New Yorkers United for Justice Calls for Immediate Parole Reform in New York State

New Yorkers United for Justice Calls for Immediate Parole Reform in New York State

Coalition of criminal justice advocates highlight new county-by-county cost analysis of incarcerating people for technical violations that shows millions of wasted taxpayer dollars

ALBANY, NY—New Yorkers United for Justice (NYUJ)—a bipartisan criminal justice coalition of 14 national and local organizations—today held a press conference calling for the state legislature to pass parole reform in New York and highlighted a new county-by-county cost analysis of incarcerating people in jails and correctional facilities for alleged technical violations.

Representatives from NYUJ and the coalition’s member organizations highlighted both the fiscal and human impact of a broken, wasteful parole system that unfairly reincarcerates for noncriminal technical violations (e.g., missing a curfew, being late to an appointment, not being able to secure employment) and disproportionately impacts New Yorkers of color.

Participants in the press conference included Alexander Horwitz, NYUJ Executive Director; Khalil A. Cumberbatch, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Council on Criminal Justice; Norman Reimer, Executive Director of National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Erin Haney, National Policy Director at REFORM Alliance; and Jerika Richardson, SVP of Equitable Justice at The National Urban League. 

It is estimated that New York State spends approximately $683 million of taxpayer dollars annually incarcerating people for a technical violation of their parole. In addition, the state spends $319 million annually incarcerating people returned to state prison for technical parole violations, while localities spend a combined total of nearly $91 million incarcerating individuals accused of alleged parole violations while they await disposition of the charges.

“Every stage of New York State’s parole system is incredibly costly, both economically and in terms of human lives,” said Alexander Horwitz, Executive Director of NYUJ. “Not only does the state’s parole system waste hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars for the sake of unnecessary punishment, it routinely upends lives and families with no benefit to public safety or the well-being of justice-involved individuals. We urge lawmakers in Albany to prioritize system-wide parole reform this year and help put an end to this vicious, costly, discriminatory cycle of reincarceration.”

The below table from NYUJ’s cost analysis shows the estimated cost to New York counties and New York City in 2019. These estimates were produced using 2019 average daily counts for each county as reported by the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services[i] and an estimated annual cost of incarceration in New York City and each New York County as reported by the Vera Institute of Justice.[ii]

