FWD.us Statement on Governor Hochul’s State of the State: “More Incarceration Won’t Make New York Safer”

ALBANY, NY – FWD.us New York Policy and Research Manager Alana Sivin issued the following statement today in response to Governor Hochul’s State of the State address:

“We are deeply disappointed that Governor Hochul, in her written plan accompanying today’s State of the State, continued to focus on further rolling back the bail law rather than centering community investments and proven solutions that truly improve public safety. While we are glad Governor Hochul wants to invest in supportive housing and alternatives to incarceration, research shows that these investments will be undermined by bail reform rollbacks that increase incarceration.

“We must reject the false narrative that more incarceration is necessary for safety, when in fact the opposite is true. The Governor’s proposal to further amend provisions of the bail law requiring judges to consider the ‘least restrictive means’ when deciding whether to set bail would not only undermine the recent progress to make New York’s criminal justice system fairer and more just, but also would disproportionately harm poor New Yorkers. While the Governor has stated she does not aim to make changes to bail that increase incarceration, history has repeatedly shown that expanding opportunities for judges to use incarceration does in fact lead to more incarceration. Multiple data analyses looking at the impact of bail reform since it was enacted clearly show that there is no relationship between any uptick in crime and bail reform. Advancing further rollbacks in light of this evidence is a cynical political exercise with devastating real life outcomes.”

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