June 10, 2021
Today, lawmakers in Albany passed legislation to enact the “Less is More” Act, a critical, commonsense reform that will begin fixing New York’s broken, biased, and expensive parole system. This legislation will help New Yorkers on parole successfully re-enter society by incentivizing compliance with the terms of parole, ensuring New Yorkers on parole are not re-incarcerated for minor technical violations like missing a meeting, 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 group of 14 national and local organizations—released the following statement:
“After years of advocacy, New Yorkers are finally seeing our leaders in Albany take steps to reform the Empire State’s broken, biased, and expensive parole system. Passing the ‘Less Is More’ Act is a major step forward that will make a real, tangible difference in tens of thousands of New Yorkers’ lives.
“We applaud the Senate and Assembly for taking this crucial action to begin repairing a broken parole system that has been a core driver of over-incarceration, especially for communities of color. This legislation will help create a more just criminal legal system by reducing incarceration, protecting due process, and restoring parole to what it should be: a safe, permanent path home for formerly incarcerated New Yorkers who have rehabilitated themselves and are ready to rebuild their lives. This legislation achieves all of that, while saving taxpayer money and strengthening public safety.
“On behalf of our coalition, I want to thank all of the fellow advocates who have been fighting for this legislation for years and State Senator Brian Benjamin and Assemblymember Phara Souffrant Forrest, who shepherded it through the legislature. New York has long been a leader on criminal justice reform, and we urge Governor Cuomo to sign the ‘Less is More’ Act into law without delay and demonstrate once again that our state is prioritizes fairness, equality, and justice for all.”