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Both Sides of the Bars | Parole Reform- Less is More? Why is it so Important Now During COVID 19 and Beyond?

ProducerKhalil Cumberbatch
DescriptionNew York State incarcerates more people on parole for technical violations -- like missing an appointment with a parole officer, being late for curfew, or testing positive for alcohol -- than any other state except Illinois. Of people on parole whom New York State sent back to prison in 2016, over 6,300 -- or 65% -- were reincarcerated for technical parole violations. Only 14% of people on parole who were reincarcerated were returned to prison because they were convicted of a new crime. And the racial disparity is stark: Black people are incarcerated in NYC jails for technical parole violations at more than 12 times the rate of whites. There are approximately 35,000 people under active parole supervision in New York State who at almost any time can see their efforts to successfully rejoin the workforce and reintegrate into their families and their communities disrupted by reincarceration for a technical violation. This not only harms individual lives and families without commensurate public safety gains, but also drives up the population in the state prisons and local jails, wasting taxpayer money. The "Less Is More: Community Supervision Revocation Reform Act" would fix this problem. Developed by people on parole, people currently incarcerated, family members, and groups across New York State, the bill is sponsored by Sen. Brian Benjamin (S.1343C) and Assm. Walter Mosley (A.5493B). People nationwide need to be aware of these issues because they affect not only the citizens of New York State but also those in states across the country. This episode's guests are Della L. Smith, a member of the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice; Donna Hylton, president and founder of A Little Piece of Light; and Emily NaPier Singeltary, co-founder and co-executive director of Unchained.
DateNovember 28, 2022