GUEST COLUMN: New York's new bail reform law irresponsible, puts communities at risk
This article appeared in the October 19th, 2019 edition of the Daily Freeman in Kingston, NY.
Come Jan. 1, 2020, the criminal justice system in New York state, as we know it today, will undergo a seismic change that will dangerously risk the security of our communities. The new bail reform law places unfair and unfunded mandates on our local governments.
The recently approved legislation is irresponsible and it was developed in secrecy, without participation from criminal justice professionals who have been entrusted with protecting our communities, those responsible for the prosecution of criminals, and those responsible for the monitoring of probationers and parolees. Even more egregious is the that this version of bail reform clearly demonstrates a lack of compassion and concern for the safety and security of those victimized by crime.
We all agree there are some disparities in the current system that required revising. Regrettably, the bail reform law taking effect in January was passed without any public hearings or public discussion. The police and district attorneys across our state were denied the right to engage in meaningful dialogue about how the proposed legislation, now law, would affect their ability to protect and ensure the safety of our communities. As a result, we now we have a law taking effect that is harmful and seriously undermines the safety of our communities, giving little or no protection to victims.