The Bronx Defenders & Coalition of Advocates Send Letter to Governor Cuomo Calling for Bail Reform

On November 15, 2017, The Bronx Defenders joined over 100 community groups and advocacy organizations in sending a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo calling for meaningful and effective bail reform. Governor Cuomo has made clear his interest in bringing change to New York State’s pretrial detention system but has yet to take action.

Advocates urge Governor Cuomo to reject counterproductive proposals like requiring judges to consider a person’s future “dangerousness” in setting bail, which would only exacerbate racial disparities and likely increase the use of pretrial detention. Instead, the coalition calls on Governor Cuomo to build on the best of the current bail statute, eliminate money bail and pretrial detention altogether for misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies, and ensure that every person charged with a crime receives meaningful due process.

The Bronx Defenders and their fellow advocates look forward to working with the Governor to make New York’s pretrial justice system fairer for everyone:

“There is a growing consensus in New York that we must close jails, eliminate racial disparities and wealth-based detention, and redirect resources to initiatives that support and build communities. Dangerousness and RAIs will not achieve these goals. A more comprehensive approach is needed. We would welcome the opportunity to work with you on developing a plan of action to safeguard constitutional rights, reduce jail populations, and build communities.”

To read the full letter, click here.