FWD.us Statement on Need to Advance Criminal Justice Reforms During 2023 New York State Legislative Session

ALBANY, NY – FWD.us New York Policy and Research Manager Alana Sivin issued the following statement today addressing the beginning of the 2023 legislative session:

“As New York State lawmakers return to Albany for the new legislative session, it is critically important that elected leaders prioritize common sense policies that will reduce incarceration and improve public safety. We urge lawmakers to follow the data when it comes to public safety and to fight against attempts to revert to failed policies that don’t make our communities safer.

“We must enhance public safety by making targeted investments in crime-reduction strategies while advancing reforms that undo decades of harmful mass criminalization and incarceration. If lawmakers are serious about making New York safer, investments in mental health and drug use treatments, housing, and community-based violence interruption programs will do far more to break cycles of violence and reduce recidivism than any proposals that would increase the state’s jail and prison populations.

“We urge lawmakers to stand strong against efforts to repeal successful policies like bail reform and to advance laws that reduce the state’s incarceration rate with changes to New York’s outdated sentencing and parole laws.”


Recently, a coalition of leading New York justice, victim advocacy, housing, mental health, civil rights, and faith groups mobilized to help protect people’s rights to safety and justice by urging Governor Hochul and New York State legislative leaders to enact a plan for ensuring community safety and pretrial justice by committing to long-term, evidence-based investments and policy reforms. The sign-on letter can be found here.

Additionally, just last month, FWD.us released a new report, “Freedom, Then the Press Volume II: New Data, Same Tricks,” which provides an in-depth analysis of ongoing misinformation and media coverage which undermines support for bail reform, despite clear data showing there is no link to an increase in crime.

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