Contact: Sumeet Sharma – 646-591-9483 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow online: #LessIsMoreNY | www.lessismoreny.org
New York, NY – Today, the NY State Senate passed the Less is More Act S.1144-A – Benjamin, by an overwhelming 39-24 margin. The #LessIsMoreNY Coalition, made up of people directly impacted by parole and mass incarceration and nearly 300 community, faith, and advocacy groups, issued this statement by the coalition leadership, in response the passage:
“On behalf of the entire #LessIsMoreNY coalition that has worked so hard to make this day possible, we’re thrilled to see the Senate pass the Less is More Act. We want to thank our Prime Bill Sponsor, Senator Brian Benjamin, for his unwavering dedication to passing Less Is More, originally introduced in 2018, and his outstanding leadership on parole reform. We’d also like to thank Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for her support and leadership, and we thank each and every Senate member who co-sponsored, spoke out, and voted “Aye” to bring us one step closer to making transformative changes to New York’s parole system while strengthening public safety and improving the lives of people on parole and their families.
Now, the New York Assembly must immediately pass the Less is More Act and send it to Governor Cuomo for his swift signature.”
About the Less Is More Act and the #LessIsMoreNY Coalition:
Coalition Executive Leadership Team: A Little Piece of Light (NYC); Katal Center for Equity, Health, and Justice (NYC); Unchained (Syracuse)
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 bill, S.1144-A (Benjamin) / A.5576-A (Forrest) will have an impact on the more than 35,000 people on parole supervision in New York, improving public safety while strengthening the reentry process. The bill 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.
The reforms in the Less Is More Act are supported by nearly 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. A full list of supporters and more information on the Less Is More Act can be found at www.lessismoreny.org.