New York, NY- Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 10:00 am, on Zoom, Black activists and organizers who are members of Black Freedom Project (BFP), alongside allied state legislators, will sound the alarm on the urgent need to pass the Less Is More Act (S.1144 (Benjamin) / A.5576 (Forrest)) this legislative session.
It is no secret that the state of parole in New York is in disarray.
“Technical” violations of parole such as missing curfew or an appointment or testing positive for drugs are a leading cause of mass incarceration in this state. To make matters worse, these nonsensical rules are administered unequally as Black and Latinx people are 12x and 4x more likely to be incarcerated for a technical parole violation.
This re-incarceration serves no legitimate purpose except to disrupt lives and to undo any gains that people who have been previously incarcerated have made. It is also a monumental waste of resources – to the tune of $680 million dollars – that could instead be invested into communities, providing housing, healthcare, and employment to people returning to their communities after incarceration.
New York also trails behind many “less progressive” states who have passed reforms like the Less Is More Act including Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah. It is time that New York lived up to its reputation as a progressive bastion and enact this bill. The Less is More bill will transform the parole process in New York by allowing people on parole to focus on their reintegration instead of always looking over their shoulder.
A full list of supporters and more information on the Less Is More Act can be found at www.lessismoreny.org.
The Black Freedom Project (BFP) was established in late 2019 by a statewide coalition of Black-led and centered organizations and advocates, growing out of intersecting struggles and efforts to further build a Black Liberation movement in NYS. Collectively we resolve to grow and mobilize grassroots power by expanding Black-led organizing infrastructure, base-building capacity, supportive relationship-building and campaign collaboration. BFP envisions a world where the most marginalized Black people in New York State: 1) are able to fully realize their humanity; 2) Access democratic and equitable engagement in political, financial, labor, educational (and other) institutions shaping their lives; 3) can live free from the constant threat of State and/or extralegal violence and other forms of suffering; and 4) have full physical, socio-political and economic access to participate.