Today, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation to enact the “Less is More” Act, a critical, commonsense reform designed to help fix New York’s broken, biased, and expensive parole system. This legislation will help New Yorkers on parole successfully re-enter society while supporting public safety by providing incentives for individuals to follow the terms of their parole; ensuring that New Yorkers on parole are not re-incarcerated for minor technical violations like missing curfew; and providing New Yorkers on parole the right to an attorney and due process, including a speedy hearing, if they are suspected of violating the terms of their parole.
In response, Alexander Horwitz, Executive Director of New Yorkers United for Justice (NYUJ)—a bipartisan coalition of 14 national and local organizations that supported parole reform through a statewide public educational campaign and six-figure advertising push—released the following statement:
“With Governor Hochul’s signature, the ‘Less is More’ Act is now law in New York State, providing critical fixes for some of the worst parts of New York’s broken, biased, and costly parole system. By enacting these reforms, our state has continued its progress toward a criminal legal system that is truly just and one that provides New Yorkers with the support they need to safely and permanently re-enter society.
“We are grateful for the efforts of those who championed this legislation, including co-prime sponsors Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin and Assemblymember Phara Souffrant Forrest, and the many advocates who worked tirelessly on the frontlines to fight for passage of this bill. Today, the parole system takes a major step towards what should have been its true purpose from the beginning: a way to safely decarcerate New Yorkers, enhance public safety, reduce recidivism, and save taxpayer dollars while embracing equality and fairness.
“New York has long been a national leader on commonsense criminal justice reform, and while we celebrate this important milestone, we urge elected officials to continue fighting for legal reforms that prioritize fairness, safety, and justice for all New Yorkers. We look forward to continuing this work in the years ahead.”