New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Friday ordered the immediate release of 191 inmates from the crisis-hit Rikers Island Correctional Facility, saying the individuals in question had paid their debt to society but were back in prison due to “technical” parole violations. . .
Hochul announced at a September 17 event at which he signed into law the “Come Is More: Community Supervision and Revocation Reform Act”, a criminal justice reform measure meant to reduce instances of parolees, which he described as did. A “technical violation” of parole terms, such as skipping curfew or failing a drug test.
“Often, in this state in particular, parole becomes a ticket back to jail because of very technical violations. Someone was caught with a drink, or using a substance, or for lack of an appointment. called technical breaches, and what it does is that it takes people back to the place where they eventually paid their debts and were released,” Hochul said at the sign, adding that about 65 percent of people are parole violations. Those returned to prison fall into the “technical” category.
While the Less Is More Act doesn’t come into force until March 2022, Hochul said it was ordering the immediate release of nearly 200 Rikers Island prisoners under the new law’s provisions.
“I believe we also have to take some very swift action and do it now. So under my direction 191 people will be released today from the parole board,” she said. have served their sentences under the decree, but they should not wait till the date of enactment.”
Other measures introduced by the law include requiring an expedited judicial hearing and an opportunity for parolees to earn credit for each 30-day period in which they do not violate the condition of supervised release, which is the duration of the parole. in the direction of reducing it.
While proponents of the Less Is More measure say that jailing people for technical parole violations is costly and fuels recidivism, Republicans in the state legislature have accused Democrats of focusing more on individuals who do their best. commit crimes instead of victims.
Donna Hilton, a former Rikers Island prisoner and founder of the advocacy group A Little Peace of Light, praised the measure.
“I am thrilled that today has arrived,” Hilton said in a statement. “It’s a victory for the women who are behind bars for the wrong steps of small parole.”
New York State Representative Lee Zeldin, who plans to run for governor’s office, criticized Hochul’s decision to sign the bill and move forward with releasing prisoners based on it.
“Even months before this new law took effect, criminals in Hochul are now moving out of Rikers Island, and it is clear that the madness is not ending anytime soon,” Zeldin said in a statement, in which he called for “the repeal of cashless bail, maintaining qualified immunity, standing up to law enforcement and restoring the balance of power in Albany”.
The release of those on Rikers Island comes as a corrective complex scramble with staff shortages, poor conditions and restrictions placed on guards, prompting city officials to bring in more officers, reducing the prisoner population and expediting repairs. There is a scuffle for.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times