Key Points in the NYS Merger of Parole and DOCS

Key Points in the NYS Merger of Parole and DOCS By Jim Murphy

 The intent of the merger is to enhance rehabilitation and reentry

  • The Department

o    develops the Transitional Accountability plan

o    Community Supervision

o    Preparation of reports and data for Parole Board –“information that enables them to perform their independent decision making function.”

o    Determines conditions of release

o    Provides the institutional parole services

  • The Parole Board

o    “retain its authority to make release decisions based on the board members’ independent  judgment and  application  of  statutory  criteria as well as decisions regarding revocations of release.”

o    Establishes guidelines for use in making decisions including possible use of risk and need assessment.

o    Update guidelines by 12/31/11 and incorporate risk and needs principles in order to determine likelihood of success and the extent of risk that release would pose for the public

o    If release is denied reasons detailed reasons will be given, explaining in writing how the guidelines were applied

o    Victims statements are encouraged and may include information of post sentencing threats or intimidation

Corrections and Community Supervision

INTENT In 1996, the legislature changed the penal law  to  include  as  an  express  purpose  of  imprisonment,  the promotion  of  inmates’  successful and productive reentry into society……

In

   11  addition,  transitional  services programs have now become mandatory for

   12  all inmates. Transition accountability plans will be developed for  each

   13  inmate,  starting with their time in general confinement and culminating

   14  with the inmate’s successful reintegration into the community

17    As  a result of the evolution of the sentencing structure and focus on

   18  reentry the historical separation  of  the  department  of  correctional

   19  services  and  the division of parole is no longer warranted. In view of

   20  the commonality of purpose governing the fundamental  missions  of  both

   21  agencies,  a  single  new  state agency should be created to oversee the

   22  combined responsibilities of both and, in effect, provide for a seamless

   23  network for the care, custody, treatment and supervision  of  a  person,

   24  from  the  day a sentence of state imprisonment commences, until the day

   25  such person is discharged from supervision in the  community. 

30    It  is  fundamental  that  the board of parole retain its authority to

   31  make release decisions based on the board members’ independent  judgment

   32  and  application  of  statutory  criteria as well as decisions regarding

   33  revocations of release. To this end, the legislation  makes  clear  that

   34  the  board  shall continue to exercise its independence when making such

   35  decisions. Pg 45

37    S 71-A. TRANSITIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY PLAN. UPON ADMISSION OF AN  INMATE

   38  COMMITTED  TO  THE  CUSTODY  OF THE DEPARTMENT UNDER AN INDETERMINATE OR

   39  DETERMINATE SENTENCE OF IMPRISONMENT, THE  DEPARTMENT  SHALL  DEVELOP  A

   40  TRANSITIONAL  ACCOUNTABILITY  PLAN.  SUCH PLAN SHALL BE A COMPREHENSIVE,

   41  DYNAMIC AND INDIVIDUALIZED CASE MANAGEMENT PLAN BASED ON THE PROGRAMMING

   42  AND TREATMENT NEEDS OF THE INMATE. THE PURPOSE OF SUCH PLAN SHALL BE  TO

   43  PROMOTE  THE  REHABILITATION  OF  THE  INMATE  AND  THEIR SUCCESSFUL AND

   44  PRODUCTIVE REENTRY AND REINTEGRATION INTO SOCIETY UPON RELEASE. TO  THAT

   45  END,  SUCH  PLAN  SHALL  BE USED TO PRIORITIZE PROGRAMMING AND TREATMENT

   46  SERVICES FOR THE INMATE DURING INCARCERATION AND ANY PERIOD OF COMMUNITY

   47  SUPERVISION. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL CONSULT WITH THE  OFFICE  OF  MENTAL

   48  HEALTH, THE OFFICE OF ALCOHOLISM AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES, THE BOARD

   49  OF  PAROLE,  THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, AND OTHER APPROPRIATE AGENCIES IN

   50  THE DEVELOPMENT OF TRANSITIONAL CASE MANAGEMENT PLANS. (Page 53)

41    2. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL HAVE THE MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL  OF  PERSONS

