Relates to certificates of relief from disabilities issued by the board of parole.
BILL NUMBER: S4689
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the correction law, in relation to certificates of relief from disabilities issued by the board of parole
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL :
This bill transfers the responsibility for reviewing requests for Certificates of Relief from Disabilities for federal felons to federal probation offices.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS :
The bill amends section 703 of the correction law to provide that when an application for a certificate of relief from disabilities is filed with the Board of Parole for a person with a federal criminal conviction, the Board shall issue the certificate if recommended by the chief probation officer of the federal district court.
Under federal and state law, convicted felons who have paid their debt to society are still subject to various civil disabilities, including restrictions on employment. Specifically, former felons are barred from obtaining occupational or professional licenses without a certificate of relief from disabilities (CRD), preventing them from holding positions ranging from garbage collector to private investigator or real estate broker. These certificates are available only to persons who are first-time felony offenders.
Currently, in order to seek relief from state-imposed disabilities, persons convicted of a federal offense residing within New York must apply to the state Board of Parole. The Correction Law provides that the Board of Parole has the power to issue a certificate of relief from disabilities to an eligible offender who resides within New York and whose judgment of conviction was rendered by a court in any other jurisdiction, such as a federal court.
Therefore, a person with a federal conviction presently must apply to a state agency unfamiliar with his or her background for relief from the state imposed civil disabilities. This is an arduous and time-consuming process. Currently, the Board of Parole takes 12-15 months to process an application for relief. Since virtually every federal sentence includes a period of supervised release by the federal probation office following any period of incarceration, the federal probation office estimates that it would be able to provide recommendations to the Board of Parole in 6-8 weeks since the federal probation office will be more familiar with the federal offender and has easy access to his or her relevant records.
This change would reduce the backlog of applications at the state Board of Parole; place the decision about the issuance of certificates of relief from disabilities for persons with a federal conviction in the hands of more familiar probation officers; promote greater efficiency in granting said certificates from state-imposed disabilities; and save money for the overworked state Board of Parole.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : New bill. A10987 (2006) referred to crime victims, crime and correction. A4570 referred to correction in 2007-2008
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : This bill will reduce state costs with regard to processing applications for certificates of relief for disabilities for persons with a federal conviction.
EFFECTIVE DATE : The bill takes effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4689 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 27, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. HASSELL-THOMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction AN ACT to amend the correction law, in relation to certificates of relief from disabilities issued by the board of parole THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The opening paragraph of subdivision 3 and subdivision 5 of section 703 of the correction law, as amended by chapter 342 of the laws of 1972, are amended and a new subdivision 7 is added to read as follows:
[The]EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN SUBDIVISION SEVEN OF THIS SECTION, THE board of parole shall not issue any certificate of relief from disabilities pursuant to [subdivisions]SUBDIVISION one or two OF THIS SECTION, unless the board is satisfied that: 5. [In]EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN SUBDIVISION SEVEN OF THIS SECTION, IN granting or revoking a certificate of relief from disabili- ties the action of the board of parole shall be by unanimous vote of the members authorized to grant or revoke parole. Such action shall be deemed a judicial function and shall not be reviewable if done according to law. 7. WHERE A CERTIFICATE OF RELIEF FROM DISABILITIES IS SOUGHT PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (B) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION ON A JUDGMENT OF CONVICTION RENDERED BY A FEDERAL COURT IN THIS STATE, AND THE BOARD OF PAROLE IS IN RECEIPT OF A WRITTEN RECOMMENDATION IN FAVOR OF THE ISSU- ANCE OF SUCH CERTIFICATE FROM THE CHIEF PROBATION OFFICER OF THE FEDERAL DISTRICT WHERE SUCH CONVICTION WAS OBTAINED, THE BOARD SHALL, PROVIDED SUCH RECOMMENDATION IS BASED UPON A FINDING BY THE FEDERAL PROBATION OFFICE IN SUCH DISTRICT THAT, FOLLOWING ITS INVESTIGATION OF THE APPLI- CANT, THE REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPHS (A), (B) AND (C) OF SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION HAVE BEEN SATISFIED, ISSUE THE REQUESTED CERTIF- ICATE. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00670-01-9