PLS’ Advocacy Results in Decades of Time Saved
Between April 2020 and March 2021, PLS’ advocacy in the areas of disciplinary hearings, jail time, sentencing computations and parole has resulted in decades of time being removed from people’s sentences. By appealing disciplinary determinations on behalf of our clients, PLS eliminated 19 years of solitary confinement and restored six years of good time credit. PLS also obtained 18 years of jail time, parole and sentencing credit for our clients.
PLS’ work to reduce disciplinary SHU penalties and to eliminate solitary confinement in NYS prisons greatly benefits the public by enhancing public safety. A Washington State study found that people who were released directly from solitary have a much higher rate of recidivism than individuals who spent some time in the normal prison setting before returning to the community: 64 percent compared with 41 percent. When individuals in New York prisons are released directly into our communities from solitary confinement, the projected 23% increase in recidivism raises significant public safety issues.
In addition, when individuals are released from solitary confinement they are able to participate in educational and other rehabilitative programs. Participation in such programs increases the likelihood of early release and, as demonstrated by the Washington State study, dramatically reduces the recidivism rate. In addition, if individuals are in general population as opposed to solitary confinement when they appear before the parole board, release is much more likely.
PLS also ensures that peoples’ sentences are calculated accurately and that they receive all of the good time, sentencing credit and jail time to which they are entitled. For every year of good time restored and jail time and sentence computations corrected, PLS saves the State at least $60,076.00 or $5,006.33 per month.
 David Lovell & Clark Johnson, Felony and Violent Recidivism Among Supermax Prison Inmates in Washington State: A Pilot Study, available at: http://www.son.washington.edu/faculty/fac-page-files/Lovell-SupermaxRecidivism-4-19-04.pdf
 New York Civil Liberties Union, “Boxed In – The True Cost of Extreme Isolation in New York’s Prisons” p. 8. (Oct. 3, 2012) available at: http://www.nyclu.org/publications/report-boxed-true-cost-of-extreme-isolation-new-yorks-prisons-2012
 The annual cost of housing an individual in a New York State prison is $60,076.00: http://www.vera.org/files/price-of-prisons-new-york-fact-sheet.pdf