Sue Serino

June 02, 2021

ALBANY, NY – Senator Sue Serino this week joined her colleagues at a press conference in the Capitol to introduce a ‘Parole Reform’ legislative package, which aims to better protect crime victims by fixing the state’s broken Parole Board and keeping violent criminals behind bars.

The push comes as the Legislature’s Supermajority in contrast considers proposals like ‘Elder Parole’ that could prematurely release some of New York’s most dangerous criminals, including infamous serial killers like the ‘Son of Sam’ and others.

“From bail reform to HALT, the Legislature’s Supermajority continues to prioritize criminals over law-abiding citizens and the law enforcement dedicated to keeping us safe,” said Senator Serino. “These policies were followed by an uptick in crime in major cities across the state—a trend we must come together to reverse immediately. We cannot effectively rebuild in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic without first guaranteeing basic safety to our residents, and that starts by passing the proposals we put forth this week and rolling back the dramatic and dangerous changes that have made all of our communities less safe these past few years.”

The Parole Reform Package brought forth by Serino and her conference today include measures that would:

·      give victims a greater voice in the parole process (S.2046S.2261S.2663);

·      reform the Parole Board’s membership (S.3716);

·      increase transparency in the process by requiring the release of a record of each parole release interview and hearing (S.4649);

·      increase time for reconsideration for parole for a violent felony offense (S.5175);

·      authorize the board of parole to require a violent felony offender to serve their maximum term, if release would pose an imminent threat to society (S.4197 ); and

·      require unanimous agreement by the parole board to actually release an inmate on parole (S.6249).

According to the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York, since 2017, the state Parole Board has released at least 20 cop-killers. Under the proposals being considered by the Supermajority, some of New York’s most dangerous criminals could automatically be eligible for parole, regardless of the severity of the crime or prior sentencing.