With so many pressing issues of reform working their way through the New York legislature, it is surprising that Gov. Andrew Cuomo would move to restrict prison visits at higher security prisons. The proposal takes the cause of reform in a regressive direction that is punitive to families of the incarcerated, especially children.
Cuomo’s plan to reduce prison visits at maximum-security prisons from seven days a week to three would allegedly save an estimated $2.6 million, according to an exclusive story in the Daily News. This proposal runs counter to a growing body of evidence and support for prison reform that encourages more contact with family and friends, not less.
“It is embarrassing to think that for this small cost savings the governor would restrict the opportunity to strengthen family ties and reduce recidivism,” Soffiyah Elijah, AFJ's executive director and founder said.
Strong community and family ties are key factors in successful re-entry.
In recent years New York has experienced a dramatic reduction in its prison population by over 22,000. The proposed restriction in visitation threatens to reverse that trend.
We at the Alliance of Family for Justice encourage you to continue the work of digital activism we launched at our January meeting. March with your fingers! Sign-on to this petition and then share it widely on your social media networks.
Tag us @afj-ny so we can share and like. Together we can continue to go #viralforjustice.