Bill Text: NY A05800 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Requires the use of risk and needs assessments in parole decisions; provides a process permitting inmates to correct verifiable factual mistakes or errors in their risk and needs assessments or other non-confidential documents given the board prior to their appearances.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 3-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-19 - referred to correction [A05800 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A05800-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                          5800
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    February 19, 2019
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  O'DONNELL,  BLAKE,  WEPRIN  -- read once and
          referred to the Committee on Correction
        AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to the use  of  risk  and
          needs principles in parole decisions
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Subdivision 4 of section 259-c of  the  executive  law,  as
     2  amended by section 38-b of subpart A of part C of chapter 62 of the laws
     3  of 2011, is amended to read as follows:
     4    4. establish written procedures for its use in making parole decisions
     5  as  required  by law. Such written procedures shall incorporate risk and
     6  needs principles to measure  the  rehabilitation  of  persons  appearing
     7  before  the  board,  the  likelihood  of  success  of  such persons upon
     8  release, and [assist] shall be used by members of  the  state  board  of
     9  parole  in  determining  which  inmates may be released to parole super-
    10  vision. Such principles shall provide the basis  upon  which  the  board
    11  shall  determine  if  there  is  a  reasonable probability that, if such
    12  inmate is released, he or she will live and remain  at  liberty  without
    13  violating  the  law. Procedures which incorporate risk and needs princi-
    14  ples shall include, but shall not  be  limited  to,  a  risk  and  needs
    15  assessment  prepared  pursuant  to  section  one  hundred  twelve of the
    16  correction law or other validated risk and needs  assessment  instrument
    17  adopted  by the board to determine whether or not an inmate is likely to
    18  re-offend upon release from incarceration.  Such risk and needs  assess-
    19  ment  shall comprise presumptive evidence of the inmate's risk of re-of-
    20  fense. Should the board choose to override such risk and  needs  assess-
    21  ment  in  deciding  whether  or  not  an  inmate will live and remain at
    22  liberty without violating the law, its decision must provide a detailed,
    23  individualized and nonconclusory statement as to its reasons for depart-
    24  ing from the risk and needs assessment findings which shall  be  subject
    25  to  judicial review. Such override decision shall not be based solely on
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD03548-01-9

        A. 5800                             2
     1  information relating to the instant offense  and/or  the  pre-sentencing
     2  report for such offense. Pursuant to subdivision eleven of this section,
     3  the  board  shall amend the rules and regulations for the conduct of its
     4  work to reflect the procedures established by this subdivision;
     5    §  2. Section 259-e of the executive law, as amended by chapter 473 of
     6  the laws of 2016, is amended to read as follows:
     7    § 259-e.  Institutional  parole  services.  1.  The  department  shall
     8  provide institutional parole services. Such services shall include prep-
     9  aration  of  risk and needs assessments, reports and other data required
    10  by the state board of parole in  the  exercise  of  its  functions  with
    11  respect  to  release on presumptive release, parole, conditional release
    12  or post-release supervision of  inmates.  Additionally,  the  department
    13  shall determine which inmates are in need of a deaf language interpreter
    14  or  an  English language interpreter, and shall inform the board of such
    15  need within a reasonable period of time prior to an  inmate's  scheduled
    16  appearance  before  the  board.  Employees of the department who collect
    17  data, interview inmates and prepare  reports  for  the  state  board  of
    18  parole  in  institutions  under the jurisdiction of the department shall
    19  work under the direct supervision of  the  deputy  commissioner  of  the
    20  department  in charge of program services. Data and reports submitted to
    21  the board shall address the statutory factors to be  considered  by  the
    22  board  pursuant to the relevant provisions of section two hundred fifty-
    23  nine-i of this article.
    24    2. Two months prior to a parole board appearance, an inmate  shall  be
    25  permitted  to  review  his or her risk and needs assessment, reports and
    26  any other non-confidential documents to be given to the board  with  the
    27  department  employee charged with preparing such assessment, reports and
    28  documents, and may ask for  any  such  assessment,  report  or  document
    29  prepared  by  the  department  to  be  corrected  if it contains factual
    30  mistakes or other errors. The department shall  immediately  review  the
    31  inmate's  records  and  any  evidence offered in support of the inmate's
    32  contention that there is a factual mistake or other error in his or  her
    33  records.    Upon  confirmation that such mistake or error has been made,
    34  the department shall immediately correct such mistake or error prior  to
    35  submitting  such  assessment,  record  or  document to the board. If the
    36  department decides not to correct  an  alleged  mistake  or  error,  the
    37  inmate  shall  be  notified of his or her right to submit evidence about
    38  any uncorrected mistake or uncorrected error to the board and may appeal
    39  the decision within fifteen days of the  department's  decision  not  to
    40  correct  the  mistake  or  error. The commissioner shall decide any such
    41  appeal within thirty days of receipt of the appeal, but  no  later  than
    42  two  weeks  before  an  inmate's  scheduled appearance before the parole
    43  board.
