The People’s Campaign for Parole Justice is a grassroots coalition started by 18 organizations across New York State that works to promote fair and meaningful release opportunities for incarcerated people in New York State prisons. The primary goals of our campaign are decarceration and family reunification. With our closest ally, the Parole Preparation Project, RAPP built this coalition to help lead a statewide strategy to expand release opportunities and end the cycle of endless punishment for people of color in New York.
Thousands of New Yorkers are serving brutally long prison terms as a result of our state’s draconian sentencing laws rooted in white supremacy and a parole release process plagued by racial bias that is designed to punish and re-sentence rather than acknowledge change and transformation. In response to these realities, the People’s Campaign for Parole Justice advocates for the passage of two key pieces of legislation, the Fair and Timely and Elder Parole bills, as well as a change in the composition of the New York State Parole Board.
We advocate for these initiatives because we value the worth and dignity of all people. We believe no one is disposable, nor should anyone be defined by the worst thing they’ve ever done. Further, no one, regardless of the harm they have caused, should die in prison. We believe in redemption and transformation. We believe in families, communities, and collective care. We also recognize that prison sentences that don’t allow for meaningful opportunities for release don’t keep us safe.
New York State must end mass incarceration and promote racial justice by uprooting NY state’s culture of permanent punishment and replacing it with systems of healing, accountability and care. Our coalition, with the support of more than 275 grassroots groups across New York State, leads New York’s People’s Campaign for Parole Justice.
2022 Campaign Platform
The People’s Campaign for Parole Justice (ParoleJusticeNY) is calling on New York State lawmakers and Governor Hochul to pass a package of comprehensive reforms that promote justice and safe communities:
- Elder Parole (S.2423/A.2035): Provides incarcerated people aged 55 and older who have already served 15 or more years an opportunity for parole release consideration. This includes some of the state’s oldest and sickest incarcerated people.
- Fair and Timely Parole (S.307/A.162): Provides a more meaningful parole review process for incarcerated people who are already parole-eligible, and ensures that people are evaluated for release based on who they are today, including their rehabilitation, personal transformation and their current risk of violating the law.
- A Fully Staffed Parole Board with Commissioners who Share our Core Values: The Parole Board must be staffed with 19 commissioners as the law allows, and should be comprised of people who share our values of redemption, transformation and mercy. Commissioners must reflect the identities of incarcerated people and come from professional and clinical backgrounds including social work, nursing, reentry services, and other fields that allow them to evaluate incarcerated people for who they are today.
More than 300 organizations across New York State have endorsed #ParoleJusticeNY. Add your organization by signing on here.