More than 50 leading criminal justice reform groups from across the state announced a series of “days of action” to urge lawmakers to make sweeping changes to “end mass incarceration.”
The groups plan to highlight a new “specific legislative demand” each day starting Monday. Advocates say the long-overdue reforms include the end of solitary confinement, release of older prisoners, and overhaul of police disciplinary procedures.
“For decades, progressive New Yorkers and black, brown, low-income and working class communities targeted by criminalization and state violence have been building grassroots power to fundamentally change the criminal legal system and end mass incarceration in our state,” said Erin George of Citizen Action NY.
Advocates are also pressing for sentence law changes for victims of domestic violence.
“Lawmakers must also empower people through access to education, voting rights, and strengthened support for families and community ties while ending the torture of solitary confinement as part of a shift away from the racist punishment paradigm of the whole system,” a press release from the group says.
The criminal justice activists are also pressing for legislation to allow convicted felons to be granted voting rights.
The majority of their proposed changes have been nixed by the GOP state Senate for years.