    44    3. If a substantial mistake or error exists  in  the  risk  and  needs
    45  assessment  or  in  other reports or documents provided to the board for
    46  use at a parole interview and the inmate is subsequently denied  parole,
    47  the  inmate  shall be given a de novo parole interview within two months
    48  of the discovery of such mistake or  error.  A  substantial  mistake  or
    49  error  for the purposes of this subdivision is any mistake or error that
    50  worsens the inmate's overall score on his or her risk and needs  assess-
    51  ment.
    52    §  3.  Subparagraph  (A)  of paragraph (c) of subdivision 2 of section
    53  259-i of the executive law, as amended by chapter 130  of  the  laws  of
    54  2016, is amended to read as follows:
    55    (A)  Discretionary  release on parole shall not be granted merely as a
    56  reward for  good  conduct  or  efficient  performance  of  duties  while

        A. 5800                             3
     1  confined  but  after  considering  if  there is a reasonable probability
     2  that, if such inmate is released, he or she  will  live  and  remain  at
     3  liberty  without  violating  the law, and that his or her release is not
     4  incompatible  with  the welfare of society and will not so deprecate the
     5  seriousness of his or her crime as to  undermine  respect  for  law.  In
     6  making  the  parole  release  decision,  the procedures, rules and regu-
     7  lations incorporating risk and  needs  principles  adopted  pursuant  to
     8  subdivision  four  of  section  two hundred fifty-nine-c of this article
     9  shall require that the following be considered if not already taken into
    10  account by the risk and needs assessment: (i) the  institutional  record
    11  including  program  goals  and  accomplishments,  academic achievements,
    12  vocational education, training or work assignments, therapy  and  inter-
    13  actions  with  staff and inmates; (ii) performance, if any, as a partic-
    14  ipant in a temporary release  program;  (iii)  release  plans  including
    15  community  resources,  employment,  education  and  training and support
    16  services available to the inmate; (iv) any deportation order  issued  by
    17  the  federal  government  against the inmate while in the custody of the
    18  department and any recommendation  regarding  deportation  made  by  the
    19  commissioner  of  the  department pursuant to section one hundred forty-
    20  seven of the correction law; (v) any current or prior statement made  to
    21  the  board by the crime victim or the victim's representative, where the
    22  crime victim is deceased or is  mentally  or  physically  incapacitated;
    23  (vi) the length of the determinate sentence to which the inmate would be
    24  subject  had  he or she received a sentence pursuant to section 70.70 or
    25  section 70.71 of the penal law for  a  felony  defined  in  article  two
    26  hundred twenty or article two hundred twenty-one of the penal law; (vii)
    27  the  seriousness  of  the  offense with due consideration to the type of
    28  sentence, length of  sentence  and  recommendations  of  the  sentencing
    29  court,  the district attorney, the attorney for the inmate, the pre-sen-
    30  tence probation report as well as consideration of  any  mitigating  and
    31  aggravating  factors,  and activities following arrest prior to confine-
    32  ment; and (viii) prior criminal record, including the nature and pattern
    33  of offenses, adjustment to any previous probation or parole  supervision
    34  and  institutional  confinement. The board shall provide toll free tele-
    35  phone access for crime victims. In the case of an oral statement made in
    36  accordance with subdivision one of section 440.50 of the criminal proce-
    37  dure law, the parole board member shall present a written report of  the
    38  statement  to  the  parole  board. A crime victim's representative shall
    39  mean the crime victim's closest surviving  relative,  the  committee  or
    40  guardian of such person, or the legal representative of any such person.
    41  Such  statement  submitted  by the victim or victim's representative may
    42  include  information  concerning  threatening  or  intimidating  conduct
    43  toward  the victim, the victim's representative, or the victim's family,
    44  made by the person sentenced and occurring after  the  sentencing.  Such
    45  information  may include, but need not be limited to, the threatening or
    46  intimidating conduct of any other person who or which is directed by the
    47  person sentenced. Any statement by a victim or  the  victim's  represen-
    48  tative  made  to  the board shall be maintained by the department in the
    49  file provided to the board when interviewing the inmate in consideration
    50  of release. A victim or victim's  representative  who  has  submitted  a
    51  written  request  to the department for the transcript of such interview
    52  shall be provided such transcript as soon as it becomes available.
    53    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
feedback