Advocates rally in Albany for parole justice legislation
ALBANY, NY (Erie News Now)--DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF LEGISLATIVE SESSION, ADVOCATES CALL ON LAWMAkERS TO PASS A SERIES OF PAROLE JUSTICE BILLS RELATED TO PAROLE BOARD ELIGiBiliTY, WORKERS RIGHTS, AND SENTENCING REFORMS.
FOR SOME THIS ISSUE IS PERSONAL. TEANA TAYLOR, AN ADVOCATE and co-director of policy and communications WITH THE RELEASE AGING PEOPLE IN PRISON CAMPAIGN OR RAPP, SAid HER FATHER IS INCARCERATED AND HAS BEEN IN PRISON SINCE SHE WAS TEN YEARS OLD.
“He’s done everything in his power to make amends and he made a promise to me and himself that we was going to do everything in his power to be accountable for the crime he committed and actually work against harm and violence in our communities,” she said.
TAYLOR SAid IT’S CRITICAL FOR LAWMAKERS TO PASS LEGISLATION TO EXPAND PATHWAYS, ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS, FOR PAROLE BOARD RELEASE FOCUSING DETERMINATIONS ON WHO AN INCARCERATED INDIVIDUAL IS TODAY AND WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO CHANGE.
“My father would be an asset to our community and so that’s why we fight for this legislation because it’s not just him. There are thousands of people and families who are impacted by this parole board that’s not fair,” said Taylor.
SOME REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS SAid LEGISLATION LIKE THIS FAVORS CRIMINAL CONDUCT AND TAKES AWAY FROM CONSEQUENCES.
"Too much has been done too quickly on criminal justice reform. They've gone too far on the issues that they've pushed and it's creating a state where we're suffering the consequences of no consequences," said Sen. Tom O'Mara (R-Big Flats).
SOME DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERS DISAGREE--SAYING THESE BILLS ARE A MATTER OF JUSTICE.
“When people have done their time, they’re no longer dangerous to society and certainly when they are a certain age, now is the time to have them come back into society,” said Assembly Member David Weprin (D-Assembly District 24).