New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) President T. Andrew Brown today issued an emphatic call for state lawmakers to pass the Less is More Act, a crucial piece of reform legislation that would end reincarceration for individuals alleged to have committed technical parole violations:
“The current parole system is the single largest factor in mass incarceration in New York. Due to chronic understaffing and high caseloads, thousands of individuals who are eligible for release instead are languishing behind bars. When they are finally paroled, they often land back behind bars as a result of minor and non-criminal technical violations, such as failing to make curfew or missing an appointment with a parole officer.
“This creates a vicious cycle that dooms individuals to a life of poverty and struggle, does not contribute to public safety and needlessly costs taxpayers nearly $600 million a year – money that would be better spent on job training, mental health and other programming that supports formerly incarcerated individuals as they transition back into society.
“A system that regularly incarcerates individuals for minor, technical violations is not smart policy. It is also morally incomprehensible – particularly at a time when we are collectively focused on social justice and equity. This state Legislature has made significant strides to dismantle the systemic discrimination that is inherent in our current criminal justice system. I applaud lawmakers’ hard work to date and implore them to continue along this path by passing the Less is More Act.”
NYSBA’s Task Force on the Parole System issued a report outlining deficiencies in the system and outlining a series of recommended solutions that can be found here.
About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, the Association has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.
Contact: Susan DeSantis