Bail reform must focus on public safety

On Jan. 1, 2020, dramatic changes to New York’s criminal justice system took effect, shifting priority from crime victims to benefit criminals, even allowing the release of violent felons. New York’s approach to bail reform was rushed, insensitive, destabilizing and flat-out dangerous.


Changing the course of a system developed over decades required time, sensitivity and hard work. Yet this major criminal justice overhaul was accompanied with little time to acclimate, no coordination and only a vague promise of savings. Consider the effort to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18 years of age. The changes were phased in gradually, giving the system time to prepare, guidance was developed, and financial support was offered to cover the cost of implementation.


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