Kathy Hochul, Democrats want ‘inmates’ now to be referred to as ‘incarcerated person’

While even some Democrats are calling for immediate legislative action to address rising crime, Gov. Kathy Hochul acted Monday to help those arrested feel better.

Hochul signed legislation passed by the Democratic-controlled Albany Legislature, replacing the word “inmate” with “imprisoned person” in state law.

“For too long as a society we have thought of incarcerated people as less than human. The use of the word “inmate” further dehumanizes and demoralizes them,” Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) said of the law, which he sponsored with Jeffrion Aubry (D-Queens) and which Hochul signed into law Monday.

But Hochul’s recent attempt to make the state more politically correct has her critics arguing that she has set some seriously misplaced priorities, considering shootings have risen 13.4% in the last month, along with a spike in homicides by 34.3% compared to July 2021.

“Another ‘awakened’ criminal Law 1 supported by our governor instead of doing her job protecting the public from rampant crime.” State Sen. Jim Tedisco (R-Schenectady) tweeted Monday afternoon.

“Welcome to Democrat-controlled New York…where the “incarcerated” run the facility.” Michael Fraser, a spokesman for the assembly’s minority leader William Barclay, said in a tweet.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul listens to speakers during a news conference Thursday, July 21, 2022 in New York.
Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation replacing the word “inmate” with “incarcerated person” in state law.
AP/Seth Little

The criticism comes amid growing calls from Republicans and some Democrats, including Mayor Eric Adams, that Hochul lure state lawmakers back to Albany to overhaul controversial bail laws blamed for fueling rising crime.

Hochul has dismissed those efforts, arguing she wants to wait until next year – after the Novto assessed the effectiveness of state budget changes approved in April, which she says gives judges enough leeway to jail people who violate the public threaten security.

“What I want to see is the implementation of these laws at every level,” Hochul told reporters in New York City, while continuing to accuse judges of underutilizing existing laws.

Inmates in the Albany County Jail's Veterans Capsule gather for a group session with Sarah Polidore, center, Executive Director of Field Services for Moral Reconation Therapy, Monday, November 27, 2017.
The bill’s backer, Senator Gustavo Rivera, said the “use of the word ‘inmate’ further dehumanizes and demoralizes prisoners.”
AP/Julie Jacobson

As polls show the vast majority of New Yorkers are concerned about crime, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Suffolk) has made bail reform a top target ahead of the Nov. 8 election against Hochul.

“And as for all the inmates beating up correctional officers across New York, this pathetically weak governor does nothing but make the officer’s job more difficult as she enthusiastically puts her safety at greater risk.” REPEAL the STOP Act!” Zeldin tweeted Monday in response to the new law, which references restrictions on solitary confinement previously included in the law by Hochul.

The new “Incarcerated Persons” law, which follows efforts begun under its predecessor, is part of a broader public safety effort that Hochul argues will bear fruit for New Yorkers as they become more patient current bail laws.

US Rep. Lee Zeldin addresses delegates and assembled party officials at the 2022 NYGOP Convention on March 1, 2022.
Rep. Lee Zeldin said the bill puts the safety of correctional officers at greater risk.
AP/John Minchillo

“In New York, we are doing everything in our power to show that justice and security can go hand in hand,” Hochul said in a press release on Monday.

Another measure signed by the governor on Monday aims to help parole officers avoid extra jail time by increasing the hours they can participate in required community monitoring programs.

Recent political scandals involving Democrats like ex-Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, who resigned months ago amid a federal bribery scandal, has some conservatives think Members of Hochul’s own party benefit most from her ongoing reform efforts.

“To avoid stigma, ‘persons involved in the judiciary’ are now referred to as ‘democrats.'” Conservative radio host Bob Lonsberry quipped via Twitter.

https://nypost.com/2022/08/08/kathy-hochul-democrats-demand-inmates-must-now-be-called-incarcerated-person/ Kathy Hochul, Democrats want ‘inmates’ now to be referred to as ‘incarcerated person’

JACLYN DIAZ

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