New York State criminal justice reform advocates have called on officials to address what they call a “crisis” in the state’s parole system.
Carol Shapiro, a former NYS Parole Board commissioner, says the state legislature needs to pass two bills, one being the “Fair and Timely Parole” bill sponsored by Sen. Julia Salazar and Assemblymember Davis Weprin. The other is the “Elder Parole” bill sponsored by Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Carmen De La Rosa.
The Fair and Timely parole bill would allow the state to release a person once their minimum sentence is met, provided they are not a risk to public safety. The elder parole bill would allow more leeway in terms of releasing older incarcerated people, according to the New York State of Politics blog.
Shapiro argues that parole reforms are a separate issue compared to bail law changes, which have been heavily criticized by law enforcement, because parole reforms deal with issues on the back end.
New York’s incarcerated population consists largely of people of color. Proponents of parole reform argue that these bills could address issues of racial bias within the system. For now, it is a waiting game as both bills are still being discussed in committee.
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