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Tue, Jan 30

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Albany

First Communities Not Cages Advocacy Day

Together, we'll be convening in Albany with hundreds of formerly incarcerated people, families, and advocates to demand that New York State overhauls our racist and unjust sentencing laws.

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First Communities Not Cages Advocacy Day
First Communities Not Cages Advocacy Day

Time & Location

Jan 30, 2024, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Albany, State St. and, Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12224, USA

About the event

We're planning a blow-out day with rallies, press conferences, meetings with lawmakers, music, and creative actions - and we need you there! Together, we'll be convening in Albany with hundreds of formerly incarcerated people, families, and advocates to demand that New York State overhauls our racist and unjust sentencing laws.

Over the past half-century, New York’s sentencing laws have driven the crisis of mass incarceration, from the 1970’s Rockefeller Drug Laws to the 1990’s “tough on crime” era, which has disproportionately impacted Black and brown communities. Right now, over 30,000 people are incarcerated in New York’s prisons. Nearly 75% are Black or brown.

It is time for New York to reform our unjust and archaic sentencing laws. Under New York’s current law, there is no mechanism for a judge to be able to review or reconsider an excessive sentence. Because of the coercive power of mandatory minimums, 98% of convictions come through guilty plea, not trial, making a mockery of our system of justice. And while other states have modernized their earned time laws to support rehabilitation, New York lags behind.

On January 30th, we'll be pushing for three bills:

  1. The Second Look Act(S321/A531) would allow judges to review and reconsider excessive sentences. Under current sentencing laws, incarcerated people have no opportunity to demonstrate to a judge that they have transformed while incarcerated or to seek a reconsideration of their sentences based on changes in law and norms.
  2. The Eliminate Mandatory Minimums Act(S6471/A2036A) would eliminate mandatory minimum sentences, allowing judges to consider the individual factors and mitigating circumstances in a case and addressing the outsize power of prosecutors to coerce plea deals.
  3. The Earned Time Act(S774/A1128) would strengthen and expand “good time” and “merit time” laws to support rehabilitative efforts in state prisons.

We'll provide transportation and food from across the state. Reach out to Garrett at gsmith@communityalternatives.org with any questions!

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