Myles Carter’s focus is to ensure that every Erie County resident feels safe in every part of the county.  Unfortunately, the plagues of mass incarceration, poor education, and lack of community resources have crippled communities throughout the county.  These issues, combined with drug abuse, poverty, and mental mental illness, have done nothing but exacerbate crime in our communities and stifles our growth into the next generation.  Myles supports an inclusive platform that addresses the root cause of crime and poverty. His goal is to end crime by focusing our efforts on mental health, drug abuse, poverty, education and jobs training for incarcerated individuals.

The majority of those incarcerated in the county jail are serving a sentence of less than one year, violation of probation or parole or awaiting trial.  In most instances, these individuals will be returned to our community. Therefore, our focus should be to ensure these individuals are equipped to be productive members of society.

#HALTSolitary Confinement

It’s insane to expect individuals to enter into a barbaric system designed to mentally and spiritually destroy and have them re-enter into society or to general population as productive individuals. On February 1, when Myles Carter announced his run for Erie County Sheriff, he vowed to end solitary confinement at the Erie County Holding Center and the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden, NY.  In March, the Humane Alternatives to Long Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act, was signed into New York State Law. However, it will take AT LEAST one year for the Halt Solitary Confinement Act to take effect. Therefore, on day one as Erie County Sheriff, Myles will end Erie County Jail Management’s cruel and inhumane solitary confinement practices. Instead, Myles will focus on creating alternatives that place the spiritual, mental, and physical well-being of detainees first. 

The Truth About Solitary Confinement (Source: New York Campaign for Alternatives to Solitary Confinement) 

  1. More than 30% of all prison suicides in New York take place in solitary. 
  2. The sensory deprivation, lack of normal interaction, and extreme idleness of solitary can lead to intense suffering and severe psychological, physical, and even neurological damage. 
  3. Thousands of people remain in solitary confinement for 22 to 24 hours a day in NY prisons and jails each day, and tens of thousands each year.  
  4. Every day that passes without real reform risks another suicide or another life destroyed. 
  5. Those in solitary confinement are disproportionately Black and Latinx people, young people, gender non-conforming people, and people with mental illness. 

The Nelson Mandela Rules, adopted by the United Nations, define segregated confinement for more than 15 days as torture.

Budget Cuts to Corrections

Myles is running with the understanding that Erie County is far overspending on corrections.  On Average, the county is spending between $160k-200k per inmate per year - the equivalent of a 4 year Ivy LEague Degree is being spent each year to incarcerate one person in Erie County.  There are roughly 780 corrections officers employed through the Sheriff's office and that includes an exorbitant amount of overtime.  The culture throughout the jails has been one of cruel mistreatment of inmates, sexual assault and rape all while the prisons are overstaffed and spending far too much on overtime.

Myles is running to reduce the total budget being spent on corrections, consolidate operations to one facility, and operate intelligently when it comes to returning citizens back to the community whole with a less likelihood to reoffend, offering long term benefits and cost savings to the community.

Drugs in Our Communities

Too often drug addiction is seen as a crime and not a disease.  Users are typically addicted to drugs because they have dealt with some type of trauma, suffer from mental illness or have lacked the proper education in life.  The War on Drugs has been used to incarcerate individuals and has exacerbated the issue of drug use and violence in the communities.  We must take a strategic approach to deal with the issue of drug abuse, an issue that touches every family in Western NY.

  • Policing 

    • Myles is committed to ending the racial practice of reasonable search and seizure based on marijuana on day 1 of his administration
    • On day 1 Myles will decriminalize marijuana by no longer making it a focus or a means of ticketing, arrest or police involvement throughout the Erie County Patrol Unit
  • Incarceration

    • Myles is committed to ensuring the Erie County Jail is equipped with a state-of-the-art drug rehabilitation unit with best-in-practice drug treatment programs to ensure all drug addicted persons have access to the treatment they need
    • Myles will work with community leaders to ensure a facility is available without court mandate.
  • Education

    • Myles will utilize the office of the Sheriff to ensure there is proper community outreach regarding drugs, drug abuse and drug addiction to focus on reducing the use of Alcohol, Crack, Cocaine, Meth, Heroine and other highly addictive illicit street drugs
    • Myles will work with community leaders to ensure a facility is available without court mandate.

