ALBANY – Today, FWD.us released five new videos featuring the Players Coalition, an independent organization comprised of professional athletes across leagues, calling on New York State to advance bold pretrial reforms in the 2018 legislative session. Produced in partnership with the Players Coalition, The Bronx Defenders, and the Legal Aid Society, these new videos star Players Coalition members Demario Davis, Malcolm Jenkins, Devin McCourty, and Carl Davis calling on lawmakers to end senseless pretrial jailing now.
In the videos, Davis, Jenkins, McCourty, and Davis share testimonials of real New Yorkers impacted by the state’s broken pretrial system and cite bracing statistics. Two-thirds of people in New York jails have not been convicted of a crime which means, on any given day, 16,000 people across the state are awaiting trial in jail.
Recent polling indicates that New York voters overwhelmingly support the most ambitious pretrial reforms under consideration in Albany. Voters across political party and geography want impactful pretrial reforms that keep the vast majority of people at home while they wait for their trials, dramatically shorten case processing times, and prevent defendants from taking plea deals before evidence is shared with them.
The videos released today are the most recent efforts of a large, diverse, and vocal advocacy movement. During the month of March alone, New Yorkers have sent nearly 25,000 emails to their state elected officials. Hundreds more have traveled from all across the state to lobby their representatives. Members of the Players Coalition have played a pivotal role in these advocacy efforts, having visited elected officials in Albany to lobby for pretrial reform and, just this week, authoring an op-ed calling for urgent action.
Currently in Albany, lawmakers are weighing comprehensive reforms to bail, speedy trial, and discovery that would dramatically reduce unnecessary pretrial jailing, place significant limits on money bail, and ensure people see relevant evidence before accepting pleas. Time is running out for New York lawmakers to act; the New York State budget is due on April 1st, and just thirty-one more days remain on the 2018 session calendar. The time is now for lawmakers to prioritize this issue, and advance bold reforms.
View the videos at the below links. For high resolution videos, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fighting for Bail Reform: Stories from New York
Fighting for Bail Reform: Demario Davis
Fighting for Bail Reform: Malcolm Jenkins
Fighting for Bail Reform: Devin McCourty
Fighting for Bail Reform: Carl Davis
About FWD.us: FWD.us is a bipartisan organization started by key leaders in the tech and business community to promote policies to keep the United States competitive in a global economy, starting with commonsense immigration reform and criminal justice reform.
About the Players Coalition: The mission of the Players Coalition is to focus on social and racial equality where our influence and support can impact systemic social and civic change. Those include prioritizing criminal justice reform, police & community relations engagement and education & economic advancement in low-income communities, primarily communities of color. In 2017, the Players Coalition was co-founded by NFL Pro-Bowl Safety and 2017 NFLPA Byron “Whizzer” White winner, Malcolm Jenkins, and retired wide receiver and NFL 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year winner, Anquan Boldin. Players Coalition continues to grow in numbers of ambassadors with the collective goal of making an impact on federal, state and local levels through advocacy, engagement and providing resources. For more information follow @playerscoalition on Instagram and Facebook and @coalitionplayer on Twitter.
About The Bronx Defenders: The Bronx Defenders is a public defense nonprofit dedicated to providing innovative, holistic, and client-centered services, which include criminal defense, family defense, immigration representation, civil legal services, social work support, and advocacy. Since 1997, the organization has been dedicated to transforming the experience of low-income people navigating the justice system and the system itself. Learn more by visiting www.bronxdefenders.org.
About the Legal Aid Society: The Legal Aid Society exists for one simple yet powerful reason: to ensure that no New Yorker is denied their right to equal justice because of poverty.For over 140 years, we have protected, defended, and advocated for those that have struggled in silence for far too long – working on the front-lines and behind-the-scenes to offer our clients the exceptional legal services they deserve. Through our Civil, Criminal Defense, and Juvenile Rights Practices, we offer an unmatched depth and breadth of legal expertise to vulnerable New Yorkers in over 300,000 legal matters each and every year. Every day, in every borough, The Legal Aid Society changes the lives of our clients and communities. https://www.legalaidnyc.org