The New York Civil Liberties Union and The Legal Aid Society sued Governor Cuomo and the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) to challenge the unconstitutional automatic jailing of people held in New York City jails while waiting for a hearing for alleged parole violations. The lawsuit demands the opportunity for release of over a thousand people jailed in New York City jails for alleged parole violations.
When someone is jailed for an alleged parole violation, DOCCS is required to hold a hearing within 90 days to determine whether the violation occurred and whether the person’s parole should be revoked. For nearly one in five parole re-arrests the parole revocation hearing takes place after the required 90-day period. At the time of filing, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, hearings were suspended almost completely.
The lawsuit argues that people are being automatically detained during this period, in many cases now without even a probable cause hearing, in violation of their rights, often for something as small as failing to register a new address, reporting a change in employment, or for missing a meeting with their parole officer.