Vera Institute of Justice Launches New York Parole Data Visualization

Data transparency is the first step to solving shortcomings and disparities in New York State’s parole release process.


September 19, 2023

Contact: Trip Eggert | | (212) 376-3157, ext. 1033

A new data tool from the Vera Institute of Justice provides accurate, up-to-date data on parole release rates in New York State, using the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s (DOCCS) Parole Board Interview Calendar and detailed information about each person appearing before the board. Allowing segmentation by age, race and ethnicity, and charge severity, the tool sheds light on how sparingly parole is granted in New York, how these different variables impact release rates, and clear areas for investigation and legislative action.

Each year, 10,000 to 12,000 people appear before New York’s Board of Parole to make their case for release to community supervision. Parole is intended to build safety inside and outside prisons by disincentivizing misconduct during incarceration and allowing people who pose a minimal safety risk to return home and connect with their families, communities, and employers. Yet New York’s parole release rate has been in decline, falling from a 42 percent release rate in 2018 to 33 percent in 2022. The cost of parole denials is substantial: not only in terms of the nearly $115,000 per year it costs to incarcerate someone, but also in the economic, psychological, and social tolls incarceration takes on families and communities.

Vera’s analysis shows that parole commissioners deny parole far more frequently than they grant it—and there are marked disparities in releases. Last year, Black parole seekers were released at a rate of 29 percent—close to the 31 percent release rate seen for Latino applicants—while white parole seekers saw a release rate of 40 percent. To learn more about Vera’s analysis and available solutions to improve New York’s parole process, see our explainer, New York Must Rethink Its Parole Release System.

Data transparency is the first step in safely improving New York State’s parole release practices. Vera’s parole data tool serves as a critical resource to help elected officials, advocates, and members of the public hold the Board of Parole accountable for fair, equitable release decisions.


About the Vera Institute of Justice: The Vera Institute of Justice is powered by hundreds of advocates, researchers, and policy experts working to transform the criminal legal and immigration systems until they’re fair for all. Founded in 1961 to advocate for alternatives to money bail in New York City, Vera is now a national organization that partners with impacted communities and government leaders for change. We develop just, antiracist solutions so that money doesn’t determine freedom; fewer people are in jails, prisons, and immigration detention; and everyone is treated with dignity. Vera’s headquarters is in Brooklyn, New York, with offices in Washington, DC, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. For more information, visit

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