Statement From Erin L. George, #FREEnewyork Campaign Coordinator, And Brandon J. Holmes, #CLOSErikers Campaign Coordinator, On Mayor’s Empty Rhetoric On Criminal Justice Reform

January 5, 2018

“Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio released his editorial, A city-state N.Y. Jail Solution, which further demonstrates the growing disconnect between the Mayor’s empty rhetoric and the voices of directly impacted people and communities throughout New York City and State.

“JustLeadershipUSA’s #FREEnewyork and #CLOSErikers campaigns – and the directly impacted advocates who are the backbone of those campaigns – have offered clearly defined outcomes showing that the use of risk assessment tools or dangerousness assessments in bail reform is a nonstarter in progressive reform, and that comprehensive discovery reform is a key component of reform that can not be stripped away. The Mayor either does not understand or has chosen to ignore this.

“Moreover, the Mayor calls for borough-based facilities despite being unwilling to confront political opposition and push for a facility on Staten Island. And above all else, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s deliberate use of dehumanizing language undermines and overshadows any efforts he could be making in helping the very people and families that he purports to hear and stand with.

“While Governor Andrew Cuomo offers starting-point proposals and some semblance of a plan to achieve the holistic criminal justice overhaul that New Yorkers demand, the Mayor peddles regressive, incremental solutions while continuing to pass responsibility and make the ‘othering’ of justice-involved individuals the official city policy of New York.

“Those closest to the problem are closest to the solution, which is why directly impacted people and communities will continue to push Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio to enact the unapologetically bold reforms that New Yorkers deserve and demand to make our criminal justice system stronger and more fair. Today, the Mayor’s editorial shows what happens and what elected officials sound like when they ignore these voices.”

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