Legal Aid Society


State Data: Bail Reform in New York is Working

The Legal Aid Society hailed the release of data by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) which confirm the widespread effectiveness of bail reform, debunking claims from critics that this measure led to any significant increase in crime.

According to DCJS, prior to the implementation of bail reform in 2019, total rearrests in New York City were roughly 19 percent and remained statistically the same at 20 percent in 2021.

In 2019, the failure to appear rate in New York City was 15 percent which decreased to nine percent, revealing that more people were able to meet their court dates following implementation of the reform.

Bail reform has also led to a sharp decrease in cases where a low bail was set. As a result of this critical reform, fewer New Yorkers were detained pretrial on low bail amounts simply because they didn’t have the resources to buy their own liberty.

“These numbers confirm what we’ve known all along: bail reform has decreased jail populations, kept communities intact and furthered public safety,” said Arielle Reid, Supervising Attorney of the Decarceration Project at The Legal Aid Society. “Any claim to the contrary doesn’t square with reality, and is merely baseless fear mongering. The Legal Aid Society applauds our champions in Albany who ushered in this key reform, and we look forward to building on this measure once the Legislature returns for session in early January.”