GOVERNOR ACTS TO RELIEVE CROWDING IN NYC PRISONS

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WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. From the Governor’s Press Office. September 17, 2021:

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced actions to improve justice and safety in city jails. The Governor signed the Less is More Act (S.1144A/A.5576A) which modifies the standard of evidence and certain other procedures when determining whether to revoke the community supervision of a person on parole. Governor Hochul also announced an agreement with the Department of Corrections and city to allow for incarcerated individuals who have been sentenced to at least ninety days to be transferred from Rikers Island to New York State facilities.

“Our fellow New Yorkers on parole deserve to reenter society with our support and respect – reincarcerating parolees for technical violations traps them and doesn’t help our communities,” Governor Hochul said. “New Yorkers currently serving sentences in jails and prisons also deserve our support – there is no justice in mistreating incarcerated New Yorkers. While this is just one step and more work needs to be done collaboratively with all levels of government, I am proud to take these steps to increase the safety in city jails, not only for those incarcerated, but for the staff who work tirelessly to keep operations running.”

Signs and Implements Less is More Legislation

 The Less is More Act aims to ensure the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision focuses its resources on helping people successfully complete community supervision and avoiding future return to DOCCS custody or supervision.

Preventing these reincarcerations allows New York State to focus its limited resources on substantive parole violations. This promotes greater community safety and justice for families.

In addition, with the Governor signing the “Less is More” bill, in the spirit of this new legislation, DOCCS is currently reviewing the current parole violators and will work with City officials to immediately release up to 191 individuals, who will no longer qualify for incarceration.

Agreement with City of New York

The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision has worked with the City of New York to leverage an existing statute that will allow for hundreds of definite sentenced incarcerated individuals, which are those sentenced to at least one day but less than one year, to be transferred from Rikers Island to State custody, where they will serve out their sentences in DOCCS facilities. 

Governor Hochul is also directing that forty individuals sentenced to at least ninety days be sent off of Rikers Island each day to New York State facilities for the next five days. This will continue on a rolling basis for those eligible.

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