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Press Conference: New Report Finds Poor Implementation of Governor Cuomo’s COVID-19 Order to Release People Accused of Technical Parole Violations from County Jails

Presenter(s): Stephen Hart, Andrea Ó Súilleabháin
Date: January 19, 2021, 10-11 am

In a press conference on Tuesday, January 19, at 10am, Partnership for the Public Good will release a new policy brief, “Poor Implementation Puts Health at Risk: An Evaluation of the New York Release Program for People Incarcerated on Charges of Technical Parole Violations during the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Register to join the press conference on Zoom here.

Access the full text of the report here.

In the report, author Stephen Hart, PhD, evaluates the implementation of Governor Cuomo’s March 2020 order to release people accused of technical parole violations from county jails in New York State, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis finds that far fewer people were released than would be expected given the goals of the program, and that Erie County released people at a lower rate than many other counties. For instance, Erie County released only 28.5% of people accused of technical parole violations, while Monroe County released 58.4%.

Across the state, the Department of Corrections and Community Services (DOCCS) released only 38.2% of people accused of technical parole violations and awaiting parole revocation hearings, leaving over 1,000 people incarcerated and in danger. The evidence also suggests that DOCCS has not followed Governor Cuomo’s other directive: that new arrests for parole violations be avoided throughout the pandemic.

Calling for more immediate releases to safeguard public health, the report ends with recommendations to reform the pandemic-program release process, correct the regional disparities found in the analysis, and make larger changes to the parole system.

Join us on Zoom for a press conference to launch the report, including a brief presentation of the research findings by Dr. Stephen Hart, remarks by an individual impacted by the poor implementation of the program, and time for Q&A.