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New Study: State Division Of Parole In Complete Dissaray

44 new Parole Officers took the oath of office November 17, 2006
Eric Pugatch

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer today released a new study showing the New York State Division of Parole in severe violation of its own standards. The study, “Breaking Parole,” finds that Parole Officers are handling caseloads that are too high and that they lack sufficient training and resources. As a result, Parole Officers are unable to adequately supervise and provide services for people on parole as they re-enter society.

At a press conference at the Prisoner Reentry Institute of John Jay College for Criminal Justice, Borough President Stringer was joined by a group of advocates, Parole Officers, and leaders from Public Employees Federation, which represents Parole Officers across the state. Together, they released the alarming findings and demanded immediate reforms to the Division of Parole (DOP).

“The results of this study are alarming and paint a clear picture of a parole system that is broken and in desperate need of repair,” Borough President Stringer said. “It reflects the frustration of Parole Officers who are floundering in a system where they are overburdened and under-trained. As long as Parole Officers are unable to adequately perform their duties, ex-offenders will continue to become re-offenders. Our State is providing an unacceptable disservice to people on parole and employing procedures that result in a clear threat to public safety.”

Key findings of Stringer’s study include:

  • 84% of the Parole Officer caseloads are not in compliance with DOP standards.
  • 89% of officers characterize the number of cases they manage as “too high.”
  • 73% of surveyed officers do not think they can make a difference in the lives of the people on parole they supervise.
  • 81% of officers do not believe DOP provides enough training to help officers manage their caseloads.
  • 91% of officers say they do not have enough resources and support to do their jobs.
  • 74% of officers do not have a clear idea of how they should be supervising people on parole as expected by DOP.
The study surveyed 50% of all parole officers in Metro Region I, which covers Manhattan and the Bronx and is home to the state’s highest population of people on parole. Each year, roughly 8,700 formerly incarcerated people return to Metro Region I.

Eric Pugatch is an aide to MBP Scott Stringer


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