Friday, June 12, 2015

Another successful challenge to denial of Parole Release.

        We've discussed this in the prior posts on this site. CLPR Article 78 special proceedings are the means to challenge the denial of release to parole supervision. On June 2nd, Acting Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski issued a Memorandum and Order vacating the Parole Board's imposition of a twenty four month hold, and instead imposed a twelve month term effectively ordering the Respondent's release in the Matter of Caufield v. NYS Division of Parole. In our representation of the respondent, our petition noted he was sentenced in July 2013 to an indeterminate term of 1 1/3 - 4 years on his plea to a Class D felony of DWI. At his appearance before the Parole Board in July 2014, he had already been awarded Merit Time pursuant to Corrections Law Section 805 and a Certificate of Earned Eligibility. He had completed the DWI program, received a favorable COMPAS Risk and Needs Assessment and provided the Board with favorable letters of support, a personal recovery statement and an offer of prospective employment. The respondent appeared via video conference with the Board, who denied his release and ordered a 24 month hold. Their determination recited the usual boiler plate"there is a reasonable probability that [petitioner] would not live and remain at liberty without again violating the law and his release at this time is incompatible with the welfare and safety of the community." 
         Our petition noted among other things that the Board's decision failed to consider his exemlary prison disciplinary record, positive programming, contributions to the prison community and support available upon release. It also failed to consider the sentencing Court's specific recommendation to the Board, encouraging the respondent's early release if he did complete all the available programs. 
          We argued the denial of release was irrational, arbitrary and capricious. The Supreme Court Decision determined the "twenty four month hold to be excessive and an abuse of discretion. Accordingly, the parole Board will vacate its imposition of a twenty four month hold, and instead impose a twelve month term."
           Keep fighting.