January 31, 2010

Paterson seeks to slash 6 Parole Board seats as workload falls

"ALBANY — The state Parole Board, whose members make $101,600 each for the politically appointed posts, would be cut from 19 members to 13 under a proposal by Gov. David Paterson.

Paterson wants to cut the board and save the state more than $600,000 a year because the number of hearings the members attended has plummeted 32 percent, from 36,046 in 1995 to 24,662 in 2008.

Despite the decreased workload, their salaries and benefits haven't changed.

"At a time when the state is facing a fiscal crisis, we have to look at every single area of state government," said Paterson's budget spokesman, Matt Anderson. "We believe the board can still achieve its mission with 13 members at a savings of over half-a-million dollars to taxpayers." "

The length of term served by each member of the NYS Board of Parole would be lowered from six years to five under Paterson's proposal.

Read the full story by Joseph Spector, Gannett News Service's Albany Bureau Chief

See also:
You Paid For It: State Parole Board Salaries (wgrz.com, November 19 2009).

January 29, 2010

Jared Brown has been appointed as a member of the New York State Parole Board

ALBANY, NY - New York State Board of Parole chairwoman and CEO Andrea W. Evans today announced that Jared Brown has been appointed as a member of the New York State Parole Board. The new appointment will leave three seats vacant on the 19-seat Parole Board.

Governor David A. Paterson nominated Brown on June 15, 2009. He was confirmed by the State Senate on January 26, 2010. The term for Commissioner Brown expires on June 18, 2012.

“I am pleased that Mr. Brown will lend his expertise to the Board of Parole,” Governor Paterson said. “His background and professional experience make him well-suited to serve the people of the State of New York in this capacity.”

“We are pleased to welcome Mr. Brown to the Board of Parole,” Chairwoman Evans said. “His background will be an asset to the work of the commissioners statewide.”

A practicing attorney since 1976, Brown became a partner in Brown and Guilbert, a New York City Law Firm in 1984. Prior to practicing law, Brown worked as a narcotics parole officer with the New York State Addiction Control Commission and at the New York City Department of Social Services.

January 01, 2010

Building Bridges - January 2010 edition

The January edition of Building Bridges is now available from the Prison Action Network.

Items covered in this issue include:

1. Activities around the state
2. Billboard to help ex-prisoners
3. Coalition for Fair Criminal Justice Policies
4. ICARE column on parole denials
5. Lifers and Longtermers Clearinghouse
6. NYS Prisoner Justice Conference
7. Parole News
8. Prison Media
9. PRP2! calls press conference
10. Prisoners of the Census
11. Re-entry grants to implement drug law reforms
12. Rockefeller drug law reforms explained
13. Transportation to prisons

Of particular interest to parole reform:

~ On behalf of the Lifers and Longtermers Clearinghouse, Larry Luqman White presents the second part of their case for parole reform, outlining the justification for a Bill to bring §259(i) into compliance with penal law §1.05. He clarifies the respective roles of the Judiciary, the Department of Correctional Services and the Parole Board and explains that the critical focus of the Parole Board should be solely on the question of whether the parole applicant is ready for reintegration.

~ ICARE community educator Jafar Abbas writes about parole denials from his own experience, and describes the impact they have on families expecting and anticipating the release of a loved one.