April 24, 2017 11:33 PM
Ever since the rape of a teenage girl near the Liberty Pole in downtown Rochester three years ago by a man on parole, our local police chiefs have been critical of the New York State parole system. They don't think the rules of parole keep law-abiding New Yorkers as safe as they could be.
So, what do the chiefs think after the state released more than 130 convicted murderers on parole?
Chief Jim VanBrederode, Gates Police Department: I think it's reckless and I think it 's negligent that the State of New York would do that knowing that we have a problem with the parole system.
Gates Police Chief Jim Vanbrederode points to April 2015. The crime was caught on camera. A man on parole murdered one person and shot six others inside a bar in Gates. Monday, I alerted the chief to the list of convicted murderers released from prison and put on parole by the state. The list was compiled by Syracuse.com.
Click here to see the list of convicted murderers paroled
It shows the county where the former inmates live now; six are in Monroe County.
Chief VanBrederode: I think it shows a lack of concern about the parole system. I don't think they're taking it seriously and I think New Yorkers are in jeopardy for their safety.
A Department of Corrections report in 2014 says murderers are among the least likely to end up back in prison even for minor violations.
Murder -- 13 percent.
Burglary -- 55 percent.
Brean: We looked at some of the stats. It looks like convicted murderers are among the least likely to re-offend.
Chief Vanbrederode: But it's kind of like the dog theory. Once the dogs bites you once do you ever trust that dog again?
Brean: What is the recidivism rate of people who have committed murder after they get out of prison?
Jason Barnum, Reentry Coordinator Delphi: It's the smallest percentage statewide.
Jason Barnum's job is to help former inmates get back into society. It's called re-entry. Barnum works for Delphi which contracts with Monroe County.
Brean: When these inmates leave state prison and they come back into the community, what's the hardest part about doing that?
Barnum: Well it's a shock depending on how long you've been in there.
The average prison time for the convicted murderers that got released to parole in Monroe County was 22 years, so Barnum tries to get them a place to live and a job.
Barnum: You're not going to work on anything else, substance abuse wise or mental health wise, if you have no place or you have no food.
In Monroe County, there are 40 parolees for every one parole officer. Chief VanBrederode says the problem with the system is there's no way to track parolees electronically and local police can't arrest them if they violate parole.
Chief Vanbrederode: And, again, it's all about the defendants. Where does the victim come in? Where does my family and your family come in to any of these equations?
Parole is under the New York State Department of Corrections. A spokesman for Corrections told me all six convicted murderers who moved back to Monroe County served more than their minimum sentence and all of them were denied parole at least twice. One man was denied six times.
Updated: April 24, 2017 11:33 PM
Created: April 24, 2017 06:03 PM
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