   42  RELEASED  ON  COMMUNITY  SUPERVISION AND OF ALL MATTERS RELATING TO SUCH

   43  PERSONS’ EFFECTIVE REENTRY INTO THE COMMUNITY, AS WELL AS ALL  CONTRACTS

   44  AND  FISCAL  CONCERNS THEREOF. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL HAVE THE POWER AND

   45  IT SHALL BE HIS OR HER DUTY TO INQUIRE INTO ALL MATTERS  CONNECTED  WITH

   46  SAID  COMMUNITY  SUPERVISION pg 54

ARTICLE 8

   53                            COMMUNITY SUPERVISION

   54  SECTION 201. AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR COMMUNITY SUPERVISION.

   55          202. CONDITIONS OF RELEASE; GENERALLY.

   56          203. ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS OF RELEASE FOR SEX OFFENDERS.

       A. 4012–B                         59

    1          204. MANDATORY CONDITIONS OF RELEASE.

    2          205. MERIT  TERMINATION  OF SENTENCE AND DISCHARGE FROM PRESUMP-

    3                 TIVE RELEASE, PAROLE, CONDITIONAL RELEASE AND RELEASE  TO

    4                 POST-RELEASE SUPERVISION.

    5          206. APPLICATIONS   FOR   PRESUMPTIVE   RELEASE  OR  CONDITIONAL

    6                 RELEASE.

    7          207. COOPERATION.

    8          208. DEPUTIZATION OF OUT-OF-STATE OFFICERS

9    S 201. AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR COMMUNITY SUPERVISION. 1.  THE

   10  DEPARTMENT  SHALL HAVE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PREPARATION OF REPORTS AND

   11  OTHER DATA REQUIRED BY THE STATE BOARD OF PAROLE IN THE EXERCISE OF  ITS

   12  INDEPENDENT DECISION MAKING FUNCTIONS

 

45    S 202. CONDITIONS OF RELEASE; GENERALLY. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL HAVE THE

   46  POWER AND DUTY OF DETERMINING THE CONDITIONS OF RELEASE  OF  THE  PERSON

   47  WHO  MAY  BE RELEASED TO COMMUNITY SUPERVISION UNDER AN INDETERMINATE OR

   48  DETERMINATE SENTENCE OF IMPRISONMENT. Pg 60

 

 

    46    S 205. MERIT TERMINATION OF SENTENCE AND  DISCHARGE  FROM  PRESUMPTIVE

   47  RELEASE,  PAROLE, CONDITIONAL RELEASE AND RELEASE TO POST-RELEASE SUPER-

   48  VISION.  1. THE DEPARTMENT MAY GRANT TO ANY PERSON A  MERIT  TERMINATION

   49  OF  SENTENCE  FROM  PRESUMPTIVE  RELEASE, PAROLE, CONDITIONAL RELEASE OR

   50  RELEASE TO POST-RELEASE SUPERVISION PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE  FULL

   51  TERM  OR  MAXIMUM TERM, PROVIDED IT IS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT THAT

   52  SUCH MERIT TERMINATION IS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF SOCIETY, SUCH  PERSON

   53  IS  NOT REQUIRED TO REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER PURSUANT TO ARTICLE SIX-C

   54  OF THIS CHAPTER, AND SUCH PERSON IS NOT ON PRESUMPTIVE RELEASE,  PAROLE,

   55  CONDITIONAL  RELEASE  OR RELEASE TO POST-RELEASE SUPERVISION FROM A TERM

       A. 4012–B                         63

    1  OF IMPRISONMENT IMPOSED FOR ANY OF THE FOLLOWING  OFFENSES,  OR  FOR  AN

    2  ATTEMPT TO COMMIT ANY OF THE FOLLOWING OFFENSES:

    3    (A)  A VIOLENT FELONY OFFENSE AS DEFINED IN SECTION 70.02 OF THE PENAL

    4  LAW;

    5    (B) MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE OR MURDER IN THE SECOND DEGREE;

