New York, December 6, 2013—The New York State Board of Parole must acknowledge a person’s capacity for significant change while incarcerated and implement legislation passed in 2011 to measure rehabilitation, said Columbia Law School Professor Philip M. Genty in Dec. 4 testimony before the New York State Assembly’s Standing Committee on Correction.
Genty, who directs the Prisoners and Families Clinic at the Law School and focuses his research on preserving ties between incarcerated persons and their families, said repeated denials of parole based solely on the seriousness of a crime—and not rehabilitation—result in “a sense of resignation and despair among incarcerated individuals and their families.”
He urged the parole board to implement its requirements under Article 259 of the Executive Law, which mandates that the board “establish written procedures incorporating risk and needs principles to measure the rehabilitation of persons appearing before the board and the likelihood of success of such persons upon release.” Failure to do so is inexcusable, said Genty, the Everett B. Birch Innovative Teaching Clinical Professor in Professional Responsibility.
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