WASHINGTON, DC – FWD.us Senior Criminal Justice Reform Director Zoë Towns issued the following statement rejecting any rollbacks to New York’s bail reform laws:
“There is no acceptable rollback, change, or ‘tweak’ to our current bail reform laws. New York lawmakers should be focused on passing other long-overdue criminal justice reforms that will reduce jail and prison populations and reduce racial disparities in incarceration rather than undoing the historic steps taken last year.
Unfortunately, less than two months after these reforms became law, the state Senate is already debating changes that would make it easier, not harder, to put New Yorkers like Kalief Browder in jail pretrial. This in spite of the fact that the new reforms have already helped thousands of individuals await their trial at home with their families, go to work, and contribute to their communities. Promoting the use of mandatory detention and increasing judicial discretion to detain people pretrial will only aggravate the injustices of the old system. That’s why New York has rejected these faulty and racist practices since 1971. It took just 40 days after implementation of these historic reforms for the Senate to call for rollbacks that would send New York’s bail laws backwards by more than 40 years. We urge Albany to reject any rollbacks and protect the reforms New Yorkers fought so hard to achieve last year.”