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Right now, there are more than 5,000 people incarcerated in New York’s prisons and jails for non-criminal technical violations of parole -- like missing an appointment with a parole officer or being late for curfew. New York incarcerates more people for technical violations of parole than nearly every other state in the country. The racial disparities are stark: in state prisons, Black people are incarcerated at 5 times the rate of white people. And in New York City, Black people are incarcerated at Rikers for technical violations of parole at 12 times the rate of white people.
As the New York Legislature considers another special session, they must immediately fix this problem by passing the #LessIsMoreNY Act. Developed by people on parole, people currently incarcerated, family members, and community groups, the #LessIsMoreNY Act will advance decarceration and public safety in New York.
There are approximately 35,000 people under active parole supervision in New York State who at almost any time can see their efforts to successfully rejoin the workforce and reintegrate into their families and their communities disrupted by reincarceration for a technical violation. This not only harms individual lives and families without commensurate public safety gains, but also drives up the population in the state prisons and local jails, wasting taxpayer money.
New York imprisons more people for non-criminal “technical” violations of parole like missing an appointment with a parole officer, being late for curfew, or testing positive for alcohol and other drugs than any state in the country except Illinois.
The Less is More: Community Supervision Revocation Reform Act would fix this problem. Developed by people on parole, currently incarcerated people, family members, and groups across NY, the bill is sponsored by New York Senator Brian Benjamin (S.1343C) and New York Assemblyman Walter Mosley (A.5493B). Passing this bill will reduce jail and prison populations, support reentry, help speed the closure of Rikers Island Jail, and strengthen the reentry process for those coming home.
It's time to pass the #LessIsMoreNY Act!