April 2, 2019
The Bronx Freedom Fund on NY Bail Reform: A Substantial First Step But The Work Continues
(Bronx, NY) – The Bronx Freedom Fund issued the following statement in response to lawmakers’ announcement on state budget, criminal justice reforms:
“This is a substantial step forward on a road paved by years of tireless community organizing and advocacy by directly impacted people. The reform package addresses the pretrial process as a whole, from unnecessary arrests and unaffordable cash bail to evidence-sharing rules. The resulting policies will have a significant impact on generations of New Yorkers to come, catalyzing decarceration efforts and restoring a measure of justice to the legal process.
After a decade of bailouts in New York City, it is encouraging to see these overdue reforms finally become a reality. But we know the fight for equal access to justice is far from over. The reforms do not end unaffordable cash bail in its entirety. Entire groups of New Yorkers will still remain subject to cash bail based solely on the type of charge against them –so the need for bailouts will remain –and the door to electronic pretrial surveillance has been opened. As our work continues, we remain committed to ensuring the presumption of innocence applies equally to all, regardless of wealth, race, and/or charge. That vision of equity and justice remains as clear as ever.”