include members who shall adequately reflect the composition of the prison population in race, age, and geographic area of residence and who are selected in consultation with the Correctional Association of New York.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S4431

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

PURPOSE:

To change the composition of the state board of parole to reflect the
prison population that it serves and to ensure professional diversity
among its members.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends subdivision 1 of section 259-b of the executive law,
to require that the members of the board of parole be appointed by the
governor, with the advice and consent of the senate and in
consultation with the Correctional Association of New York.
Additionally, there may not be more than nineteen nor less than
fifteen members on the board and the members must reflect the
composition of the prison population in race, age, and geographic area
of residence. At least one-third of all members must have a minimum of
five years previous employment experience in the areas of prison
reentry or social services.

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:

Currently the composition of the NYS prison inmate population is 49.5%
African American, 24.6% Hispanic, 23.1% White, and 2.8% Other. The
average age of an inmate is 37.5; 47.5% are from New York City and
23.9% are from Upstate Urban areas. However, the NYS Parole Board does
not reflect that population at all.

While African Americans and Latinos are overrepresented in the prison
population, they are underrepresented in most every other area of the
criminal justice system, including membership on the Parole Board.
Currently, the Board consists of a majority of Caucasian members. It
is important that the Board reflect the population it is required to
serve.

Moreover, it is important that the Board issues fair decisions. 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.


Since 1991 the percentage of prisoners released on parole has
drastically declined. 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.

In order to achieve the standard set in the Executive Law, the Parole
Board needs a diverse membership that reflects the prison population
and includes members with a background that gives them a perspective
other than law enforcement.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2012-2013 - New Bill

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.

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

                                  4431

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              April 1, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. MONTGOMERY, DILAN, GIPSON, HASSELL-THOMPSON -- 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 the composition 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 board shall consist of  not  more  than  nineteen
members AND NOT LESS THAN FIFTEEN MEMBERS appointed by the governor with
the  advice  and  consent  of  the  senate  AND IN CONSULTATION WITH THE
CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK.  IN  MAKING  APPOINTMENTS  TO  THE
BOARD,  THE  GOVERNOR  SHALL ENSURE THAT THE MEMBERSHIP SHALL ADEQUATELY
REFLECT THE COMPOSITION OF THE PRISON POPULATION IN RACE AND  ETHNICITY,
AGE, AND GEOGRAPHIC AREA OF RESIDENCE. THE PERCENTAGE OF EACH DEMOGRAPH-
IC CHARACTERISTIC OF THE MEMBERS SHALL BE DIRECTLY PROPORTIONATE TO THAT
OF  THE  PRISON  POPULATION.  ADDITIONALLY,  AT  LEAST  ONE-THIRD OF THE
MEMBERS SHALL HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY EMPLOYED IN THE  FIELDS  OF  PRISONER
REENTRY  OR SOCIAL WORK, EACH WITH A MINIMUM OF FIVE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
IN THEIR RESPECTIVE FIELDS.  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,  IN  THE MANNER SPECIFIED ABOVE, for the remainder of the

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD09336-03-3

S. 4431                             2

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  contin-
uance 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.

Co-Sponsors

S4431A (ACTIVE) - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §259-b, Exec L

S4431A (ACTIVE) - Bill Texts

view summary

Alters the composition of the state board of parole to include members who shall adequately reflect the composition of the prison population in race, age, and geographic area of residence and who are selected in consultation with the Correctional Association of New York.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S4431A

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

PURPOSE: To change the composition of the state board of parole to
reflect the prison population that it serves and to ensure
professional diversity among its members.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends subdivision 1 of section 259-b of the executive law,
to require that the members of the board of parole be appointed by the
governor, with the advice and consent of the senate and in
consultation with the Correctional Association of New York.
Additionally, there may not he more than nineteen nor less than
fifteen members on the board and the members must reflect the
composition of the prison population in race, age, and geographic area
of residence. At least one-third of all members must have a minimum of
five years previous employment experience in the areas of prison
reentry or social services.

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: Currently the composition of the NYS prison inmate
population is 49.5% African American, 24.6% Hispanic, 23.1% White, and
2.8% Other. The average age of an inmate is 37.5; 47.5% are from New
York City and 23.9% are from Upstate Urban areas. However, the NYS
Parole Board does not reflect the: copulation at all.

While African Americans and Latinos are overrepresented in the prison
population, they are underrepresented in most every other area of the
criminal justice system, including membership on the Parole Board.
Currently, the Board consists of a majority of Caucasian members. It
is important that the Board reflect the population it is required to
serve.

Moreover, it is important that the Board issues fair decisions. 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.

Since 1991 the percentage of prisoners released on parole has
drastically declined. 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.

In order to achieve the standard set in the Executive Law, the Parole
Board needs a diverse membership that reflects the prison population
and includes members with a background that gives them a perspective
other than law enforcement.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012-2013 - New Bill

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 4431--A

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              April 1, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. MONTGOMERY, DILAN, GIPSON, HASSELL-THOMPSON -- read
  twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to  the
  Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction -- recommitted to the
  Committee  on  Crime  Victims, Crime and Correction in accordance with
  Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill  amended,  ordered
  reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to the composition 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 board shall consist of  not  more  than  nineteen
members AND NOT LESS THAN FIFTEEN MEMBERS appointed by the governor with
the  advice  and  consent  of  the  senate  AND IN CONSULTATION WITH THE
CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK.  IN  MAKING  APPOINTMENTS  TO  THE
BOARD,  THE  GOVERNOR  SHALL ENSURE THAT THE MEMBERSHIP SHALL ADEQUATELY
REFLECT THE COMPOSITION OF THE PRISON POPULATION IN RACE AND  ETHNICITY,
AGE, AND GEOGRAPHIC AREA OF RESIDENCE. THE PERCENTAGE OF EACH DEMOGRAPH-
IC CHARACTERISTIC OF THE MEMBERS SHALL BE DIRECTLY PROPORTIONATE TO THAT
OF  THE  PRISON  POPULATION.  ADDITIONALLY,  AT  LEAST  ONE-THIRD OF THE
MEMBERS SHALL HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY EMPLOYED IN THE  FIELDS  OF  PRISONER
REENTRY  OR SOCIAL WORK, EACH WITH A MINIMUM OF FIVE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
IN THEIR RESPECTIVE FIELDS.  The term of office of each member  of  such

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD09336-05-4

S. 4431--A                          2

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,  IN  THE MANNER SPECIFIED ABOVE, 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 contin-
uance 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, 2015. 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, 2015, 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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