Medical parole is an option for releasing the increasing number of incarcerated people who are seriously ill or incapacitated. It can be granted to somebody with a medical condition so debilitating that there is a reasonable probability that they no longer present a danger to society. The number granted release through this policy in New York State—like most others— remains low.

Vera researchers will work with the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) to increase the number of eligible individuals released through this policy and to establish connections to community health providers for post-release care. To achieve these objectives, Vera will provide training to increase identification of those eligible for medical parole, research parole board decision-making, and identify the needs of long term community providers to increase the use of medical parole in New York State. 

Project Objectives

  • Train prison medical staff to better identify individuals potentially eligible for medical parole.

  • Research the parole board’s decision making process when making determinations about medical parole. 

  • Establish a larger network of community-based hospice and nursing home providers to address the needs of those medically paroled. 

Key Fact

Only 30 applications for medical parole were certified in 2014; the parole board granted medical parole to 17 of these individuals.