The Enormous Cost of Parole Violations in New York

March 11, 2021

The Justice Lab and The Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform (Lippman Commission) released a groundbreaking report uncovering how much New York State and local governments spend on incarcerating individuals for technical violations of parole rules — acts such as not reporting to a parole officer, living at an unapproved residence, missing curfew, or failing drug or alcohol tests.

The Enormous Cost of Parole Violations in New York shows that incarcerating people for technical parole violations costs New York taxpayers over $680 million — $319 million of which is paid by the state, $91 million by NY counties, and $273 million by New York City — without meaningfully contributing to public safety. In 2019, 40 percent of the people admitted to New York prisons were imprisoned for minor violations of parole rules, nearly three times the national average of prison intake for technical parole violations.

The report estimates that unless state lawmakers make changes to reduce the number of technical violations that land New Yorkers back in prison, like passing the Less Is More Act, New York taxpayers will pay more than $6.8 billion over the next 10 years to incarcerate people for rules violations. 

The report also details how much each county spends to incarcerate New Yorkers for technical parole violations. Several counties spent multi-million dollars in 2019 to incarcerate individuals for technical violations, including:

  • Albany County spent $3.7 million
  • Erie County spent $9.95 million
  • Monroe County spent $12.5 million
  • Nassau County spent $7 million
  • Onondaga County spent $6.98 million
  • Orange County spent $3.13 million
  • Suffolk County spent $7.1 million
  • Westchester County spent $4.7 million

To access the full county by county breakdown, and The Enormous Cost of Parole Violations in New York report,  CLICK HERE.

The Enormous Cost of Parole Violations in New York