Dear Partners and Supporters,
For all of us, the need to demand no rollbacks to the already-compromised New York State bail reform package that went into effect in January has become central to our work this budget season. And even though the Coronavirus has forced us to change our procedures, we will not stop in our push to end the racist policies fueling mass incarceration.
With New York lawmakers working towards a three-way agreement on the budget with Governor Cuomo, now is the time to send an email to your legislators demanding that they not roll back the bail reform package! We need your voices more than ever!
Their contact information is:
- Dear Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Speaker Carl Heastie: Speaker@nyassembly.gov
- Governor Cuomo: Click here to fill a contact form
Feel free to use the sample language below, or modify it to fit your needs!
Dear Senate Majority Leader, House Speaker and Governor:
I am writing to urge you not to rollback the bail reform legislation that passed so successfully last year. All New Yorkers should enjoy the same rights to fair and equal treatment under the law – but rolling back reform would only re-entrench structural racism within the criminal justice system, and directly incarcerate Black and brown people pre-trial.
The criticism against bail reform is an obvious fear-mongering campaign led by bad-faith actors who want to return our State to a time when they could profit from the incarceration of Black and brown bodies. We can’t go backward.
The creation of more judicial discretion and “risk assessment tools” are also not objective. Communities of color have historically been targeted by the criminal justice system – and research has shown that risk assessment tools, or “dangerousness” policies would discriminate against people of color, who are already overrepresented in arrests, and would harm directly-impacted communities.
And at a time when many jails nationwide are already releasing people because of the dangers of coronavirus on incarcerated people, New York State cannot and must not be the state to send more people back into jail. Simply put, this is not the New York we want to see.
Bail reform is working. I urge you not to roll back the cash bail legislation.