Rolling Back Cash Bail Reform is Dangerous — Especially During COVID-19 Pandemic, says JustLeadershipUSA
New York, NY – In a mad dash to finalize a state budget, New York lawmakers passed a plan Friday morning that will roll back the state’s recently implemented cash bail reform. The law eliminates cash bail entirely, and instead allows judges to hold people in jail pre-trial as they see fit. The move follows an onslaught of misleading social media ads and stories from the bail industry, district attorneys, the New York City Police Commissioner, and other reform opponents.
Said DeAnna Hoskins, CEO of JustLeadershipUSA:
“It is dangerously irresponsible that as coronavirus is spreading like wildfire in our jails and prisons, Governor Cuomo and state legislators are abandoning cash bail reform and needlessly putting lives at risk. While the rest of the country is trying to figure out how to quickly reduce their incarcerated population due to the spread of COVID-19, New York is giving judges greater authority to lock people up.
It should come as no surprise that people of color will particularly suffer. Bias and racism is already rampant in our criminal justice system. Governor Cuomo’s proposals will grant New York judges — the very same ones that set bail at excessive rates that people of color could not afford — greater discretion on who stays behind bars, disproportionately hurting marginalized communities, including Black and brown people.
Governor Cuomo has exploited his newfound national prestige, and a dire need to pass a budget, to reverse the progress made on criminal justice reform in the state. We call on Governor Cuomo to show every single New Yorker the leadership and compassion he demonstrates during his daily pandemic briefings. Turning his back on even one New Yorker puts us all at risk.”
JustLeadershipUSA is dedicated to cutting the US correctional population in #halfby2030. JLUSA empowers people most affected by incarceration to drive policy reform