Statement From State Bar Association President Henry M. Greenberg on Columbia Report Regarding Disportionate Racial Impact of N.Y. Parole System

By Dan Weiller

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New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) President Henry M. Greenberg issued the following statement regarding a report released today by Columbia University’s Justice Lab detailing how New York’s parole system disproportionately impacts Black and Latinx people:

“New York State and its municipalities spent nearly $600 million last year reincarcerating people on technical parole violations such as missing curfew. The impact of reincarceration falls disproportionately on people of color. Given the Columbia University report, the New York State Bar Association renews its call to drastically reduce the use of reincarceration for such minor transgressions.”

NYSBA formed a Task Force on the Parole System last year, which in November made a number of initial recommendations to reduce the high reincarceration rate of parolees in New York State. The task force recommended:

  • Eliminating mandatory pre-adjudication detention of a parolee for a non-criminal alleged technical parole violation, such as missing a meeting;
  • Establishing a system of “earned good time credits” to incentivize good behavior while on parole, which would reduce a parolee’s time under supervision; and
  • Increasing the number of parole commissioners from 19 to 30, to alleviate the current case-to-commissioner ratio of 526 to 1.

The initial report of the NYSBA task force can be viewed here.

NYSBA’s Task Force on the Parole System will continue its review and analysis of the parole system and anticipates submitting additional reports and recommendations for reform.

About the New York State Bar Association

The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, the Association has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.

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Contact: Dan Weiller
[email protected]
518/369-5550

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