what to know
- These are the projects “Probation for the elderly” and “Fair and timely probation”, which the group claims have broad support to be approved in both legislative chambers.
- The median age of death from so-called “natural causes” behind bars is just 58.
- 77% of those incarcerated in the state are people of color.
NEW YORK — Activists and politicians in New York on Thursday asked the leaders of the Senate and the state Assembly to bring to a vote two bills that benefit the prison population and ensure they have support to be approved, just as the session of the state legislature is hours away from wrapping up.
These are the projects “Probation for the elderly” and “Fair and timely probation”, which the group claims have broad support to be approved in both legislative chambers.
The first would allow the State Parole Board (which makes the decision) to screen for parole 55+ who have served 15 years or more of their sentence, including some of the oldest and sickest inmates in the state.
The second would provide more meaningful parole reviews for those who qualify.
According to the group, the death rate in state prisons – where one person dies every 2.67 days on average – exceeds that of the Rikers Island municipal jail, for which they urged that “the crisis of aging, disease and death “take more lives before lawmakers return to the next session in 2024.
The median age of death from so-called “natural causes” behind bars is just 58.
“Due to extreme sentences and a punitive parole board, our loved ones languish behind bars,” said TeAna Taylor, co-director of Policy and Communications for the Free Older People from Prison Campaign.
“After many years in jail, my father is ready to come home and show everything he has done to transform his life,” he added, recalling that there are many in the same situation as his father.
The activists referenced data released this week by New York University (NYU) that showed widening racial disparities in parole denials as well as deaths.
According to that study, during the first quarter of 2023, the Board released 45% of all white inmates who came before it with the petition and 32.42% of people of color.
It further indicates that when looking at 2022 and the first quarter of 2023 as a whole, the Board granted freedom to 41% of all whites but only 30% of people of color.
77% of those incarcerated in the state are people of color.
#Activists #politicians #seek #bills #benefit #prisoners #York