State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C - Schenectady) joined his colleagues in the New York State Senate Majority Conference in introducing legislation that will strengthen the State’s Parole Laws to help restrict the release of violent felons.
"We are terribly concerned with the increasing rates of parole releases for A-l violent felons that have occurred in the past year," Senator Farley said. "This increase in releases of potentially dangerous felons, coupled with possible closings including Mt. McGregor Correction Facility in Wilton, is alarming and causes concern for the safety of our communities."
State Division of Parole data shows that A-1 violent felons appearing for the first time before the Parole Board are now being released at a rate 180 percent higher than during Governor George Pataki’s last term in office.
The legislation to be advanced in the Senate will require at least three Parole Board members to conduct parole hearings for inmates convicted of a class A felony, and require a unanimous vote for parole to be granted in these cases; require the Division of Parole to maintain a listing of inmates and their parole eligibility dates, along with other relevant data, on their website; and allow victims who did not choose to receive notice of parole hearings at the time of the inmate's conviction to elect to do so at a later date. It would also mandate that the Division of Parole must contact the local District Attorney in the county where the crime was committed, whenever an A-felon or Violent Felony Offender comes up for parole.
"I am also committed to stopping the closure of Mt. McGregor," Senator Farley said. "There is great concern the inmates housed at this facility will be released to community life in an unsupervised and non-secure environment."