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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 50730 Find in a Library
Title: DUE PROCESS PROTECTION EXTENDED TO PRISONERS APPLYING FOR CONDITIONAL RELEASE - ZURAK V REGAN
Journal: ST JOHN'S LAW REVIEW  Volume:52  Issue:2  Dated:(WINTER 1978)  Pages:252-264
Author(s): V J LAGRECA
Corporate Author: St John's Law Review
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: St John's Law Review
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A FEDERAL APPELLATE COURT DECISION EXTENDING CERTAIN DUE PROCESS REQUIREMENTS TO CONDITIONAL RELEASE, AN EARLY DISCHARGE MECHANISM FOR INMATES SERVING DEFINITE SENTENCES OF LESS THAN 1 YEAR, IS REVIEWED.
Abstract: IN 1977, THE SECOND CIRCUIT DECLARED THAT INMATES INCARCERATED AT RIKERS ISLAND CORRECTIONAL FACILITY IN NEW YORK WHO APPLY FOR CONDITIONAL RELEASE MUST BE PROCESSED IN ORDER OF ELIGIBILITY WITHIN 60 TO 90 DAYS OF ARRIVAL AT THE INSTITUTION. THE COURT ALSO HELD THAT, ALTHOUGH A PERSONAL APPEARANCE BEFORE THE PAROLE BOARDS IS NOT REQUIRED, THE CONDITIONAL RELEASE APPLICANT MUST BE PROVIDED A WRITTEN EXPLANATION SHOULD HIS REQUEST BE DENIED OR DEFERRED. IN ADDRESSING THE QUESTION OF WHETHER AN INMATE'S INTEREST IN CONDITIONAL RELEASE WARRANTS DUE PROCESS PROTECTION, THE COURT REASONED THAT INTEREST IN CONDITIONAL RELEASE IS IDENTICAL TO INTEREST IN PAROLE RELEASE, FOUND IN AN EARLIER DECISION TO FALL WITHIN THE SCOPE OF DUE PROCESS REQUIREMENTS. IN CONSIDERING THE SPECIFIC PROCEDURES REQUIRED, THE COURT CONSIDERED THREE FACTORS: THE INDIVIDUAL INTEREST INVOLVED; THE POSSIBLE DANGER OF ERRONEOUS DEPRIVATION UNDER EXISTING PROCEDURES; AND THE EFFECT THAT A CHANGE IN THE PROCEDURES WOULD HAVE ON THE PUBLIC INTEREST. WITHIN THIS FRAMEWORK, THE COURT UPHELD THE LOWER COURT'S DECISION ABOUT TIME LIMITS AND WRITTEN EXPLANATIONS, BUT, CITING FACTORS OF MONETARY AND ADMINISTRATIVE STRAIN AND PROVISIONS THAT INSULATE THE CONDITIONAL RELEASE APPLICANT FROM INEQUITABLE DECISIONS, REJECTED THE LOWER COURT'S FINDING THAT A PERSONAL APPEARANCE BEFORE THE PAROLE BOARD WAS REQUIRED. IT IS SUBMITTED THAT THE COURT'S REJECTION OF THE PRERELEASE HEARING REQUIREMENT IS UNJUSTIFIED. WHILE THE COURT'S DECISION PROVIDES AN AVENUE OF COMMUNICATION FROM THE PAROLE BOARD TO THE PRISONER, THERE IS IN EFFECT NO PROVISION FOR THE PRISONER TO TRANSMIT INFORMATION TO THE BOARD. THE FINANCIAL BURDEN INVOLVED IN IMPLEMENTING A HEARING PROCEDURE, ALTHOUGH AN IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION, IS NOT THE DECIDING FACTOR. ALTHOUGH PERHAPS NOT EXTENDING ALL THE NECESSARY SAFEGUARDS, THE SECOND CIRCUIT'S DECISION HAS ADVANCED THE RIGHTS OF STATE INMATES AND SHOULD MAKE THE CONDITIONAL RELEASE PROCESS MORE EFFICIENT. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Judicial decisions; New York; Parole; Prisoner's rights; Right to Due Process
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50730

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