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Legislators Grant, Miller-Williams and Burke Initiative Advances

Conditional Release Panel Membership Finalized

Buffalo, NY- The Erie County Legislature unanimously approved membership to the newly-reestablished Erie County Conditional Release Commission at its session on December 17, 2015.  The Commission was initiated by Legislators Betty Jean Grant, Barbara Miller-Williams and Patrick B. Burke – Democrats of Buffalo, following months of advocacy by community stakeholders, including VOICE-Buffalo and local clergy, seeking the restoration of the program.  The Commission was reestablished by the passage of Local Law No. 2 of 2015.

Legislative action was required to confirm membership of the panel following board appointments by County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz.  Following interviews and discussion by the Legislature’s Public Safety Committee on December 10, 2015, which approved the appointments, the legislation advanced to the full Legislature for its consideration and approval.

The new board members of the Commission include Karima Amin, retired teacher and Founder/President of Prisoners Are People Too; Robert Lonski, former assigned counsel for the Erie County Bar Association’s Aid to Indigent Prisoners Society; Kenneth Elliot Graber, recently retired Administrative Law Judge for the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Board of Parole; Mark Manthe, former Assistant Commissioner for Community Supervision with the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision; and Andrea A. Mujahid-Moore, Esq. former volunteer staff attorney for the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo and current Equal Opportunity Specialist for US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Conditional Release Program was established to allow people serving time the opportunity to receive an early release from the Department of Corrections while working toward obtaining gainful employment and finding permanent housing to help become productive citizens in our community.