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Citizen Action Call to "Pack the Court"

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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -

Citizen Action of New York is looking to bring attention to justice reform in Broome County after finding out the county has the highest incarceration rate in New York State.

On average for every 100,000 people living in Broome County, 393 of them are in prison according to statistics from the Vera Institute in 2016.

The New York State average per 100,000 people is 190 according to the 2016 report.

Micah Barreiro, President of Broome Tioga NAACP says, “What we want to say to the court is will be watching… we’re not here to interfere we're not here to protest in the courts or to say anything to the lawyers or anyone else around... we're simply here to watch and take note”.

Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell released a statement on the matter saying:

"The rate of incarceration, at the Broome County Jail, for crimes committed in Broome County, has decreased by over 15% since 2015.  Statistics from advocacy groups, like the Vera Institute, do not factor in counties, like Broome, who house inmates from other jurisdictions.  In 2018, Broome County took in 526 inmates from outside Broome County. We are able to take in inmates from outside our county, and create revenue, because we have decreased our own jail population, through a reduction in crime; criminal justice reform; and a focus on financial savings for taxpayers. Housing inmates from outside Broome County saves our local taxpayers money.

Citizen Action also stated that African-American's in Broome County are ten times more likely to be incarcerated than Caucasians based on statistics from the 2016 Vera Institute report, but Broome County Sheriff David Harder says that currently there are 314 Caucasians and 155 African American's in Broome County jails.

According to Citizen Action, they plan on "Packing the Court" throughout the month of April.