Legal Aid Society


LAS: New Data Shows Bail Reform is Working

Despite Mayor Eric Adams and NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell’s repeated attempts to tie rising crime levels to bail reforms, the numbers continue to tell a different story.

The Office of Court Administration and the Division of Criminal Justice Services recently released data that shows only 2.4% of all individuals released were rearrested on a violent felony change.

“As to what bail is designed to do, it is doing it. In New York State bail has always been meant to ensure people’s return to court and post bail reform, almost nine in ten people make it to all of their subsequent court appearances,” Arielle Reid from The Legal Aid Society’s Decarceration Project told AMNY. “Of the thousands of people who have been allowed to return home to their families, to their jobs and their children during the pendency of their cases, more than 95% of them are not rearrested on violent felony offenses.”

Legal Aid called on lawmakers in Albany to reject the Mayor’s broken record pleas to enact a “dangerousness” provision to New York’s bail statute. A “dangerousness” standard would give judges greater discretion in setting bail but advocates warn that such provisions are guesswork at best, and also discriminatory, inevitably resulting the in over-incarceration of people of color.