New York's law books will no longer use the word "inmate" to describe people in prison as part of a measure signed Monday by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Use of the word "inmate" has come under criticism by advocates who have sought changes to New York's criminal justice system, arguing the term dehumanizes people. Laws in New York will now refer to people in prison as "incarcerated individuals."
The change also comes as New York has sharply reduced the number of people in state prisons over the last decade and many facilities have closed in the state prison system.
The meaure was signed by Hochul in conjunction with a bill that allows people in parole to attend required community supervision programs to expanded hours to include non-working hours of the day as part of an effort to help them maintain jobs or continue education.
"In New York, we're doing everything in our power to show that justice and safety can go hand-in-hand," Hochul said. "We can make our streets and communities safer by giving justice-involved individuals the chance to complete their rehabilitation program and work at the same time. By treating all New Yorkers with dignity and respect, we can improve public safety while ensuring New Yorkers have a fair shot at a second chance."