To the Editor: On Sept. 17, Governor Hochul signed a prison-reform bill called the "Less Is More Act." Although this bill has merit, it will do virtually nothing to solve the problems in the NYC Correction Department.
At the press conference, Hochul referred to New York State's high rate of incarceration and stated, "This is an indictment on us all." Many times politicians are happy to share the blame with others when it's entirely their fault.
No, Governor, this is not an indictment on us all. It's an indictment on you and other politicians who don't take any action unless it's self-serving and there's a photo op.
Notwithstanding the fact that this bill will only slightly reduce the inmate population in NYC jails, it will do nothing for those who remain in custody.
The prevailing issue for the Department of Correction should be how to manage the inmates who remain in custody. Much more needs to be done to restore order and safety in NYC jails. Moreover, government should work tirelessly to provide programs, services and education to keep people out of jail and rehabilitate those who are in jail.
I submit that jails and prisons should be transformed into universities, trade schools and inner-development academies, providing an abundance of opportunity in anticipation of reentry to society.
But until that day arrives, even if NYC releases 5,000 inmates and is left with 1,000, de Blasio's policies will still fail to effectively supervise the 1,000 because he has laid a minefield of incompetence and ineffectiveness that with every step results in an explosion of failure.
Since de Blasio is not able to safely operate and manage NYC jails, maybe he will reconsider U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's recent advice and release all inmates from Rikers.
Then, by playing Rikers Russian Roulette with the lives of New Yorkers, he will have finally succeeded in making the jails safe.
Retired Assistant Deputy Warden
We depend on the support of readers like you to help keep our publication strong and independent. Join us.