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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

Bail reform

Bail reform

  • flchirlanemccray island

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Change swept through Albany as lawmakers passed a suite of reforms aimed at reducing the harms inflicted by the criminal justice system. These changes, which include significant limitations on the use of bail and incarceration, will go a long way towards making our justice system less biased and more responsive to the needs of low-income New Yorkers and, in particular, people of color.

    The next challenge that confronts us is how to move beyond simply avoiding harms and toward the

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  • bail sign via zellnor

    (photo: @zellnor4ny)


    At a Sunday press conference, following his overnight announcement of a $175.5 billion budget deal, Governor Andrew Cuomo heralded a criminal justice reform agreement with the Legislature, and thanked one member of the Assembly in

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  • city council rikers jail coreyjohnson

    Speaker Johnson, the author (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    In New York, you can be locked up based on purported evidence that isn’t even disclosed to you, until a trial that can be postponed indefinitely, unless you are wealthy enough to pay your way out. That is the reality under our state’s antiquated laws governing cash bail, discovery, and speedy trial. With Democrats truly controlling both houses of the state Legislature and the governorship for the first time in decades, we now have a meaningful opportunity to

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  • mxm logo

    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    March 13, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The Push for Criminal Justice Reform, with Tina Luongo of Legal Aid Society

    tina luongo 150With major criminal justice reforms being debated and negotiated in Albany, Tina Luongo of the Legal Aid Society joined the show to discuss the details of bail, speedy trial, and discovery reform

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  • gov cuomo provide update clinton

    (photo: the governor's office)


    Taking the stage at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park last September, Governor Andrew Cuomo promised to end cash bail “once and for all,” a move that would launch New York into the national spotlight with New Jersey and California. “In America you are still innocent until proven guilty,” he told the cheering crowd. “And that’s whether you’re black or white. That’s whether you’re rich or poor.”

    The elimination of the cash bail system, under which poor black and Hispanic New Yorkers

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  • guards rikers

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    Riding high on the crest of a Democratic blue wave powered by grassroots progressives, New York Democrats finally took back the state Senate

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  • assembly sponsor bail

    Assemblymember Latrice Walker (photo: Kevin Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    Assemblymember Latrice Walker, a Brooklyn Democrat, has been pushing for criminal justice reform in New

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  • mayor bloomberg grad2010

    (photo: Spencer T. Tucker/Mayor's Office)


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    The Governor and the Legislature should use this once in a generation opportunity to make New York State the world leader in thoughtful and

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  • mxm logo

    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    November 14, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Bail Reform with Assemblymember Latrice Walker

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  • melinda katz ribbon mass bail out

    (photo: Office of Queens Borough President Melinda Katz [CJ])


    The Mass Bail Out action is currently underway, attempting to post bail for women and youth on Rikers Island and in city jails throughout New York. At last count, there were about 243 women held in jail because they cannot afford bail -- not because they’ve been proven guilty of their charges. We think this is an incredible and necessary effort rooted in the quest for justice. 

    The only legal reason to hold a person on bail is to ensure they

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  • arniess

    (photo via @RoryLancman)


    The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation’s just-launched “mass bail out” -- which could release from New York City jails 500 incarcerated indigent young and women defendants charged with misdemeanors and violent felonies -- is a good plan if it is implemented responsibly.

    The plan dramatically highlights the bail system’s glaring inequities, as thousands sit in jail for months, unable to pay bail.

    Not surprisingly, the plan has caused an immediate and strong reaction, particularly from the NYPD.

    NYPD Commissioner James

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  • whats the data point


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 52 -- 5,000, with Liz Glazer, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    glazer elizabeth pod...

  • mbdb graduation

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Social media was full of despair as advocates bemoaned the failure of New York state government to approve bail reform legislation in the recently-passed budget. The push to eliminate cash bail brought together dozens of organizations and hundreds of concerned citizens to advance an important reform. This kind of mobilization is not atypical – advocacy campaigns tend to focus on passing legislation or electing officials.