Cariol's Law - Combating Police Brutality

Cariol’s Law is a six-point duty to intervene legislation that was enacted in the city of Buffalo on October 28, 2020. It was named after its heroic author, former Buffalo police officer Cariol Horne. Myles Carter advocated tirelessly alongside his friend Cariol to demand the city enacted Cariol’s Law. As Erie County Sheriff, on day one, Cariol’s Law will be enacted at the Erie County Sheriff’s Department.  

Six Points of Cariol’s Law 

  1. Duty for officers to intervene when colleagues pose an imminent threat to citizens. 
  2. Accountability for officers who fail to intervene. 
  3. Protection from retaliation for officers who intervene. 
  4. Accountability for officers falsifying reports. 
  5. Impacts policy regarding termination and department funding. 
  6. Restorative justice for whistleblowers who have been retaliated against and/or terminated.

Mental Health Agenda

  • Myles Carter understands the need to ensure mental health is treated differently than a crime

    • Myles will continue to work with leaders throughout the community towards an inclusive platform that encompasses – mental health calls routed and responded to separately from Police Calls
    • Myles will ensure that mental health resources are robust and fully available as a means of rehabilitation while incarcerated

New Correctional Facility

Myles is a member of the Erie County Working Group, a group of community leaders working for change in the county jails.  Based on community surveys, there is an overwhelming demand to close both county jails and open a new facility that works to resolve and restore convicted persons back to the community whole.  This means we will focus our efforts on treating drug addiction, mental illness, provide robust training programs, job placement programs and post release services to ensure inmates are not released back into the community in a state of desperation.

The cost to build a new facility is estimated between $70-90M, and the plan to reduce county spend on corrections through right-sizing employment, consolidating facilities and ensuring proper spend on suppliers and other Sheriff expenses will ensure there is availability in the existing $98M jail budget to afford the build out of a new facility that is situated to take Erie County into the next generation.  

Community Building

Housing and Homelessness

  • As a victim of homelessness, Myles understands the intense need to ensure people have the basic human right of shelter.  Myles is an advocate for affordable homeownership and will dedicate resources in his administration to ensuring the people in our most vulnerable communities can be educated on the resources available to them.  There are special programs available through BMHA, Section 8, NACA, Habitat for Humanity and many others that offer affordable home ownership options for low-income people.  Homeownership will be used as another means of reducing crime and our counties dependency on incarceration.

Domestic Violence

  • Myles Carter understands domestic violence 

    • Shelters and Safe Houses for Victims
    • Restorative Justice
    • Mental Health
  • Many victims of domestic violence do not call the police or call 911 was a last option when faced with this issue.  We must be ready to address this issue to not only reduce the number of arrests that are made, but ultimately reduce the number of victims and perpetrators.  Myles will commit efforts of his administration to ensuring a fully functional and resource driven domestic violence hot line.  Myles will work with community leaders on the topic to ensure a robust plan is in place to address the crime that affects us most at home.  

Build Business

  • Myles Carter understands the role entrepreneurship can play in reducing crime.  The movement of the next generation is towards self-sustainability and business ownership is one of the main keys to achieving that objective.  Too often young people are made to choose between a low paying job and other means to make ends meet, by teaching young people how to monetize their hobbies and work towards business ownership they will be given a new focus.  Myles is committed to focusing efforts of his administration towards fueling business education, growth and ingenuity in at risk communities to reduce crime.

Connect to Social Services

  • Erie county has a vast social service network that includes many programs that can aid people when going through difficult financial times.  Too often people lack the knowledge of the programs and how to obtain the assistance that is available.  Myles is committed to using resources within his administration to educate and connecting our most vulnerable to the existing programs to address the needs of poverty, ultimately reducing crime.

Commitment to the LGBTQ Community

  • Myles Carter recognizes the abuse and hate the LGBTQ community is plagued by

  • Myles is committed to working with the LGBTQ community throughout the course of his campaign and administration to ensure that their needs are met and the resources are committed to address the needs they share within policing and incarceration.  

    • Police Brutality against LGBTQ

      • Myles recognizes that members of the LGBTQ community are often treated unfair and brutalized, at times have their lives taken at the hands of law enforcement.  
    • Fair Treatment in Jail

      • Myles supports Trans Rights and will ensure fair treatment in incarceration.
      • Erie County Jails will not be home to the Layleen Xtravaganza Cubilette-Polanco, who is a transgender woman.  She was found dead in her “restrictive housing” cell at Rikers Island, her family is currently suing for medical neglect.