Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo outlined a reform plan for the criminal justice system Sunday, beginning with preventive programs in schools and including post-prison apprenticeships to “stop this cycle” of incarceration disproportionately affecting young black and Hispanic men.
The Democratic governor, speaking before a receptive audience at Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem, previewed an initiative to be announced in his State of the State speech on Wednesday.
“It’s wrong to put people in cages like animals and waste young lives,” the governor told reporters afterward.
Cuomo also called for conditional pardons of 16- and 17-year-olds who commit nonviolent crimes and stay out of trouble for 10 years.
The proposals were part of a seven-point Cuomo plan making criminal justice reform a priority in Albany.
The governor could not immediately provide the cost of his plan to reporters, but said in his remarks to the Mount Neboh congregation: “It is less expensive to do things right in the first place. . . . That is not to mention the human cost.”
Cuomo had more than a dozen local, state and federal elected officials standing with him, including Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Manhattan), state Sen. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan) and City Comptroller Scott Stringer. Mayor Bill de Blasio was not among them.