New York State Upcoming Prison Bail Reform

New York State will enact new prison bail reform next year. The reform, which takes effect on January 1, 2020, will eliminate cash bail as well as pretrial detention for misdemeanor and non-violent offenses. In addition, it is reported that the reform will result in the release of hundreds of inmates.

WGRZ 2 On Your Side recently reported that there is some push back and criticism of New York State’s upcoming prison reform. Specifically, President Donald Trump criticized New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo on Twitter regarding the prison reform.

WGRZ interviewed attorney Barry Covert to provide legal analysis on the prison bail reform. In addition, WGRZ’s story included comments from New York State Senators Patrick Gallivan and Tim Kennedy, who have opposing viewpoints regarding the upcoming reform.

State Senator Patrick Gallivan spoke publicly alongside law enforcement and expressed concerns about the reform in an effort to amend the law. In WGRZ’s story, reporter Jackie Roberts quoted Patrick Gallivan as saying “The reform shows no consideration for what a repeat offender might do and puts victims at risk.”

In an interview with WGRZ regarding criticism that the prison bail reform has received, State Senator Tim Kennedy stated “we put in place measures to ensure that the bail system works equally for everyone.” Kennedy continued by saying “No one should have to sit in jail because of what’s in their bank account.”

Read below for attorney Barry Covert’s comments to WGRZ on New York State’s new prison reform.  You can also click the video below to watch WGRZ’s full report, which includes Barry Covert’s legal analysis.

Regarding New York State’s prison bail reform, Barry Covert stated “There have already been some studies that have shown that in some municipalities over 90 percent of people who are incarcerated pretrial now will not be incarcerated.” He went on to discuss that in some ways New York State is catching up to what other states are already doing. Mr. Covert stated “By and large, I think that this is a very good bail reform.  It is going to save us a lot of money in causing us not to have to incarcerate people who are not violent. Let’s save the jails for violent people.”