The Bronx Defenders Statement in Response to Governor Hochul’s Proposed 10-Point Safety Plan

Chi Nguyen


The Bronx Defenders Statement in Response to Governor Hochul’s Proposed 10-Point Safety Plan  

(THE BRONX, NY) – Justine Olderman, Executive Director at The Bronx Defenders issued the following statement in response to reporting on Governor Hochul’s proposed amendments to bail reform, discovery, and “Raise the Age” laws: 

“The data is clear: Bail reform is a success in New York City. Over 99 percent of people on pretrial release in our city are not rearrested for a violent felony in any given month — a rate that has remained constant before and after bail reform. Discovery reform has also been critical in providing people accused of crimes with timely access to evidence in order to make informed decisions about the charges they face. 

Governor Hochul’s plan to roll back discovery and bail reform, including adding a ‘dangerousness’ provision, and changes to the ‘Raise the Age’ statute, would send more Black and brown people into the city’s deadly jails, worsen the systemic racism that is already entrenched in our legal system, and undermine the health and safety of our community. Moreover, states that have added ‘dangerousness’ often end up with more, not less, people jailed pretrial on lower-level charges, and often see an increase rather than decrease in racial disparities in the criminal legal system.    

New York cannot solve the problem of gun violence by prosecuting children as adults and returning to racist and failed policies of the past. Elected officials can either live up to legal principles that they purport to believe like proof beyond a reasonable doubt and the presumption of innocence, or ignore the facts to score political wins.  

New Yorkers deserve support and access to quality education, safe housing, stable employment, and affordable health care, instead of punitive policies that do not make us safer. We also deserve representatives who have the power to imagine better and more humane solutions to what safety can and should look like for everyone. 

The Legislature must reject any plans that would perpetuate the trauma of pretrial detention and further punish low-income Black and brown New Yorkers just because they cannot afford the price of their freedom.”