    6    (C) AN OFFENSE DEFINED IN ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY OF THE PENAL LAW;

    7    (D) UNLAWFUL IMPRISONMENT IN THE FIRST DEGREE, KIDNAPPING IN THE FIRST

    8  DEGREE, OR KIDNAPPING IN THE SECOND DEGREE, IN WHICH THE VICTIM IS  LESS

    9  THAN  SEVENTEEN  YEARS  OLD  AND  THE  OFFENDER IS NOT THE PARENT OF THE

   10  VICTIM;

 

S 207. COOPERATION. IT SHALL  BE  THE  DUTY  OF  THE  COMMISSIONER  OF

   35  CORRECTIONS  AND  COMMUNITY  SUPERVISION TO INSURE THAT ALL OFFICERS AND

   36  EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT SHALL AT ALL TIMES COOPERATE WITH THE  BOARD

   37  OF  PAROLE AND SHALL FURNISH TO SUCH MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF PAROLE SUCH

   38  INFORMATION AS MAY BE APPROPRIATE TO ENABLE THEM TO PERFORM THEIR  INDE-

   39  PENDENT DECISION MAKING FUNCTIONS.pg 65

 

40    S 259-b. State  board  of  parole; organization. 1. There shall be [in

   41  the state division of parole]  a  state  board  of  parole  which  shall

   42  possess  the  powers  and duties hereinafter specified. Such board shall

   43  consist of not more than nineteen members appointed by the governor with

   44  the advice and consent of the senate. Pg 66

34    S 259-c. State  board  of  parole;  functions,  powers and duties. The

   35  state board of parole shall: 1. have the power and duty  of  determining

   36  which inmates serving an indeterminate or determinate sentence of impri-

   37  sonment  may  be  released  on  parole, or on medical parole pursuant to

   38  section two hundred fifty-nine-r or section two hundred fifty-nine-s  of

   39  this article[, and when and under what conditions];

   40    [2.  have  the power and duty of determining the conditions of release

   41  of the person who may be presumptively released, conditionally  released

   42  or  subject  to a period of post-release supervision under an indetermi-

   43  nate or determinate sentence of imprisonment;]taken out

44    3. determine, as each inmate is received by the department [of correc-

   45  tional services], the need for further investigation of  the  background

   46  of  such  inmate  [and].   UPON SUCH DETERMINATION, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL

   47  cause such investigation as may be necessary to be made as soon as prac-

   48  ticable, the results of  such  investigation  together  with  all  other

   49  information  compiled  by  the  [division pursuant to subdivision one of

   50  section two hundred fifty-nine-a] DEPARTMENT and the  complete  criminal

   51  record  and  family  court record of such inmate to be filed so as to be

   52  readily available when the parole of such inmate is being considered;

   53    4. establish written guidelines for its use in making parole decisions

   54  as required by law[, including the fixing of minimum periods  of  impri-

   55  sonment  or ranges thereof for different categories of offenders].  Such

   56  written guidelines may consider the use of a risk and  needs  assessment

       A. 4012–B                         67

    1  instrument to assist members of the state board of parole in determining

    2  which  inmates  may  be  released  to parole supervision.   ON OR BEFORE

    3  DECEMBER THIRTY-FIRST, TWO THOUSAND ELEVEN, THE BOARD SHALL  UPDATE  THE44    3. determine, as each inmate is received by the department [of correc-

   45  tional services], the need for further investigation of  the  background

   46  of  such  inmate  [and].   UPON SUCH DETERMINATION, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL

   47  cause such investigation as may be necessary to be made as soon as prac-

   48  ticable, the results of  such  investigation  together  with  all  other

   49  information  compiled  by  the  [division pursuant to subdivision one of

   50  section two hundred fifty-nine-a] DEPARTMENT and the  complete  criminal

   51  record  and  family  court record of such inmate to be filed so as to be

   52  readily available when the parole of such inmate is being considered;

