Rochester-area law enforcement outrage over ‘Less is More Law’

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester-area police are outraged that dangerous criminals are being turned loose under the "Less is More Law" signed by Governor Kathy Hochul last week.

Local chiefs of police and sheriffs gathered outside the Monroe County Jail Tuesday afternoon to address the unexpected prisoner release.

Law enforcement officials say 17 inmates in the Monroe County Jail for violating parole were let out, with no warning to police. Five are still being held on other charges.

Police say some of the felons were being held for new crimes but hadn’t been charged because they were securely in jail, but not anymore and that creates a dangerous situation for police, victims, and witnesses.

Under the Less is More Law parolees can no longer be held for technical violations like missing curfew or testing positive for drugs.

"There could be people released tonight that are potentially wanted for other serious crimes that we’re trying to put together packages for them to be able to recharge them for additional crimes and if they’re out on the street all of our officers are out trying to find them," Greece Police Chief Andrew Forsythe said.

Parolee advocates say the new law actually enhances public safety through those incentives.

"The Less is More Act is actually what creates an incentive for people to follow the rules because it earns a provision called earned time credits where people who comply with the rules of parole can earn early discharge," Emily NaPier Singletary said.

Less is More Law also aims to ensure the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) focuses its resources on helping individuals successfully complete community supervision and avoid a future return to DOCCS custody or supervision.