ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Governor Kathy Hochul signed off on the “Less Is More” Act in New York City this morning. The legislation aims to reduce the number of people who are behind bars due to “technical” parole violations.
“Today we’re taking on an aspect of our criminal justice system that’s too often overlooked. The antiquated system of the parole system,” Hochul said.
Supporters say too many New Yorkers are incarcerated for “technical” parole violations like consuming alcohol or missing a curfew, and that this will change that. It will also reward those who don’t violate conditions of supervision with “earned time credits.”
“It’s a bill that now incentivizes success and what we’ve done for I think far too long in our state is work with a punishment model,” said All of Us Community Action Group Co-Founder Shawn Johnson.
The bill was carried in the Senate by now Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin. “When you look at how we incarcerate in New York State, I believe we incarcerate way beyond the need for public safety and a lot of it is fear-driven and based in old models and tactics,” Benjamin said.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt who voted against the bill said, “Under One-Party Rule, violent crime has been on the rise across the state. It began with Democrats’ so-called “bail reform” in 2019 – and it will undoubtedly become worse with this new law signed today.”
The bill takes effect in March of 2022. The Governor also announced today that almost 200 people serving time at Rikers Island for “technical” parole violations will be released.