New York has kept hundreds of people convicted of sex offenses in prison long past their release dates.
By Chris Gelardi
JORY SMITH was supposed to be free. His sentence had been up for five days on August 28, 2020, when officers at Marcy Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison in upstate New York where Smith had spent almost five years, summoned him to a conference room. But instead of releasing him, they said they were taking him to another prison.
Smith is one of hundreds of New Yorkers over the past decade whom the state has imprisoned past their maximum sentences, often for months or years. It’s not because the judicial system is afraid that he’ll commit another crime—a judge had determined that Smith’s “risk of re-offense is low.” He is caged there, essentially, because he is homeless. They’re stuck — because no one wants a “sex offender” in their neighborhood.
The state’s top court will settle disputes between Rochester, Syracuse, New York City, and their police unions next week in three cases that could reshape police discipline across the state.
By Nathan Porceng
IN 2020, as racial justice protests swept the nation, Richards — then the chair of the New York City Council’s public safety committee — spearheaded a sweeping package of police reform bills, including chokehold and diaphragm-compression bans aimed at eliminating the restraint techniques that killed George Floyd and Eric Garner.
Next week, those bans will go before the state’s highest court, along with two other cases related to police discipline and civilian oversight of law enforcement agencies. Over two days, the Court of Appeals will hear not only from New York City and its police unions, but also Syracuse, Rochester, and their respective police unions. Together, the cases could significantly reshape police discipline — dictating what kind of police misconduct laws municipalities can enact, how municipalities can discipline abusive officers, and who can do the disciplining.