Facility

Annual Average Daily Count of Alleged Parole Violators

Annual Cost of Incarceration 

Annual Cost of Incarcerating People for Alleged Technical Violation 

New York City Jails

738

$337,524

$ 249,092,712.00 

Albany County Jail

44

$83,703

 $ 3,682,932.00 

Allegany County Jail

1

$72,967

 $ 72,967.00 

Broome County Jail 

13

$62,792

 $ 816,296.00 

Cattaraugus County Jail

9

$56,211

 $ 505,899.00 

Cayuga County Jail

8

$68,746

 $ 549,968.00 

Chautauqua County Jail

15

$49,991

 $ 749,865.00 

Chemung County Jail

11

$70,285

 $ 773,135.00 

Chenango County Jail

3

$81,315

 $ 243,945.00 

Clinton County Jail

15

$58,526

 $ 877,890.00 

Columbia County Jail

6

$66,734

 $ 400,404.00 

Cortland County Jail

4

$95,493

 $ 381,972.00 

Delaware County Jail

3

$82,288

 $ 246,864.00 

Dutchess County Jail

18

$96,574

 $ 1,738,332.00 

Erie County Correctional Facility 

50

$113,073

 $ 5,653,650.00 

Erie County Jail

38

$113,073

 $ 4,296,774.00 

Essex County Jail

2

$80,019

 $ 160,038.00 

Franklin County Jail

6

$81,620

 $ 489,720.00 

Fulton County Jail 

8

$75,472

 $ 603,776.00 

Genesee County Jail

7

$50,789

 $ 355,523.00 

Greene County Jail

0

$116,946

 $     –   

Hamilton County Jail

0

$215,939

 $     –   

Herkimer County Jail

2

$579,349

 $ 1,158,698.00 

Jefferson County Jail

12

$59,489

 $  713,868.00 

Lewis County Jail

5

$67,793

 $  338,965.00 

Livingston County Jail

8

$57,531

 $  460,248.00 

Madison County Jail

6

$71,760

 $  430,560.00 

Monroe County Correctional Facility 

0

$79,896

 $    –   

Monroe County Jail

156

$79,896

 $  12,463,776.00 

Montgomery County Jail

6

$41,079

 $ 246,474.00 

Nassau County Correctional Facility

34

$207,477

 $ 7,054,218.00 

Niagara County Jail

14

$57,847

 $ 809,858.00 

Oneida County Jail

35

$68,278

 $ 2,389,730.00 

Onondaga County Correctional Facility

62

$90,628

 $ 5,618,936.00 

Onondaga County Jail

15

$90,628

 $ 1,359,420.00 

Ontario County Jail

17

$98,207

 $ 1,669,519.00 

Orange County Jail

37

$84,852

 $ 3,139,524.00 

Orleans County jail

6

$57,716

 $  346,296.00 

Oswego County Jail

19

$52,908

 $ 1,005,252.00 

Otsego County Jail

4

$87,267

 $ 349,068.00 

Putnam County Jail

2

$171,341

 $  342,682.00 

Rensselaer County Jail

28

$75,399

 $ 2,111,172.00 

Rockland County Jail

10

$252,238

 $ 2,522,380.00 

Saratoga County Jail

19

$63,123

 $ 1,199,337.00 

Schenectady County Jail

28

76,380

 $ 2,138,640.00 

Schoharie County Jail

0

91,829

 $    –   

Schuyler County

2

105,685

 $ 211,370.00 

Seneca County 

4

89,766

 $ 359,064.00 

St. Lawrence County Jail

7

63,951

 $ 447,657.00 

Steuben County Jail

10

58,306

 $ 583,060.00 

Suffolk County CF Riverhead

28

126,596

 $ 3,544,688.00 

Suffolk County CF Yaphank

28

126,596

 $ 3,544,688.00 

Sullivan County Jail

16

96,670

 $ 1,546,720.00 

Tioga County Jail

3

86,932

 $ 260,796.00 

Tompkins County Jail

6

92,802

 $ 556,812.00 

Ulster County Jail

17

106,964

 $ 1,818,388.00 

Warren County Jail

10

96,196

 $ 961,960.00 

Washington County Jail

11

93,059

 $ 1,023,649.00 

Wayne County Jail

7

120,280

 $ 841,960.00 

Westchester Annex

1

141,802

 $ 141,802.00 

Westchester Jail

23

141,802

 $ 3,261,446.00 

Westchester County Penitentiary 

9

141,802

 $ 1,276,218.00 

Wyoming County Jail

2

109,953

 $ 219,906.00 

Yates County Jail

2

88,082

 $ 176,164.00 

[i] “New York State Jail Populations 10-year Trends: 2010 – 2019,” New York Division of Criminal Justice Services, February 2020. https://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/crimnet/ojsa/jail_pop_y.pdf

[ii] Lauren Jones, Sandra van de Heuvel, and Amanda Lawson, “The Cost of Incarceration in New York State,” The Vera Institute of Justice, January 2021. https://www.vera.org/downloads/publications/the-cost-of-incarceration-in-new-york-state.pdf – list of county-specific costs found here: https://www.vera.org/the-cost-of-incarceration-in-new-york-state

About New Yorkers United for Justice (NYUJ)

New Yorkers United for Justice is a statewide coalition of local and national non-profit organizations committed to supporting a movement that will bring much-needed criminal justice reform to New York State and ensure that policies promote safety and fairness. NYUJ aims for legislative urgency to fix a broken criminal justice system that punishes the poor and communities of color, tears families apart, and makes New Yorkers less safe. NYUJ believes that a system that ensures equal access to justice for anyone accused in New York State, regardless of age, race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin or religion, must be the standard.