ALBANY – PEF President Susan M. Kent testified at a state Assembly Standing Committee on Correction at the Legislative Office Building with PEF Division 236 Council Leader John Walters, Tom Donahue, the DOCCS labor-management chair for PEF, and Mary LaVere, a PEF Executive Board Member and an offender rehabilitation coordinator.
Kent told the committee consisting of Daniel J. O’Donnell, Joseph Giglio, Luis Sepulveda and Felix Ortiz, the computer tool called COMPAS used to assess the level of supervision for an inmate who is being reviewed by the Parole Board, needs to be replaced by trained parole officers.
"This computer program is bad public policy," Kent testified. "PEF realizes COMPAS has turned the parole system into a "prison without walls," and is a result of budget cuts, sequestration and the merger of the Department of Correction with Community Supervision.
Kent cited several examples of how COMPAS fails to correctly assess individuals, as well as the consequences. She said certain inmates with a record of violent behavior are returned to the community with little supervision and commit crimes, while others who deserve to be released are kept in prison.
Kent also talked about the ineffectiveness in the system brought about by the state’s merging of two titles, corrections counselor and parole officer, into offender rehabilitation coordinator.
Dozens of PEF parole officers attending the hearing including PEF Vice President Wayne Spence, along with PEF’s Secretary-Treasurer Carlos Garcia.