Governor Cuomo has just proposed to limit visiting at New York State maximum security prisons to 3 days a week instead of the current 7.
If passed, this measure will cause suffering and separation for thousands of imprisoned people and their loved ones.
PLEASE sign this petition and call Governor Cuomo TODAY at (518) 474-8390 to insist that the Governor retract this proposal.
Restricting visits is regressive, counterproductive, and cruel. Family visits are often the only ways people in prison can maintain connections with children, spouses, elderly parents or grandparents, and other family and friends. These ties are crucial for loved ones on the outside, as well as for people to survive their incarceration with their health and well-being intact and to successfully navigate their eventual return home after prison. Evidence has long shown that enhancing family and community connections is not only extremely valuable for people incarcerated and their loved ones, but also increases safety in prisons and improves people’s success after their release.
It is already incredibly difficult for family and friends to visit their loved ones in prison in New York. Governor Cuomo’s proposal to limit visiting at maximum security prisons to just the weekends instead of the current policy of visits on any day of the week will both restrict the ability for people to visit and impose unnecessary burdens on weekend visit days. Under the current seven day system, already visitors often wait two to three hours to see their loved ones - typically after traveling for hours. With reduced days, the wait will be longer, the visitor rooms more crowded, and the visiting days and hours even more limited. This will be terrible for everyone and impossible for many visitors.
While in other contexts the Governor claims to want to support compassionate policies and reduce mass incarceration, his visit reduction proposal will seriously escalate suffering and family disruption, as well as have a negative impact on prison safety and people’s success upon release. Governor Cuomo must withdraw this proposal, and instead take steps to further expand access for people to visit their loved ones in prison.
You can also write to Governor Cuomo opposing the cutback in visiting hours at NYS max prisons.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
New York State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224