FWD.us Statement: Data in DCJ Study Makes Clear that Bail Reform is Working & Keeping New York Safe

ALBANY, NY – FWD.us New York State Director Alana Sivin issued the following statement today in response to Governor Kathy Hochul’s statements on public safety:

“Over the past three years, study after study has shown the positive impact of bail reform: bail reform has reduced incarceration, kept $104 million in communities, and prevented at least 24,000 people from spending time in jail – allowing them to continue to care for their families and to work, and keeping them safe in their homes.

“The study released by the Data Collaborative for Justice (DCJ) reinforces what we already know: bail reform has provided all of these benefits to New York communities without resulting in a rise in crime. It found that, in New York City, ‘eliminating bail for most misdemeanor and nonviolent felony cases significantly reduced recidivism,’ and not only maintained public safety, but ‘increased it.’ 

“The DCJ study authors directly contradict any characterization of the ‘least restrictive means’ provision of bail reform as a problem, making clear that ‘reducing the use of bail in cases legally eligible for it had little net effect in either direction, [and that] policymakers would be justified on public safety grounds in avoiding further legislative or policy changes.’ They further note that ‘we are not embracing weaker decision-making standards that might compromise due process, undermine the presumption of innocence, or contradict legal precedents concerning when bail or pretrial detention are permissible.’

“We urge elected leaders to follow the data – including the DCJ study, which adds to the large body of existing research – showing that rolling back this successful policy won’t make New York safer. New York’s elected leaders must reject changes to this successful policy and prioritize investments in evidence-based solutions that will advance public safety.”

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