Families with incarcerated loved ones call on lawmakers to pass parole reform bills

Members of the Bronx chapter of Release Aging People in Prison renewed their calls to state lawmakers Tuesday to pass parole reform, giving their incarcerated loved ones a second chance at freedom.
Janette Colon's husband, Jose, is in prison for what she calls a robbery gone wrong that left two dead. Twenty-two years later, she says he's reformed and deserves a second chance.
"I don't see why this perpetual punishment for a crime that was committed so many years ago is constantly on the forefront when these individuals have redeemed themselves," she said.
Members of the RAPP campaign are calling on state lawmakers and Assembly speaker Carl Heastie to pass the Elder Parole and Fair and Timely Parole bills.
The Elder Parole bill says that all prisoners aged 55 and older who have completed 15 years or more can be evaluated for possible parole release. The Fair and Timely Parole bill focuses on the prisoner's rehabilitation instead of the crime committed.
RAPP members say they feel a real sense of urgency on these bills since the legislative session in Albany ends June 10. The bills are currently in Senate committee.