The March edition of Building Bridges is now available from the Prison Action Network.
Items covered in this issue include:
1. Activities for advocates, statewide
2. Coalition initiates campaign for parole reform
3. ICARE on DOH oversight of DOCS HIV/AIDS treatment
4. Job opportunities
5. Know Your Rights Project for immigrant detainees
6. Legislation watch
7. Medicaid and disability program rules
8. Lifers and Longtermers Clearinghouse
9. NYS Prisoner Justice Conference
11.Prison media: radio, video, print, theater
12.Transportation to prisons
Of particular interest to parole reform:
The Coalition for Fair Criminal Justice Policies are actively pursuing legislative sponsorship of their proposed revisions to Executive Law §259-i, the section of the parole statute which describes the way the NYS Board of Parole must operate. The Coalition will bring their proposed revision of Executive Law §259-i to the New York State Prisoner Justice Conference on March 27th.
Quoting from Building Bridges: "This work is a beginning step toward our larger purpose, which is to move the NYS criminal justice system as a whole toward a reintegrative model. This model engages a person, from the time of their arrest until their reintegration, in the development of a reintegration document which would identify the contributing factors leading up to the arrest, and the strengths and assets they might use, if so motivated, to return quickly to life as a productive citizen. It could be used to inform the bail hearing, the indictment, the attorneys, and the judge who would be guided by it in designing a sentence that provided specific recommendations for this particular person to prepare him or her for reintegration. And if the sentence included incarceration the document would continue to be revised as the person moved through the system, and when they completed the conditions of the sentence they would be released. Our revisions to Executive Law §259-i would enable people who have met specific criteria to be released. In that way, it conforms to this overall reintegrative model as best it can without the rest of the model in place. (In the case of an indeterminate sentence, the release would be to parole supervision and the conditions of parole would again be based on the reintegration document.)"
Building Bridges goes on to describe the steps required for the proposed revisions to Executive Law §259-i to be adopted by the Legislature in bill form.