New data finds that in the two years following the enactment of bail reform in New York State, New York families saved millions of dollars, and those impacted by bail reforms collectively spent millions of nights in their homes instead of jails. Bail reform generated all of these benefits without compromising public safety.


NEW YORK, NY – Today, released a new report, “Justice, Safety, and Prosperity: New York’s Bail Reform Success Story,” detailing the tremendous positive impacts of New York’s bail reform laws.

Despite being a political punching bag, New York’s bail reform laws have been an astounding policy success, as shown by data in the report. The reforms have made an extraordinary and positive impact on the lives of New Yorkers who have historically been most harmed by cash bail and pretrial detention, all without driving any uptick in crime or failures to appear for court.

In the two years following bail reform’s enactment in 2019:

  • 24,000 fewer people (1,000 people per month) had bail set on their cases for misdemeanor and non-violent felony charges.
  • $104 million (or $4,300 per family) less was set in bail that could have otherwise been leveraged or lost by New York’s families.
  • New Yorkers spent 1.9 million nights (an average of 79 nights per person) at home, instead of in jail.
  • The pretrial population in New York jails decreased by 15 percent, to its lowest levels in decades.
  • Rearrest rates for cases affected by bail reform remained largely the same before and after the implementation of the reform, and failures to appear in court actually declined.

Download the full report here.

“Our findings show that bail reform has kept tens of thousands of New Yorkers in their homes and with their families while they await their day in court,” said Alana Sivin, New York State Director, Criminal Justice Reform. “As a result of this life-changing and life-saving policy, over a hundred million dollars were kept in the household accounts of New York families. Over twenty thousand people were able to keep their jobs, spend nights doing homework with their children, and avoid the disruption and trauma of pretrial incarceration.”

“While two rounds of rollbacks to New York bail reforms have expanded the scope of people exposed to pretrial incarceration, the significant parts of the law that remain intact are continuing to benefit New Yorkers greatly,” said Sivin. “Bail reform is keeping money in Black and Brown communities, keeping New Yorkers with their families, and reducing the taxpayer burden of incarceration for all New Yorkers. These ongoing economic, justice, and public safety successes should inspire celebration and vigorous protection of the law against any further rollbacks.”

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