Bail Rollbacks Undermine New York’s Criminal Justice Reform Progress and Do Not Advance Public Safety

ALBANY, NY – New York State Director for Criminal Justice Reform Rodney Holcombe issued the following statement today in response to additional rollbacks to New York’s 2019 bail reform law: 

“The budget advanced by the Governor and State Legislature indefensibly includes another round of bail reform rollbacks that do nothing to advance public safety but that do undermine New York’s progress towards ending the criminalization of poverty. 

Over the last month, justice and public safety experts including those directly impacted by violence and incarceration rallied in the halls of Albany to push back against these harmful proposals. Thanks to their tireless advocacy, key provisions of the 2019 bail reform remain intact and will continue to protect tens of thousands of New Yorkers from pretrial incarceration. 

This is the second round of rollbacks since the historic reforms passed in 2019. It comes after even more evidence from government agencies demonstrating the safe and successful implementation of the reforms. Data shows both that the reforms have spared more than 183,000 from pretrial jailing and that they have not contributed to the recent and worrying increase in violent crime. 

Most astoundingly, the 2022 rollbacks – advanced in the name of public safety – disproportionately expand pretrial incarceration for the lowest level misdemeanor conduct. We know this will further entrench the very race and class disparities so many have fought to dismantle. 

Elected leaders continue to chip away at a wildly successful reform for no other reason than reactionary and shortsighted political gain. Fear-based politics have corrupted too many data-informed policies. It must end here.”

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