NOW-NYC Statement: Governor Commutes Sentence of Monica Szlekovics

Press Releases / January 3, 2020

Statement from Sonia Ossorio, president of National Organization for Women, NY:

January 3, 2020 – New York, NY –  “Monica is an exceptional example of how the New York penal system can work to transform lives. We are forever grateful to Governor Cuomo for creating the opportunities that reshaped Monica’s life, giving her a chance to give back to our communities,” said Sonia  Ossorio, president of the National Organization for Women of New York.

Monica entered prison as a young victim of drug addiction and severe domestic violence and is walking out a mature college-educated woman, with a strong support network, who will contribute to society in meaningful ways.

“She will give back in spades, I’m certain of that,” Ossorio added.

“This grant of clemency is consistent with the Governor’s commitment to improving the welfare of all New York women, as unveiled in his 2019 Women’s Justice Agenda and his signing into law of the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act,” Ossorio highlighted.

Over the past 23 years that Monica has spent at Bedford Hills, she overcame her abusive history by taking full advantage of the transformative educational and employment opportunities offered at the facility and using them to become an agent of change.

We very much look forward to supporting her in her release, as she builds a new life outside the confines of prison.

NOW-NYC ignites change for the women and girls of New York. We advance laws, promote women in politics, fight for reproductive justice, challenge discrimination and violence against women, and act NOW.


For press inquiries call 212.627.9895