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A08855 Summary:

COSPNSRCarroll, Aubry, Cruz, Lavine, Perry, Kim, Gottfried, O'Donnell, Simon, Epstein, Reyes, Walker, Cook, Rozic, Taylor, Dickens, Joyner, Rosenthal L, Niou, Fahy, Darling, Hyndman, Vanel, Fernandez, Glick, Mitaynes, Steck, Gonzalez-Rojas, Kelles, Burgos, Gallagher, Mamdani, Anderson, Septimo, Forrest, Burdick, Clark, Zinerman, Ramos, Hunter, Meeks, Jackson, Solages, Sayegh, Lupardo, Pretlow, Weprin, Seawright, Bichotte Hermelyn, Peoples-Stokes, Bronson, Paulin, Dilan, Rivera J, Fall, Gibbs, De Los Santos, Lucas, Cunningham, Tapia
MLTSPNSRBarrett, Englebright, Frontus, McDonald, Quart, Thiele
Amd §259-c, Exec L
Relates to parole eligibility for certain incarcerated persons age fifty-five or older.
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A08855 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Davila (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to parole eligibility for certain incarcerated persons aged fifty-five or older   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill adds new subdivisions 18 and 19 to section 259-c of the Executive Law ("State board of parole; functions, powers and duties"). -Sub. 18: provides that a person 55 or older who has served at least 15 years of a sentence shall have an interview with the Board of Parole to determine whether they should be released to community super- vision within 60 days of their 55th birthday or the last day of the 15th year of their sentence, whichever is later. If release is not granted, the person shall have a subsequent interview no more than 24 months later. -Sub. 19: requires the Board of Parole to report quarterly to the Governor, Legislature and public about the outcomes of elder parole. Section 2 of the bill is the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: After decades of harsh sentencing practices, New York State holds the shameful distinction of having the third-largest population of people serving terms of life imprisonment in the country. Hundreds of incarcer- ated New Yorkers - parents, grandparents and great-grandparents - may never live to have an individualized release assessment, no matter how much they have changed in the years and decades since their conviction. People serving life sentences are disproportionately Black and Latinx, and they are aging rapidly behind bars. The perpetual confinement of aging and elderly people is particularly immoral as studies show that rearrests rates for older adults released from prison are vanishingly small, particularly for those originally convicted of serious crimes. However, even as New York's prison population declined in the last two decades, the number of elders behind bars grew substantially. New York has the second-largest prison budget in the nation, spending between $100,000 and $240,000 annually for each incarcerated older adult, which the New York State Department of Correction and Community Supervision (DOCCS) defines as adults 55 years of age or older, due to the acceler- ated aging people experience while in prison. There is a growing consen- sus among people across the political spectrum that mass incarceration is ineffective, flawed, and racially biased. It harms, rather than improves, community health and safety. Elder parole would ensure that older adults serving long sentences have an opportunity before the Parole Board to demonstrate their transformation. It would not require anyone, regardless of their age, to be released. Rather, it would empower the Parole Board to use its discretion by individually evaluat- ing a person based on the factors established in Section 259-I of the Executive Law. This legislation would bring hope to incarcerated people who have worked hard to change, as well as their families. It would allow people the chance to safely return to their communities and save the state hundreds of millions of dollars that could be reinvested to meet critical community needs.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A. 3475 of 2021 (De La Rosa) - S.2144 of 2019-2020 (Hoylman): Died in Crime Victims, Crime, and Correction A.9040 of 2009-2020 (De La Rosa): Died in Correction 5.8581 of 2017-2018 (Hoylman): Died in Crime Victims, Crime and Correction A.6354-A of 2017-2018 (Weprin): Died in Codes   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately; provided that all persons who meet the eligibility, requirements established by section one of this act upon the effective date of this act shall be interviewed within sixty days of such date.
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A08855 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 19, 2022
        Introduced by M. of A. DAVILA, CARROLL, AUBRY, CRUZ, LAVINE, PERRY, KIM,
          BICHOTTE HERMELYN, PEOPLES-STOKES, BRONSON -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M.
          of A. ENGLEBRIGHT, FRONTUS, McDONALD, QUART, THIELE -- read  once  and
          referred to the Committee on Correction
        AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to parole eligibility for
          certain incarcerated persons aged fifty-five or older
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Section 259-c of the executive law is amended by adding two
     2  new subdivisions 18 and 19 to read as follows:
     3    18. notwithstanding any other section of law, where a person serving a
     4  sentence of incarceration has served at least  fifteen  years  of  their
     5  sentence  or sentences and has reached the age of fifty-five or greater,
     6  conduct an interview within sixty days  of  the  date  of  the  person's
     7  fifty-fifth  birthday  or  the  last  day of the fifteenth year of their
     8  sentence, whichever is later, pursuant to  section  two  hundred  fifty-
     9  nine-i  of  this  article  to  determine  whether  such person should be
    10  released to community supervision. If the board determines that  release
    11  is   appropriate   pursuant  to  the  terms    of  section  two  hundred
    12  fifty-nine-i of this article, then the board shall release the person to
    13  community supervision.   If release  to  community  supervision  is  not
    14  granted,  the  person  shall  be informed in writing within two weeks of
    15  such appearance of the factors  and  reasons  for  the  denial  of  such
    16  release  and  the  board  shall specify a date not more than twenty-four
    17  months from such determination for reconsideration, and  the  procedures
    18  to  be  followed  upon  reconsideration shall be the same. If release to
    19  community supervision is granted, the board shall set release conditions
    20  and the provisions of this section shall otherwise apply as  though  the
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 8855                             2

     1  person was released after the completion of his or her minimum sentence.
     2  The  release  assessment  and determination required by this subdivision
     3  shall be in addition to, and may not replace, other release  assessments
     4  and determinations required by law.
     5    19.  submit  reports, quarterly, to the governor, the temporary presi-
     6  dent of the senate, the speaker of the assembly, the minority leader  of
     7  the  senate, the minority leader of the assembly, the chairperson of the
     8  senate committee on crime victims, crime and correction, and the  chair-
     9  person  of  the  assembly  committee  on  correction. Such reports shall
    10  include: (i) the number  of  parole  interviews  held  pursuant  to  the
    11  requirements  of subdivision eighteen of this section; (ii) the outcomes
    12  of parole interviews held pursuant to the  requirements  of  subdivision
    13  eighteen of this section; and (iii) where parole was denied following an
    14  interview  held  pursuant to the requirements of subdivision eighteen of
    15  this section, the articulated reasons for each denial,  the  members  of
    16  the  board  assigned  in  each case and a record of their votes, and the
    17  race, sex, facility, and crime of conviction of each  denied  applicant.
    18  Such reports shall not include personally identifiable information about
    19  applicants.    Reports  required  by this subdivision shall be published
    20  quarterly on a publicly accessible website maintained by the board.
    21    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately; provided that all persons
    22  who meet the eligibility requirements established by section one of this
    23  act upon the effective date of this  act  shall  be  interviewed  within
    24  sixty days of such date.
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