ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — This week on Empire State Weekly, with the deadline to pass the state budget quickly approaching, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s public safety plan to address potential changes to bail reform laws is threatening to derail the timeline. Many lawmakers are now considering voting against the budget plan, should it include any significant changes to bail reform. According to advocacy groups and policy experts, the statistics surrounding the bail laws are showing that the current reforms are working the way they were intended.
We hear from law enforcement groups both in favor of making changes to New York’s bail reform laws and advocators who argue changing the laws will set the state back from its progress to make the court system fairer and more just for all New Yorkers.
Insha Rahman of the Vera Institute of Justice says the current laws have benefited thousands of New Yorkers who would’ve remained locked up for small amounts of bail they can’t afford as they await their day in court, and ultimately, these laws have made New York safer despite rhetoric floating among lawmakers that’s attempting to paint a narrative opposite of what the data has witnessed.
“Every data point that we have about bail reform shows that it is working, that it has not been behind the very real uptick in shootings and homicides,” says Rahman. “If that’s what we want to address, as well as repeat offenses, we need to invest in prevention and not fearmonger and blame the wrong cause. Because if you do, you miss the right solutions.”
Our team of New York correspondents joins us to weigh in on how bail reform and other controversial proposals being touted in the state budget are being gauged across the state.
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