The Board of Parole currently has seven vacant seats and five Commissioners who are up for reappointment. These five commissioners whose terms have expired or are about to expire (James Ferguson, W. William Smith, Kevin Ludlow, Julie Smith and Otis Cruse) are mostly white people from rural and upstate NY with law enforcement and prosecutorial backgrounds.
They have for years, and in some cases decades, denied parole to the vast majority of people who appear before them. Their parole practices and decisions are often illegal, humiliating, racist, and ultimately and tragically result in the loss of our loved ones.
Particularly punitive are Commissioners Ferguson, W. Smith and Ludlow, who were appointed decades ago by Governor Pataki. Their intransigence has had a particularly devastating impact on incarcerated New Yorkers and their children, families and communities and it is time that they and their colleagues J. Smith and Cruse are removed from the Board.
PAROLE JUSTICE IS: A PAROLE BOARD OF OUR PEERS
PLEASE ACT ON JUNE 6TH BY CALLING:
(518-474-8390; dial 1 to leave a message)
Senator Jamaal Bailey
Ranking Member of the Senate Correction Committee
Demand that they not reappoint these five Commissioners:
Ferguson, Ludlow, W. Smith, Cruse and J. Smith
In case it is helpful, we have attached a phone script for your calls below. Also, please sign-up for this Thunderclap to ensure that our advocacy presence is felt on social media, and share this information and the attached flyer amongst your groups and networks.
Parole Justice New York
Hello, my name is (insert name here) and I would like to leave a message for (Governor Cuomo/Senator Bailey). I am calling in regards to the New York State Board of Parole and the prospect of parole Commissioner appointments and reappointments. We understand that this process to appoint and reappoint Commissioners may occur before the end of the legislative session. I urge (Gov. Cuomo/Senator Bailey) to not reappoint Parole Board Commissioners James Ferguson, William Smith, Kevin Ludlow, Julie Smith and Otis Cruse.
These Commissioners and the Board as a whole, are comprised of mostly white people from rural and upstate NY with law enforcement and prosecutorial backgrounds. For years, and in some cases decades, they have denied parole to the vast majority of people who appear before them, despite the incredible degrees to which people have transformed.
Particularly punitive are Commissioners Ferguson, W. Smith and Ludlow, who were appointed decades ago by Governor Pataki. They, and Commissioners Julie Smith and Otis Cruse do not uphold the values of safety, fairness and justice, and should not be reappointed.