Analysis Highlights Legislative Achievements and Necessary Reforms That Still Need to Happen
New York, NY – Today, FWD.us released a new end-of-session analysis, recapping the New York State legislature’s historic session on pretrial justice reform.
The memo and video capture the historic progress made by the Governor and the New York State legislature as well as what New York still needs to do to deliver New Yorkers the pretrial justice they deserve and set a national model for pretrial reform.
Currently in New York, two out of three people in jail have not been convicted of a crime. Instead, they are locked behind bars because they could not afford to pay bail. But after years of advocacy from a broad coalition of organizations and directly impacted people, this session New York passed a historic package of bail, discovery and speedy trial reforms. The bail reforms mandate pretrial release for about 90% of people accused of crimes allowing them to await their day in court at home with their families.
“The pretrial legislation passed in Albany this year will move the Empire State towards a system that prioritizes pretrial freedom, significantly reduces the number of legally innocent people held in jail, and brings many people home to await their day in court with their families and in their communities where they belong,” said Rena Karefa-Johnson, FWD.us New York State Director for Criminal Justice Reform. “But our victory remains incomplete. New Yorkers accused of more serious crimes will still be subject to a money bail system that disproportionately impacts black, brown and poor New Yorkers. We look forward to working with elected officials to fulfill their commitment to end money bail entirely and protect the presumption of innocence for all New Yorkers.”
There is still much work to be done to end wealth and race-based detention in New York, including expanding reforms to apply to people accused of more serious crimes, and FWD.us will continue working with partners across the state to build on the progress made during this year’s session.