October 18, 2021
Contact: Yonah Zeitz - 347-201-2768 [email protected],
Follow online: #LessIsMoreNY | www.lessismoreny.org
Statement from Leadership of the #LessIsMoreNY Coalition on Sen. Tedisco’s Shameful and Dishonest Op-ed
New York, NY: Over the weekend, Republican New York State Senator James Tedisco published an op-ed filled with more lies about criminal justice reform and the Less is More Act. The leadership of the #LessIsMoreNY Coalition issued this statement in response, attributable to Kenyatta Muzzani, Director of Organizing at the Katal Center for Equity, Health, and Justice:
“Sen. Tedisco should be embarrassed to publish an op-ed full of fear-mongering and misinformation about the Less Is More Act. It's a ludicrous misrepresentation of public safety. For Sen. Tedisco to call for more New Yorkers to be incarcerated for non-criminal technical violations of parole -- like missing curfew or being late for a meeting --is wrong and unconscionable. Re-Incarcerating people on parole for non-criminal technical violations makes us less safe by disrupting individuals’ re-entry process, separating families, and costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Less Is More Act will in fact improve public safety while strengthening the reentry process, which is why it is endorsed by 300+ faith- and community-based groups, as well as eight District Attorneys representing more than half of the state’s population. The bill is supported by Sheriffs and other law enforcement officials from across the state and country, and its provisions follow the guidelines of EXiT, the national organization of former and current corrections and community supervision officials. And Less is More is endorsed by victims rights organizations in New York.
This op-ed is ridiculous. End the racist fear-mongering about criminal justice reform now.”
About the Less Is More Act: Parole supervision, and the resulting incarceration of people for technical parole violations, disproportionately impacts Black people, families and communities. Parole in New York is wrought with racial disparity: In New York City, Black people and Latinx people are 12x and 4x more likely to be incarcerated for a technical parole violation. In New York State, Black people are incarcerated for technical violations of parole at 5x the rate of whites, and Latinx people are 30 percent more likely than whites to be reincarcerated for technical parole violations.
The Less is More Act impacts the more than 35,000 people on parole supervision in New York, improving public safety while strengthening the reentry process. The law restricts the use of incarceration for most technical violations, bolsters due process, provides speedy hearings, and provides an earned time credit for most people on parole.
About the #LessIsMoreNY Campaign: #LessIsMoreNY is a statewide coalition of more than 300 community, faith, and advocacy groups; 8 District Attorneys from the counties of Albany, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Nassau, Tompkins, Ulster, & Westchester; law enforcement leaders from across New York including the Albany, Erie, and Tompkins County Sheriffs, and more. The Coalition came together to develop and pass the Less Is More Act. Restricting the use of incarceration for noncriminal technical violations of parole will support people in reentering their community after incarceration; responsibly reduce jail and prison populations; promote safety and justice for families and communities; and save taxpayers money. A full list of supporters and more information on the Less Is More Act can be found at https://www.lessismoreny.org/supporting_letter
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