New York State Division of Parole

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New York State Division of Parole
Common nameNew York State Parole
NY - State Parole.png
Logo of the New York State Division of Parole.
Agency overview
Legal personalityGovernmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction*State of New York, USA
Size54,556 square miles (141,300 km2)
Population19.4 Million
Legal jurisdictionNew York
General nature
Operational structure
HeadquartersAlbany, New York
Website
NYS Parole website
Footnotes
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.
 
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New York State Division of Parole
Common nameNew York State Parole
NY - State Parole.png
Logo of the New York State Division of Parole.
Agency overview
Legal personalityGovernmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction*State of New York, USA
Size54,556 square miles (141,300 km2)
Population19.4 Million
Legal jurisdictionNew York
General nature
Operational structure
HeadquartersAlbany, New York
Website
NYS Parole website
Footnotes
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The New York State Division of Parole is the division of the government of New York responsible for parole.

In criminal justice systems, parole is the supervised release of a prisoner before the completion of his/her sentence. This differs from amnesty or commutation of sentence in that parolees are still considered to be serving their sentences, and may be returned to prison if they violate the conditions of their parole. Conditions of parole often include things such as obeying the law, reporting all encounters with police officers, refraining from drug and alcohol use, avoiding contact with the parolee's victims, obtaining employment, and maintaining required contacts with a parole officer.

Functions[edit]

Parole Officers[edit]

Public safety and community protection are best ensured when offenders who are returning to the community are aided, assisted and supervised by a professional parole officer. Parole officers work to develop a supervision plan for each releasee. They also assess and evaluate the adequacy of each releasee's community adjustment and intervene when the releasee's behavior threatens that adjustment. The parole officer, in consultation with his or her supervisor, determines when and under what circumstances delinquency action is warranted. The parole officer works to ensure that individuals released from prison by order of the Board of Parole and by statute live and remain at liberty in the community without violating the law.

Board of Parole[edit]

The Board of Parole consists of up to 19 members. Each member is appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate for a six-year term. One member is designated by the Governor to serve as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Division.[1]

The Board determines which inmates serving indeterminate sentences in state prison may be released on Parole. The Executive Law (Section 259-i (2) (a)) requires the Board to personally interview inmates eligible for release. Inmates do not have the right to counsel at release interviews. The typical panel consists of two or three board members who are responsible for:

The Board sets conditions of release for inmates released on parole. In addition, it sets release conditions for inmates "conditionally released" to supervision by statute. These inmates earned time off their maximum sentence for good behavior. Sentencing reforms enacted in 1995 and 1998 change sentences for violent felony offenders. Violent offenders now receive determinant prison sentences and are released to parole supervision without appearing before the Board for release consideration. However, the Board still imposes conditions of release for these offenders.[1]

Under Executive Law (Section 259-i (3) (f) (x)), the Board has the authority to revoke parole when it determines a releasee has violated the conditions of release "in an important respect." Board action may return the individual to State prison or impose other appropriate sanctions. In some cases, Board action has been delegated to Administrative Hearing Officers. Under the authority of the Board, the Division adjudicates due process violations.[1]

All decisions of Board panels and Administrative Hearing Officers may be appealed. These appeals are made directly to the Parole Board. Also, the Board, at the Governor's request, interviews clemency applicants and makes recommendations to the Governor. The Board delegates its statutory authority to investigate requests to the Division's Executive Clemency Unit.[1]

History of Parole in New York State[edit]

In 1817, the nation's first "good time" law, rewarding prison inmates with time off their period of imprisonment for good behavior, was approved in New York State.

In 1876, New York State passed a system of "indeterminate" sentences setting a minimum and maximum term and permitting parole release of those who had served the minimum; those selected by prison officials for parole were required to report monthly to citizen volunteers known as "Guardians."

On July 1, 1930, the Division of Parole was established in the Executive Department. A full-time Board of Parole was created within the Division and given the responsibility, formerly held by the Department of Corrections, for decisions on parole releases from prisons. Jurisdiction over releases from training schools and correctional institutions for mentally disabled prisoners was added to the Parole Board's authority in 1945.

A 1967 law extended the Board's release authority to persons incarcerated in local reformatories, transferred the functions of the New York City Parole Commission to the New York State Division of Parole and gave the agency control over the conditional release of inmates under definite sentences.

In 1971, the Division of Parole was consolidated with the Department of Corrections to form the Department of Correctional Services (DOCS). In the wake of the Attica Prison riot and demands from the courts and other quarters that the procedural rights of parolees be protected, Parole in 1977 was again established as an autonomous agency within the Executive Department. The same reform act mandated adoption of formal release guidelines to eliminate any perception of arbitrariness.

A 1978 law made the Division of Parole responsible for the release decision for juveniles convicted of certain serious felonies and for their post-release community supervision. With the surge in incarcerations in the 1980s and 1990s, the Division of Parole expanded significantly, as did the array of substance abuse treatment and other services available to help releasees maintain a law-abiding life style.

The Sentencing Reform Act of 1998, commonly referred to as Jenna's Law, added a new dimension to the Division through the elimination of discretionary release for all violent felony offenders while mandating court-imposed periods of post-release supervision of 1.5 to 5 years that the offender must serve after completing the period of incarceration imposed by the court.

In April 2011, the Division of Parole was once again merged with the NYS Department of Correctional Services.[2]

See also[edit]


References[edit]

External links[edit]