The Baleful Effects of New York’s Bail Reform

NYPD officers detain a protester who was involved in the looting of a store in Manhattan, N.Y., June 2, 2020. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)
Bail reform needs a do-over. After the riots, that’s truer than ever.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE U nder the rubric of criminal-justice reform, New York’s political class has privileged progressive politics over public safety. On January 1, 2020, a state law took effect eliminating pretrial detention by imposition of cash bail for almost all nonviolent felony and misdemeanor offenses.

Even before the outbreak of riots and looting following the May 25 killing of George Floyd spread to New York City and smaller cities upstate, New York’s bail reform was failing its law-abiding residents. In New York City, January 2020 saw a 30 percent increase in crime from January 2019. In January and February, 482 individuals were arrested for

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Craig Trainor is a criminal-defense and civil-rights attorney in New York City. He previously served as a prosecutor and as a law clerk to a federal judge. Twitter: @TrainorLaw.


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