    Eliminating cash bail is a good idea, and over time, our bet is that it will end up

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  • govandrewcuomo cjustice

    Gov. Cuomo at church (Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    It has been nearly three years since Kalief Browder tragically ended his own life after being caged, abused, and tortured on Rikers Island. Elected officials promised us that his story would be a turning point and that New York would fundamentally transform a criminal justice system designed to criminalize low-income black and brown New Yorkers and then place a bounty, through the money bail system, on our freedom. With another new state budget now passed in Albany, it is

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  • Andrew Cuomo

    Gov. Cuomo at an update prison (Governor's Office)


    Anyone following New York City politics knows about JustLeadershipUSA’s mission to close the jails at Rikers Island. In less than a year, the #CLOSErikers campaign successfully pressured Mayor Bill de Blasio to commit to shuttering the jail complex. It is no longer a question of if Rikers will close, but when. But the campaign has always known that

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  • de Blasio rikers ponte officers

    On Rikers Island (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    There is an ongoing conversation in New York about how to fix the bail system that many agree is broken, keeping too many poor people in jail after they are arrested for low-level nonviolent offenses but cannot afford to post bond and, at times, allowing individuals back onto the street who are prone to violence but able to pay bail. Efforts at reform have been full of fits and starts.

    About a month ago, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced measures to make

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  • MMV hearing pencil

    Speaker Mark-Viverito (photo via flickr)


    The City Council’s long-awaited public bail fund, a project spearheaded by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, is one step closer to being operational after receiving another required approval from state authorities.  

    Mark-Viverito announced the plan to create a $1.4 million

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  • MMV SOTC bail fund story

    Mark-Viverito delivers her State of the City (photo: William Alatriste)


    Last year, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled her plan for a fund that would cover bail for poor individuals charged with low-level criminal offenses who would otherwise be forced to wait in a city jail for their court date. The Council dedicated $1.4 million of budget funds to back the project, which is nearing

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  • cuomo sots solo

    Gov. Cuomo delivers his State of the State


    In his recently-released policy agenda for 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo included a plan to reform the state's bail system. While it has not been fully fleshed out yet, Cuomo's proposal dictates that judges would use a scientific assessment tool to determine an individual's "risk to public safety" while setting bail, a proposal similar to one Mayor Bill de Blasio recently made, with both coming under fire from criminal justice reformers.

    De Blasio made ...

  • de blasio mark-viverito council members

    The Mayor, Speaker, & Council members (Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    Attendance was notably sparse at the first public hearing of the commission charged with making recommendations around compensation for city elected officials.

    Fewer than fifteen people, about half of whom were journalists, went to Brooklyn Law School on November 23 for the Quadrennial Advisory Commission hearing to collect input from the public. Four people testified to urge

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  • Cuomo Buffalo thank you

    Cuomo in Buffalo (photo: Governor's Office via flickr)


    United States Attorney Preet Bharara's attention has been drawn away from his normal stomping grounds to Buffalo, intrigued by what critics say is a shadowy network of state authorities and state-controlled non-profits handing out large business subsidies and contracts with little to no oversight.

    Watchdogs say that Gov. Andrew Cuomo, through SUNY Polytechnic head ...

  • week in review bus readers

    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday July 10

    PHOTOS OF THE WEEK:Governor Cuomo appoints AG Schneiderman as a special prosecutor in cases where police officers kill unarmed civilians, via the Governor's Office on flickr (top); mothers of individuals killed by police officers join hands after Cuomo's

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  • Lancman MMV bail hearing

    CM Lancman & Speaker Mark-Viverito at Wednesday's hearing (photo: William Alatriste) 


    Wednesday’s oversight hearing made it clear— the question is not if the City Council will move to reform the city’s bail system, but how much reform will they be able to accomplish with their somewhat limited power.

    Though the Council appears

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