PAROLE IN NY
BROKEN, COSTLY, AND UNJUST
Parole in America is a correctional practice born in New York.
Despite having more experience in the administration of parole than any other state, New York lags far behind others in the fairness of this system. The state’s parole system suffers from chronic understaffing and a lack of transparency and expediency – leading to worthy candidates for release languishing behind bars. Furthermore, New York aggressively re-incarcerates people on parole for technical violations, such as missing curfew or appointments with their parole officer – with no benefit to public safety.
Despite the recent decline in prison and jail populations, New York State’s parole system remains a key driver of over-incarceration and wasteful correctional spending, in addition to exacerbating socioeconomic and racial inequities that plague the criminal justice system.
We believe the time for change is now.
A Broken Parole Revocation Process
Black and Latinx New Yorkers are placed under supervision at a rate 6.8 and 2.5 times higher than that of White New Yorkers, respectively – significantly higher than that of the national average.
New York must move away from this harmful approach to parole and community reintegration to drive down crime and recidivism. To that end, New Yorkers United for Justice has adopted the following five core principles for parole reform in New York:
- Expand and streamline the parole process;
- Provide more due process to individuals within the parole system;
- Adopt non-carceral responses to noncriminal violations of parole;
- Establish a more comprehensive and rehabilitative approach to community supervision; and,
- Continue to explore and expand evidence-based mechanisms for decarceration.
Parole In New York: Broken, Costly, and Unjust
New York State’s parole system remains a key driver of over-incarceration and requires significant changes through legislative action. Read our guide on how New York’s parole system works and why it’s in desperate need of change.
Principles for Parole Reform
Policymakers must prioritize the reformation and reimagining of parole in New York. To guide their efforts, NYUJ coalition members developed five principles that will ensure a more fair, just, and effective system of parole.
Parole In New York: How To Improve Criminal Justice and Save the State Money
New York spends an estimated $600 million annually on wasteful incarceration for noncriminal violations of parole. Read our break-down on how the parole system is a major driver of wasteful public spending.
In recent years, a growing number of states across the country—both red and blue—have enacted various parole reforms that have led to positive results, including reduced costs and prison populations.
Cost of Technical Violations of Parole
New York State spends approximately $359 million incarcerating people returned to state prison for technical parole violations. Localities across the state spend nearly $300 million incarcerating these individuals accused of alleged parole violations while they await disposition of the charges. The following cost analysis from New Yorkers United for Justice’s (NYUJ) shows the local costs of incarcerating people for technical violations in New York State.
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