Easy Guidelines for Sending Letter:
• Complete name, address & email information above.
• Press SEND LETTER button at the end of the letter shown below!
Speaker of the Assembly
New York State Assembly
Albany, NY 12248-0001
Dear Mr. Silver,
Over the past several years, various issues have emerged involving the New York State Board of Parole. These issues have ranged from the conviction of a Parole Commissioner for his involvement in a “parole-for-election-campaign-contributions” scandal, to growing allegations that overt pressure by the Governor’s office is undermining the Parole Board’s ability to make independent and legally proper decisions regarding parole release.
In a nation of laws, blatant violations of the laws, especially by a body of the executive branch of a State’s government, infringes not only on the rights of a person in prison, but on the rights of all citizens. It is a dangerous practice that threatens justice at all levels of government.
Most importantly, it is a practice that releases large numbers of inmates who are not prepared to live in society, rather than those statistically shown to be the best candidates for parole. These issues are steadily eroding the public confidence in the Parole Board’s established purpose.
The Governor’s unwritten blanket policy of repeatedly denying parole to violent felony offenders, with minimal to no consideration given to individual rehabilitative efforts and accomplishments, not only undermines the checks and balances essential to just govermental operations, but creates a dangerous precedent in which the crime of conviction and pressure from the state’s executive, NOT the legally established independent review process, becomes the overriding factor in parole decisions.
The Parole Board, in order to operate efficiently and legally, and to determine which inmates are best suited for release, must function as an independent body, free from political influences or pressures. It must be free to follow the law and the guidelines created to structure its decision-making process. To have it operate any other way usurps its purpose and turns it into a political tool. Such use of the parole agency constitutes a grave danger to the cnocept of justice, our system of laws, criminal justice policies and the safety of our communities.
To address the issues outlined in this document, I join concerned citizens of the State of New York, by this letter, in calling for open hearings concerning the practices of the New York State Board of Parole. We ask that this matter be brought before the Assembly, and that such hearings be scheduled in the very near future.