Erie County Legislature Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo has released the following statement with regard to his vote against a local law to reinstate the county’s conditional release program.
“After discussing conditional release at length and hearing from members of the community on both sides of the issue, I could not support the local law. This program is an inefficient use of taxpayer money, costing more to operate than will potentially be saved. Conditional release is also unnecessary. Many inmates are already released early from their prison terms, whether through parole or for good behavior. The overwhelming majority of inmates are released after serving only two-thirds of their sentence. This program straps taxpayers with a perpetual expense that benefits a minuscule percentage of those who are eligible,” said Majority Leader Lorigo. “This program lacks long-term strategic outlook and planning. The private funding source for this is only guaranteed for one year, and as proposed, the cost to taxpayers does not make sense for how the limited number of people it will serve. A standard re-entry program can serve three-to-four times the amount of eligible inmates at the same cost. If our goal is truly to achieve reduced recidivism and help inmates become productive citizens, then this particular program falls far too short.”