ALBANY, NY – FWD.us New York State Director of Criminal Justice Reform Rodney Holcombe issued the following statement in response to The Fair & Timely Parole Act (S1415/A4231) passing the Senate Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction:
“We are elated to see The Fair and Timely Parole Act, a critical bill that would begin offering more meaningful opportunities for parole release, move out of the Senate Corrections Committee. This is the first such move for this legislation, which speaks volumes about the growing support for fundamentally changing New York’s parole system.
“For years, the Parole Board has denied release to thousands of people based only on their conviction. The result is that fewer people are now home with their families, fewer people are able to positively impact their communities, and thousands more people are left with little to no hope for release. Unfortunately, these repeated denials harm Black and brown people the most, and it’s long past time we undo a system riddled with racial biases and that undermines public health and safety.
“If passed, the bill would change the way a person is evaluated for parole release, and ensure that they can no longer be denied based solely on their conviction, the one factor they are unable to change. It would begin the work of centering a person’s accomplishments, rehabilitation, and redemption, factors that are much more reflective of who a person is today, giving thousands of incarcerated New Yorkers a meaningful opportunity for release.
We look forward to working with lawmakers and partners to get this bill and the Elder Parole bill (S15/A3475) signed into law in 2021. Thousands of people stand to benefit, and it’s our moral duty to right the wrongs inflicted by New York’s unfair and racially-biased parole release process.”