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LAS Sees Costly Reminder of Parole Policies in Rikers Tragedy

The Legal Aid Society called attention to the case of Mejia Martinez – a LAS client who recently passed away at Rikers Island. Mr. Martinez was incarcerated on a parole violation relating to a low-level offense, according to THE CITY.

Legal Aid and other advocates say that the newly passed “Less is More” legislation would have kept Mr. Martinez out of jail – and saved his life.

“Mr. Mejia Martinez’ tragic death is the latest example underscoring the importance of recently passed Less Is More legislation, awaiting Governor Cuomo’s signature, that aims to abolish mandatory detention for non-criminal technical parole violations,” said Lorraine Mc Evilley, director of the Parole Revocation Defense Unit at The Legal Aid Society.

If the “Less Is More Act” is signed by Governor Cuomo, New Yorkers who are jailed today would be issued a written notice of a parole violation, leaving it up to the judge handling their case to decide whether to put the person back in jail pre-trial. The Act would also eliminate incarceration for almost all non-criminal technical parole violations.