Osborne Statement on the NY State Budget: Significant Progress on Criminal Justice Reforms, but the Work Continues

01 April 2019

The Osborne Association commends Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, and Senate President and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for passing a budget that includes criminal justice reforms that align with our vision for a more just and compassionate legal system. Osborne's decades of work inside prisons and jails and in the community show us the terrible human cost of overly punitive policies.

New York has taken a critical step towards ensuring we can address public health and public safety even as we treat the accused as whole people who have families, homes, and jobs. We applaud the state's plan to overhaul the use of solitary confinement, reduce the sentence for misdemeanors by one day to safeguard against deportation, and support comprehensive reentry programs to improve outcomes for people coming home from prison. At the same time, we are deeply aware of the work that remains to be done. 

We look forward to working with the governor and legislators to fully staff the parole board and enact pending legislation to support the children and families of those incarcerated, and to bring older people and others who have transformed their lives home. We thank Assembly Members David Weprin and Carmen De La Rosa, and State Senators Luis Sepulveda, Velmanette Montgomery, Gustavo Rivera, and Brad Hoylman for championing these much-needed reforms.