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NYSACDL Statement Calls for No Changes to Bail Laws

Monday, March 30, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jennifer Van Ort
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On March 30, 2020, NYSACDL issued the following statement from President Timothy W. Hoover calling for no changes to New York State's bail laws and the State budget process:
A state budget is about to agreed upon. 

In the midst of the most significant public health crisis in our memory, rolling back bail reform is somehow still being discussed.  Barely three months old, the attacks on bail reform are for pure political gain, with absolutely no substance to support the demanded changes.  In the midst of this global pandemic, our leaders should be focused on keeping people out of unsanitary, confined, and unsafe jails across the State.
Without the pressure of getting an on-time, crisis budget passed, bail reform opponents see their chance of bail reform this session slipping away.  Left with only their tired fear tactics, bail reform opponents know that in the end the public will not be fooled, so the budget is their only hope. The case in favor of rolling back bail reforms is less than anecdotal – it is non-existent, and is nothing more than fear-mongering, complaints without evidence, and a desire to return to the old days of locking up the poor for minor offenses and throwing away the key.

Because of bail reform, thousands and thousands of New Yorkers are home, living with their families, and working in essential industries to serve others across New York State in this time of crisis.  Far from resulting in a hypothetical uptick in crime, all indications are that crime is down in 2020.

New York State was a leader in enacting real bail reform in 2019.  New York’s criminal justice system went from worst to first in the United States for the fairness of its criminal case release provisions, because of the smart public policy decision of the Legislature to no longer lock up poor people who could not afford even modest cash bail.

The public will demand real facts.  Pass the budget without rolling back bail reform.