The Legal Aid Society called on the New York State Department of Correction and Community Supervision (DOCCS) today to immediately suspend all parole hearings pending the installation of video conferencing technology – DOCCS currently only has one open video room, according to THE CITY.
To protect clients and staff, this request for a brief suspension would also give DOCCS some time to begin installing video conferencing, and for defenders to begin using telephonic communications to resolve cases.
“The hearing rooms are a disaster. It’s like a small dining room table where you’d have an intimate gathering,” said Lorraine Mc Evilley, The Legal Aid Society’s Director of the Parole Revocation Defense Unit. “Our concern is that by bringing clients to this center and having our clients exposed to people from the community, this is the perfect incubator for transmission between the civilians, judges and parole prosecutors. “We feel terrible for our clients. This is no way not wanting to go to court to represent our clients. We do that very well. But this is such a dangerous situation and the setup is just unsafe.”
Last Updated: 17 March 2020
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