New York lawmakers want to give cash to parolees

ALBANY, NY – A new legislative proposal in New York State is aiming to provide financial support to inmates upon their release from prison. The bill, proposed by State Senator Kevin Parker and Assemblyman Eddie Gibbs, suggests a six-month financial aid program that would give approximately $400 per month to each released inmate, totaling around $2,600.

The proposed legislation does not currently impose any restrictions on how the funds can be utilized. State Senator George Borrello has voiced his opposition to the bill, arguing that the state should prioritize other legislative measures over providing financial aid to released inmates.

Currently, upon release, inmates receive $40, which is derived from their earnings while incarcerated. Assemblyman Gibbs argues that this amount is insufficient in today’s economic climate, barely covering the cost of groceries or clothing for job interviews. He believes that the proposed increase in financial aid would significantly aid in the successful reintegration of released inmates into society, reducing recidivism rates and ensuring stability and dignity.

Ismael Diaz Jr., from the Center for Community Alternatives, who has previously spent time in prison, concurs with Gibbs. Diaz Jr. argues that the $40 currently provided is inadequate for reintegrating former inmates into society, a figure that has remained unchanged for over 50 years.

The bill’s sponsors are seeking $25 million in tax payer money to fund this initiative. Samra Haider from The Center for Employment Opportunities, which supports the bill, stated that providing increased financial aid to released inmates has been shown to reduce recidivism rates.