Demonstrators march in support of parole reform legislation
Community members in Kingsbridge are calling for parole justice and for a local Assembly member to take action and show his support for legislation.
Demonstrators marched outside the office of Assembly member Jeffrey Dinowitz Tuesday. They say they want his support on two bills.
The legislation could give people who have been incarcerated for a long time the opportunity to prove to the parole board that they are deserving of a second chance. It could get earlier parole for people over the age of 55, who have served 15 years or more. It would also look at more meaningful parole reviews.
Demonstrators were showing their support for the People’s Campaign for Parole Justice. The campaign is pushing for parole reform. Among the demonstrators Tuesday were people who have been incarcerated in the past and who have family members behind bars.
They say state Sens. Alessandra Biaggi and Gustavo Rivera have shown their support for the two bills.
Advocates are calling on Assembly member Dinowitz to include the bills in the agenda to make the parole reform a reality.
News 12 reached out to Assembly member Jeffrey Dinowitz and he responded with a statement saying, "I am deeply appreciative of all people who peacefully exercise their right to protest. This is democracy in action, and I thank all of our neighbors for their patience if they were disturbed by the noise this evening. I believe our parole system is in serious need of reform. It's imperative that our criminal justice system make rehabilitation its primary goal, but we must recognize that serious and heinous crimes have victims and survivors of those crimes. Our system of criminal justice must work for them too. The 'Elder Parole' bill, which defines age 55 as 'elder', is not even before the Codes Committee that I chair. The 'Fair and Timely Parole' bill is currently under discussion. I intend to work for fairness for all."