Senate committee considers bills that would end 'death by incarceration'

Raga Justin

Originally published in Times Union

Legislators on that committee are considering a pair of parole reform bills that would end "death by incarceration," as advocates for elderly people in prison have deemed decades-long sentences with limited chances for release. Advocates view it as a necessary back-end fix to New York’s incarceration system that would have outsized effects on Black and Hispanic inmate population, especially people who were convicted decades ago. One bill, sponsored by Manhattan Democrat state Sen. Brad Hoylman would grant inmates aged 55 and older who have served at least 15 years in prison an automatic parole board interview. The other, sponsored by Brooklyn Democrat Sen. Julia Salazar, would require the parole board to release people when their minimum sentence is served unless there is a "clearly articulated" risk to public safety.