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Newly launched campaign ensures crime victims are heard when changes are made to state's parole system

An advocacy group launching a new campaign Tuesday that aims to ensure criminal victims have their story heard if any changes are made to the state's parole system.

News 12 Staff

Nov 9, 2021, 10:59 PM

Updated 896 days ago

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An advocacy group launching a new campaign Tuesday that aims to ensure criminal victims have their story heard if any changes are made to the state's parole system.
Richard Tinyes' sister, Kelly Ann, was 13 years old when she was strangled and stabbed.
Her body was found in the basement of her Valley Stream neighbor's house.
Robert Golub was sentenced to 25 years to life but became eligible for parole eight years ago.
"Now I have to think about him getting out and doing this to someone else," Tinyes says.
Jenna Glatzer was just 10 years old when a young man broke into her bedroom and then raped her in a neighbor's yard.
"The judge sentenced him to 646 years in prison. The district attorney told me that meant I would never have to worry about this man again. It turned out that wasn't true," Glatzer says. "He became eligible for parole starting in 2011, so every two years I had to fight to keep him behind bars."
Tinyes and Glatzer spoke at the Crime Victims Center, an advocacy group that's launching what it calls a Voices for Victims campaign to ensure that their side is heard if any changes are made to the state's parole system.
"Before legislation is passed that will drastically have an impact on victims and surviving family members, we want to be at the table," says Laura Ahearn, of the Crime Victims Center.
But advocates for change say the state's parole laws are too strict. They say when considering inmates for parole, more emphasis should be placed on their rehabilitation behind bars and less on the crime they committed.
"We are not defined by the worst thing we've ever done. We are not the sum of our mistakes," says the Rev. Kimberly Johnson, of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation South Fork.
Parole reform is expected to be debated when state legislators begin their new session in January. It's unclear how much traction it will get, considering all state lawmakers are up for reelection next year -- and considering how bail reform became the rally cry for huge Republican victories this past Election Day.
Among other things, advocates for crime victims say that if an inmate is denied parole, it should be four or five years before they're eligible again. Current state law makes them eligible every two years.


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