November 16, 2011

Building Bridges - November 2011 edition

The November edition of Building Bridges has been issued by the Prison Action Network.

Articles relating to parole in this issue include the following:

* Governor Andrew Cuomo will be appointing judges to the Appellate Division and the Court of Appeals, particularly if he serves two terms. The Prison Action Network hopes this will lead to more reintegrative sentencing in NYS

* Decision Fatigue is blamed for conservative parole board decisions in a New York Times Magazine article.
 Prisoners who appeared early in the morning received parole about 70 percent of the time, while those who appeared late in the day were paroled less than 10 percent of the time.

* Legislation: a report on the progress of the Domestic Violence Survivors' Justice Act.

* Minimum Sentences are "often excessively severe" according to a report by the US Sentencing Commission.

* NYS Parole Reform Campaign continues to gain support; the Prison Action Network delivered 333 letters from family members and advocates to Governor Cuomo. Part 2 of "Setting the Record Straight": the success of the the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) merger depends on the implementation of the SAFE Parole Act. 

* NYS Prisoner Justice Network premieres the first of its monthly Building Bridges columns.

* Parole News: September statistics around 16%; Merger confusion; "one size fits all" parole decisions continue; does long incarceration increase public safety?