By: Raga Justin, Times Union
ALBANY — Survivors of violent crimes stood side-by-side with former inmates at the Capitol on Tuesday to push again for an overhaul of the state’s parole system, which advocates said has unfairly pitted victims against people who commit crimes — especially in a time of renewed political agitation about public safety.
The movement to change how the state grants parole, part of a broader set of progressive criminal justice measures, has long been championed by advocates and many Democratic lawmakers. The “Fair and Timely Act” bill would broaden the criteria used to determine whether an individual should be granted parole, while an “Elder Parole” bill would ensure that an inmate over 55 or an inmate who has served at least 15 years in prison would be automatically granted a parole hearing despite the severity of their initial conviction. Both have been introduced in prior legislative sessions, yet failed to reach the floor of either chamber….