Parole Information Project

This collection contains documents relevant to the denial and grant of parole in New York State.

There are almost 50,000 people serving sentences in New York State prisons. Nearly 20,000 are serving indeterminate sentences and almost 9,000 of those individuals are serving a sentence with a maximum of life (representing almost 18% of the prison population). Every year, 12,000 incarcerated persons are considered for release to parole supervision by the Board of Parole, which includes an interview with two or three parole commissioners. Commissioners are appointed by the governor and approved by the state senate.

Parole is denied to a large majority of parole applicants. A parole denial may be challenged via an administrative appeal to the Board of Parole’s Appeals Unit, and--if unsuccessful--via an Article 78 petition pursuant to New York Civil Practice Law and Rules, filed in the Supreme Court in a county with venue.

A successful appeal results in an annulment of the denial and a de novo interview and review. An unsuccessful challenge means the parole applicant must wait for the next regularly scheduled parole review. Such a review must take place no more than every two years.

Redactions: With the exception of Parole Administrative Appeal Decisions and NYS Supreme Court Decisions, which by law are publicly available, all other documents have been redacted to protect privacy and marked with codes assigned locally to the individuals seeking parole.

Metadata Availability: The metadata from each of these collections may be obtained in Excel format for research and analysis purposes. All requests should be sent to Professor Martha Rayner at


Browse the Parole Information Project Collections:

Parole Preparation

Parole File Documents

Parole Interview Transcripts and Decisions

Parole Administrative Appeal Documents

Court Litigation Documents

Additional Resources