   53    4. establish written guidelines for its use in making parole decisions

   54  as required by law[, including the fixing of minimum periods  of  impri-

   55  sonment  or ranges thereof for different categories of offenders].  Such

   56  written guidelines may consider the use of a risk and  needs  assessment

       A. 4012–B                         67

    1  instrument to assist members of the state board of parole in determining

    2  which  inmates  may  be  released  to parole supervision.   ON OR BEFORE

    3  DECEMBER THIRTY-FIRST, TWO THOUSAND ELEVEN, THE BOARD SHALL  UPDATE  THE

    4  WRITTEN GUIDELINES REQUIRED BY THIS SUBDIVISION AND INCORPORATE RISK AND

    5  NEEDS  PRINCIPLES  IN  ORDER  TO  MEASURE  THE REHABILITATION OF PERSONS

    6  APPEARING BEFORE THE BOARD FOR PAROLE RELEASE CONSIDERATION, THE LIKELI-

    7  HOOD OF SUCCESS OF SUCH PERSONS UPON RELEASE AND  THE  EXTENT  TO  WHICH

    8  RELEASE  OF SUCH PERSONS WOULD POSE A DANGER TO SOCIETY. SUCH GUIDELINES

    9  SHALL BE MADE APPLICABLE TO ALL PERSONS SERVING INDETERMINATE SENTENCES.

   10  THEREAFTER, THE BOARD SHALL UPDATE SUCH GUIDELINES AT  LEAST  BIENNIALLY

   11  OR MORE OFTEN AS DETERMINED NECESSARY BY THE BOARD;

    4  WRITTEN GUIDELINES REQUIRED BY THIS SUBDIVISION AND INCORPORATE RISK AND

    5  NEEDS  PRINCIPLES  IN  ORDER  TO  MEASURE  THE REHABILITATION OF PERSONS

    6  APPEARING BEFORE THE BOARD FOR PAROLE RELEASE CONSIDERATION, THE LIKELI-

    7  HOOD OF SUCCESS OF SUCH PERSONS UPON RELEASE AND  THE  EXTENT  TO  WHICH

    8  RELEASE  OF SUCH PERSONS WOULD POSE A DANGER TO SOCIETY. SUCH GUIDELINES

    9  SHALL BE MADE APPLICABLE TO ALL PERSONS SERVING INDETERMINATE SENTENCES.

   10  THEREAFTER, THE BOARD SHALL UPDATE SUCH GUIDELINES AT  LEAST  BIENNIALLY

   11  OR MORE OFTEN AS DETERMINED NECESSARY BY THE BOARD;

40  TO FACILITATE THE SUPERVISION  OF  ALL  INMATES  RELEASED  ON  COMMUNITY

   41  SUPERVISION THE CHAIRMAN OF THE STATE BOARD OF PAROLE SHALL CONSIDER THE

   42  IMPLEMENTATION  OF  A  PROGRAM OF GRADUATED SANCTIONS, INCLUDING BUT NOT

   43  LIMITED TO THE UTILIZATION OF A RISK  AND  NEEDS  ASSESSMENT  INSTRUMENT

   44  THAT  WOULD  BE  ADMINISTERED  TO ALL INMATES ELIGIBLE FOR PAROLE SUPER-

   45  VISION. SUCH A PROGRAM WOULD INCLUDE VARIOUS  COMPONENTS  INCLUDING  THE

   46  USE OF ALTERNATIVES TO INCARCERATION FOR TECHNICAL PAROLE;

   41    S 38-c. Section 259-e of the executive law, as amended by section 8 of

   42  part E of chapter 62 of the laws of 2003, is amended to read as follows:

   43    S 259-e. Institutional  parole  services.  The  [division]  DEPARTMENT

   44  shall  provide  institutional parole services. [Subject to the authority

   45  of the chairman, these]  SUCH  SERVICES  shall  include  preparation  of

   46  reports  and  other  data  required  by the state board of parole in the

   47  exercise of  its  functions  with  respect  to  release  on  presumptive

   48  release,  parole,  conditional  release  or  post-release supervision of

   49  inmates.

