The Center for Law and Justice will hold a press conference to outline its call for a major shift in the state's criminal justice system. It will be held in the small auditorium of the Albany Public Library on Washington Avenue at 10:00 AM on Saturday, November 1, 2014. To date, at least one of the major gubernatorial candidates has promised to participate in the press conference.
The conference will precede a major community Speak-Out scheduled for 10:30 AM at the Library and is entitled, Police, Prisons, and Mass Incarceration. The Center for Law and Justice, one of the Speak-Out sponsors, has invited all 4 gubernatorial candidates to attend and participate along with a host of local government officials, legislators, and community leaders invited to the Speak-Out by community groups..
Deeply concerned about the growing problem of mass incarceration and its devastating impact on the poor and people and communities of color, Alice Green, the Executive Director of the Center for Law and Justice, has called on the Governor to establish a Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission. It would be a body charged with thoroughly and truthfully examining the problem, assessing ways to effectively address the harm done, and recommending bold and dramatic new approaches for changing the state's punishment-driven and ineffective criminal justice system.
In May, after the Center delivered to Governor Cuomo 10,000 signatures of New Yorkers who support the establishment of such a Commission, the Speak-Out was organized by community groups as a pilot Commission process to demonstrate the value of using such an approach to gather useful information, ideas, and support for change.