Senate Confirms New Leader of Parole Board

Alumna Tina Stanford in New York Law Journal, June 24, 2013

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Tina Stanford was confirmed Wednesday by the state Senate as the new chairwoman of the Parole Board after serving since 2007 as head of the state Crime Victims Board. Stanford was nominated by Governor Andrew Cuomo to succeed Andrea Evans, who has headed the agency since 2009.

The 19-member board determines the parole eligibility of inmates and monitors the compliance of ex-prisoners with the terms of their release.

Stanford, 49, said one of her chief goals will be to computerize records so that commissioners will have access to all pertinent documents—court records, institutional records and victims' statements. She also said she would also treat parolees and those seeking release from prison with the same "utmost respect and decency" as the Crime Victims Board has for crime victims. "When you do things professionally, even somebody who is not getting what they want at the end of the day realizes you .... gave them every consideration within the bounds of good ethical behavior," she said.

Stanford acknowledged that parole boards have been criticized for focusing on the nature of the convict's crimes and not on their record of rehabilitation. But she said she did not believe boards were biased. "From what I understand, they all do their best to apply the factors in every case," she said.

Stanford, a graduate of Fordham Law School, has also been an assistant Erie County district attorney and an attorney for Buffalo City Court.

The chair of the parole board makes $120,800 annually. Commissioners are paid $102,000.