26.If  parole  is  not

   27  granted upon such review, the inmate shall be informed in writing within

   28  two  weeks of such appearance of the factors and reasons for such denial

   29  of parole. Such reasons shall be given in detail and not  in  conclusory

   30  terms  AND  THE  BOARD  SHALL EXPLAIN IN WRITING HOW THE GUIDELINES WERE

   31  SPECIFICALLY APPLIED TO THE INMATE. The board shall specify a  date  not

   32  more  than 

    9    (A) Discretionary release on parole shall not be granted merely  as  a

   10  reward  for  good  conduct  or  efficient  performance  of  duties while

   11  confined but after considering if  there  is  a  reasonable  probability

   12  that,  if  such  inmate  is released, he will live and remain at liberty

   13  without violating the law, and that his release is not incompatible with

   14  the welfare of society and will not so deprecate the seriousness of  his

   15  crime  as  to  undermine  respect  for law. In making the parole release

   16  decision, the guidelines adopted pursuant to subdivision four of section

   17  two hundred fifty-nine-c of this article shall require that the  follow-

   18  ing  be considered: (i) the institutional record including program goals

   19  and accomplishments, academic achievements, vocational education, train-

   20  ing or work assignments, therapy and  interpersonal  relationships  with

   21  staff  and  inmates;  (ii)  performance,  if  any, as a participant in a

   22  temporary release  program;  (iii)  release  plans  including  community

   23  resources,  employment,  education  and  training  and  support services

   24  available to the inmate; (iv) any deportation order issued by the feder-

   25  al government against the inmate while in the custody of the  department

   26  [of  correctional services] and any recommendation regarding deportation

   27  made by the commissioner of the department  [of  correctional  services]

   28  pursuant  to  section one hundred forty-seven of the correction law; (v)

   29  any statement made to the board by the  crime  victim  or  the  victim’s

   30  representative,  where  the  crime  victim is deceased or is mentally or

   31  physically incapacitated; [and]  (vi)  the  length  of  the  determinate

   32  sentence  to  which the inmate would be subject had he or she received a

   33  sentence pursuant to section 70.70 or section 70.71 of the penal law for

   34  a felony defined in article two hundred twenty or  article  two  hundred

   35  twenty-one  of  the penal law; (VII) THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE OFFENSE WITH

   36  DUE CONSIDERATION TO THE TYPE OF SENTENCE, LENGTH OF SENTENCE AND RECOM-

   37  MENDATIONS OF THE SENTENCING COURT, THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY, THE  ATTORNEY

   38  FOR  THE  INMATE, THE PRE-SENTENCE PROBATION REPORT AS WELL AS CONSIDER-

   39  ATION OF ANY MITIGATING AND AGGRAVATING FACTORS, AND ACTIVITIES  FOLLOW-

   40  ING  ARREST  PRIOR  TO  CONFINEMENT;  AND  (VIII) PRIOR CRIMINAL RECORD,

   41  INCLUDING THE NATURE AND PATTERN OF OFFENSES, ADJUSTMENT TO ANY PREVIOUS

   42  PROBATION OR PAROLE SUPERVISION AND INSTITUTIONAL CONFINEMENT. The board

   43  shall provide toll free telephone access for crime victims. In the  case

   44  of  an oral statement made in accordance with subdivision one of section

   45  440.50 of the criminal procedure law,  the  parole  board  member  shall

   46  present  a  written report of the statement to the parole board. A crime

   47  victim’s representative shall mean the crime victim’s closest  surviving

   48  relative,  the committee or guardian of such person, or the legal repre-

   49  sentative of any such person. Such statement submitted by the victim  or

   50  victim’s  representative  may include information concerning threatening

   51  or intimidating conduct toward the victim, the victim’s  representative,

   52  or the victim’s family, made by the person sentenced and occurring after

   53  the  sentencing.  Such  information may include, but need not be limited

   54  to, the threatening or intimidating conduct of any other person  who  or

   55  which   is  directed  by  the  person  sentenced.  [Notwithstanding  the

   56  provisions of this section, in making the parole  release  decision  pg 72

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