ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Both Advocates and opponents of bail reform voicing their opinions on Tuesday. Those opposing the legislation say it’s time to repeal the bill, but members of the Community Not Cages Campaign are pushing for additional sentencing reform.
Some opponents of Bail Reform started their walk from the Bronx to Albany last week to stand with victims who they say were hurt by bail reform. Lawmakers and advocates are saying the message is simple: “Repeal Bail Reform. It was a mistake.”
Madeline Brame agrees. Her son was stabbed to death in Harlem in 2018. Hasson Correa was a US Army veteran who served in Afghanistan in 2011, he was 35 when he was killed. Correa’s mother said there were four people involved in his murder, and one has been let out of jail because of reduced bail.
She’s demanding changes, “And put up some proposals, put up some new legislation to include murder and attempted murder as being excluded from any provisions in that law,” said Brame.
Assemblymember Minority Leader Will Barclay says bail reform lacks justice, common sense and prevents New York from having a better future.
“We have a carousel, a revolving door of criminals going in and out of jail. We have repeat offenders being let back out on our streets. And imagine, we took the authority away from judges to be able to put dangerous people behind bars. Why are we doing that?” said Barclay.
Marvin Mayfield, a spokesperson with Communities Not Cages, supports bail reform but wants to restructure sentencing laws in New York. Members of the Campaign are looking to do three things: Eliminate Mandatory Minimum Sentencing, issue the Second Look Act which would allow courts to review an inmate’s sentence after serving a certain amount of time. And pass the Earned Time Act, where inmates can receive credit to reduce their sentence for good behavior or participating in other programs.
“All of these mechanisms are ways to reduce the population of our prison population in New York State and to reduce New York State’s reliance and knee jerk response to sending people into prison,” said Mayfield.
Both sides hope to see significant changes by the end of the legislative session.