NYS Parole Board Passes Revised Regulations

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On April 21, the New York State Parole Board voted unanimously to adopt the revised regulations guiding parole release decisions. Despite receiving hundreds of comments from so many of us — directly impacted individuals, community members, advocates, and lawmakers — urging specific changes in the regulations, the Board took less than three minutes to adopt them without any of the recommended revisions. 

This is an unfortunate development and an enormous failure to affect meaningful change. The adoption of these regulations as they are will allow the Parole Board to continue to refuse to release people when they pose a low risk to public safety and have demonstrated a strong readiness to successfully re-enter society. In addition to contributing even more to the problem of mass incarceration, the application of these regulations is poor public and fiscal policy — wasting much-needed dollars and depriving communities of the positive contributions their loved ones can make once they are released. The Parole Board has once again shirked its responsibility to apply objective and consistent criteria when making release decisions. We must continue to make our voices heard and push for change in the way the Parole Board operates.