The Parole Hearing Data Project

An educational tool for criminal justice research built on examining parole hearing data

The Parole Hearing Data Project is an open repository of New York State parole hearing data currently based on records scraped from the New York State Parole Board’s website.  So far, we have gathered 30,000+ records and formatted them for analysis.  This project is in development.

We are building this dataset because in New York over 10,000 parole eligible prisoners are denied release every year, and while the consequences of these decisions are costly (at $60,000 annually to incarcerate one individual, and more to incarcerate older individuals with illnesses), the process of how these determinations are made is unclear. By gathering substantial data about these determinations, we hope to enable data-driven research that will help identify existing problems and position decision makers well to solve them. 

The Parole Hearing Data Project was created by Nikki Zeichner, a former New York City-based criminal defense attorney and current Fellow with Code for America where she is working on building digital tools for the City of Vallejo, California.  Her interest in examining the NYS parole board's release practices grew out of her experience preparing a man for his tenth hearing in front of the NYS parole board.  The Parole Hearing Data Project is part of a broader body of work that can be found on the Museum of the American Prison's website.  


The Marshall Project (Letter to the Editor) // 06.22.2015 // 05.12.2015

BLS Advocate // 04.14.2014

GovLab Academy Blog // 04.08.2014

Transgressing Media: Critical Themes in Media Studies, New School (panel presentation) // 04.06.2014

From Bleak House to Geek House, Brooklyn Law School (video of panel presentation) // 04.04.2014

Open Law Lab // 03.07.14


To the Voqal Fund for supporting this project with a Media Ideation Fellowship

And to the following Individuals and organizations that have made real contributions to this project:

Rebecca Ackerman, Case Commons
Jamel Bellamy, Civic Duty Initiative, Sullivan Correctional Facility
Enrico Bertini, NYU Engineering, Computer Science Dept.
Judith Brink, Prison Action Network
Eddie Chen, NYU Engineering, Integrated Digital Media Dept.
R. Luke Dubois, Brooklyn Experimental Media Center
Derek Eder, DataMade
Mujahid Farid, Release Aging People from Prison (RAPP) Campaign, Correctional Association
Tom Grant, Former Commissioner, New York State Parole Board
Jim Murphy, Cure New York
Jay Koven, NYU Engineering, Computer Science Dept.
Beth Noveck, the Governance Lab at NYU
Joe Robinson, Second Look Policy Think Tank, Fishkill Correctional Facility
Thornwell Richburg
Sheila Rule, Think Outside the Cell Foundation
Laura Whitehorn, Release Aging People from Prison (RAPP) Campaign, Correctional Association







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