Communities Not Cages

Communities Not Cages is a grassroots campaign led by impacted people and families across New York State. Together, we are fighting to end mass incarceration and overhaul New York’s racist and unjust sentencing laws.

Eliminate Mandatory Minimums Act

Mandatory minimum sentencing drives mass incarceration, strips judges of discretion, and grants outsized power to prosecutors to coerce guilty pleas. This bill will eliminate mandatory minimum sentences, including New York’s two- and three-strike laws, allowing judges to consider the individual factors in a case. In doing so, the Eliminate Mandatory Minimums Act will fully and finally undo the harm of the Rockefeller Drug Law era.

Second Look Act

Under current sentencing laws, incarcerated people have no opportunity to demonstrate to a judge that they have transformed while incarcerated or to seek a reconsideration of their sentences based on changes in law and norms. The Second Look Act will allow incarcerated people to apply for a resentencing hearing after they have served 10 years or half of their sentence.

Earned Time Act

Following the federal 1994 Crime Bill, New York State slashed programs for incarcerated people and dramatically limited the time people could earn off their sentences. The Earned Time Act will strengthen and expand “good time” and “merit time” laws to encourage personal transformation in prison and reunite families.

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