New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill replacing the word “inmate” with “incarcerated person” in state law.
“For too long, we as a society have thought of incarcerated individuals as less than people. The use of the word ‘inmate’ further dehumanizes and demoralizes them,” said state Sen. Gustavo Rivera, a Bronx Democrat,
Hochul’s latest effort to make the state more politically correct has critics arguing she has seriously misplaced priorities considering how shootings spiked 13.4 percent last month alongside a 34.3 percent murder increase compared with July 2021.
“Another ‘Woke’ Criminals 1st Law supported by our Governor instead of doing her job & protecting the public from rampant crime,” tweeted state Sen. Jim Tedisco.
“Welcome to Democrat-controlled New York … Where the “incarcerated individuals” are running the asylum,” said Michael Fraser, a spokesman for Assembly Minority Leader William Barclay.
The criticism comes amid calls from Republicans, and some Democrats like New York City Mayor Eric Adams, for Hochul to beckon state lawmakers back to Albany to overhaul controversial bail laws blamed for fueling rising crime..
Hochul has rejected those efforts while arguing that she wants to wait until next year to assess the effectiveness of changes made in the state budget approved in April, which she says gives judges enough leeway to jail people who threaten public safety.
Republican gubernatorial nominee Rep. Lee Zeldin has made bail reform a top target ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
“And as far as all the inmates beating the crap out of correctional officers across New York, this pathetically weak Governor doesn’t do anything but make the job of being an officer harder as she enthusiastically puts their safety at greater risk. REPEAL the HALT Act!” Zeldin tweeted in response to the new law, referencing limits on solitary confinement previously signed by Hochul.