NEW YORK— FWD.us New York State Director for Criminal Justice Reform Rena Karefa-Johnson issued the following statement on the Senate and Assembly budget proposals released earlier today:
“Neither the Senate nor the Assembly included bail reform proposals in their one-house budgets, so legislative leadership must pass meaningful bail reform immediately and before April 1st. There is no time for more excuses, delays, or broken promises. Our current system has wreaked havoc on poor, black and brown communities, undermined the presumption of innocence and wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.
“We must reform our pretrial system now and end money bail the right way. Real bail reform must create a universal presumption of release that vastly limits the use of pretrial detention and eliminates entirely the possibility of detention for those charged with low-level crimes. It must also ensure that New York does not replace incarceration with expansive use of electronic monitoring.
“16,000 New Yorkers will wake up tomorrow morning behind bars without having been convicted of a crime. They have waited long enough. Their families and communities have waited long enough. New York has waited long enough. The time has come for New York to lead the nation on criminal justice reform and we are hopeful that Albany can urgently bring New Yorkers the pretrial justice they deserve.”