Protesters, counterprotesters rally over New York State’s ‘Less is More’ law

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Protesters and counterprotesters rallied outside of the Hall of Justice Monday over New York State’s “Less is More” law.

The law made it so that parolees can no longer be held for what the state calls “technical violations” — which include missing curfew or testing positive for drugs.

Advocates say parolees can get the help they need under this new law, but those opposed to the law say it makes our community less safe.

“You’ve got a law now that has no teeth and no accountability to the victims of crime,” said Parole Officer and President of Public Employees Federation Wayne Spence, “Also, it gives no consideration to parolee’s who come out into the community, use drugs, commit new crimes and the parole officer’s hands are tied.”

“We all know that being incarcerated does not offer any type of rehabilitation,” said Melanie Dominguez of the Katal Center for Equity, Health, and Justice. “If someone suffers from substance abuse disorder they should be able to get help from within the community.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the bill into law in September.

On the day she signed it, 191 inmates were set to be released from Rikers Correctional Center under the law’s provisions.

In Monroe County, a man who was a suspect in a July murder of a Rochester woman using a hatchet was let out of Monroe County Jail under the "Less is More" Act and had to be arrested again.