VOCAL-NY is working to end mass incarceration by ending discriminatory and abusive policing practices, reducing the number of people incarcerated, and removing barriers to jobs, housing and voting for people with conviction histories.
Far too many New Yorkers are incarcerated because our criminal justice system is disproportionately harsh on communities of color, particularly those who are poor, living with mental illness, drug users, and the homeless.
We are committed to dramatically reducing the incarcerated population in New York, and ending the unjust policies and practices that criminalize and stigmatize too many.
Our mass incarceration work is led by our Civil Rights Union which is composed of people who have experienced incarceration and criminalization.
Related LEGISLATION & Demands
Named after a Black man in Rochester who was experiencing a mental health crisis when killed by police officers who responded, Daniel’s law would remove police officers as first responders to people experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis, and allow social workers, mental health counselors, peers and other health workers to become first responders to people experiencing behavioral health crises.
People incarcerated on a felony conviction are barred from voting in New York as a result of state constitutional changes stemming from the 1860s. No one should lose the right to vote.
Removes the legal shield that prevents officers who deprive someone’s civil rights from being held accountable.
Reforms to provide people with legitimate ways to challenge wrongful convictions in court.
Provides a fairer process for parole hearings and would ensure that the growing elderly population in New York State prisons has access to the parole board.