March 31, 2023 (Albany, NY) – The New York State budget is due April 1st, but there’s talk of the budget being delayed because of the Governor’s insistence on rolling back bail reform. Governor Hochul is taking aim at a standard set by the legislature decades ago, which requires judges to apply the “least restrictive means of ensuring someone’s return to court”. Eliminating this standard essentially gives judges the power to return to a practice of jailing people before trial simply because they are low-income.
In response, Rosemary Rivera, Co-Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York, had the following to say:
“Money bail is big business that traps low income Black, Brown and poor people by putting a price tag on freedom and contradicting the intent of our laws to presume people ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ We are proud of our legislators who are standing firm to protect the current laws on bail that begin to undo the exploitative mass incarceration system. Amid the constant fear-mongering, bail amounts have gone up, jail populations have increased and racial disparities are growing. We find guilty any system that gives a leg up to those who have money while condemning those who do not.”