State Senator George Borrello and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell were joined by prosecutors and police on Friday to call for the repeal of the 2019 bail reforms.
Borrello said the reforms have “given criminals a free pass” and “made our streets less safe.” Borrello has sponsored legislation to repeal the reforms, add to the list of crimes that are eligible for bail, and make additional domestic violence offenses bail eligible to protect witnesses and victims of domestic violence.
Assemblyman Goodell has introduced companion legislation in the Assembly to restore judicial discretion in setting bail. Goodell stated, “One of the most important functions of government is to protect innocent people from being victimized by dangerous and violent criminals.”
The reforms, which took effect January 1, 2020, eliminated bail for most misdemeanor offenses allowing the release of around 90 percent of those charged with a crime.
In a press release issued by Borrello and Goodell, in the first year after the reforms took effect, 2,051 of the nearly 100,000 defendants who could have been held on bail were re-arrested for violent felonies including assault, rape and attempted murder. More than 400 were rearrested for a violent felony with a firearm. Around 20,000 of the defendants went on to allegedly commit non-violent crimes.
District attorneys and law enforcement officials from across the 57th Senate District said the reforms have made their communities less safe.