NY could automatically seal criminal records, reform parole

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The Palm Beach County Main Detention Center on Friday, June 4, 2021, in West Palm Beach, Fla. By the middle of 2020, the number of people in jails nationwide was at its lowest point in more than two decades, according to a new report by the Vera Institute of Justice, whose researchers collected population numbers from about half of the nation’s 3,300 jails to make national estimates. But the numbers have begun creeping back up again as courts are back in session and the world begins returning to a modified version of normal. It’s worrying criminal justice reformers who argue that the past year proved there is no need to keep so many people locked up in the U.S. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New Yorkers would have their criminal records automatically sealed and avoid jail time for non-violent parole violations under bills that moved through the state Legislature on Thursday.

The state Senate and Assembly passed the Less is More Act, which would largely eliminate the practice of incarcerating people for technical parole violations.

Legislative leaders will decide when to send the bill to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who would have ten days to sign or veto it.

Some criminal justice advocates criticized the Legislature for failing to pass more bills to help people who are denied parole.

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