ALBANY, NY – FWD.us Director of Advocacy and Campaigns Elissa Johnson issued the following statement today after Governor Hochul signed the Less is More Act:
“Today, many New Yorkers and their families can breathe a little easier knowing this critically needed reform will keep hundreds of people out of New York’s jails and prisons. We applaud Governor Hochul and Lt. Governor Benjamin for their leadership on this legislation and associated executive actions and we are grateful to all the organizations and leaders – many of whom have felt the harms of New York’s parole supervision system firsthand – who labored for years towards this win.
“Stemming the unjustifiable practice of revoking people back behind bars for minor violations of their parole supervision conditions is an important step towards addressing the crisis behind bars. However, as the human rights catastrophe on Rikers Island unfolds with increasing horror before our eyes, we are sobered by the urgent work ahead. Leaders from all levels of government from district attorneys and judges, to the Mayor and City Council, state legislators and the Governor must take immediate action to reduce the city’s jail population.
“We are encouraged by Governor Hochul’s early leadership on criminal justice reform and look forward to working with her to advance more overdue criminal justice reforms, including protecting and expanding upon those parts of the 2019 bail reforms that are still in place and finally establishing meaningful opportunities for the New Yorkers serving some of the longest prison sentences to come safely home through parole reforms.”