CRIMINAL JUSTICE ADVOCATES RALLY TO DEMAND IMMEDIATE IMPLEMENTATION OF PRETRIAL REFORMS IN BRONX

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[Bronx\Pretrial Reforms]
Advocates are calling on Bronx District Attorney Clark to begin implementation of the new law now. The advocates report that other district attorneys plan to use trickery and stall tactics to undermine the smooth and complete implementation of the new laws.
Photo: Facebook

Criminal justice advocates are pushing Bronx DA Darcel Clark to implement reforms.

Bronx criminal justice reform advocates will rally to hold local officials accountable for the implementation of bail and discovery reforms scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2020.

The rally will be held today at the Bronx Attorney's office, starting at 11: AM. Rally participants will include: faith leaders, Bronx residents, New Yorkers impacted by money bail and pretrial detention, survivors, and advocacy organizations, including: VOCAL-NY, JustLeadershipUSA

The new laws will protect the pretrial freedom and constitutional rights of New Yorkers. Advocates are calling on Bronx District Attorney Clark to begin implementation of the new law now.

The advocates report that other district attorneys plan to use trickery and stall tactics to undermine the smooth and complete implementation of the new laws. Directly impacted or formerly incarcerated people in the Bronx fought for and won this victory for justice.

BACKGROUND:

 *In 2018, over 22,000 New Yorkers languished in jail each night. Nearly 70% were awaiting trial — they had not been convicted but were behind bars because they could not afford bail. This system violated the presumption of innocence, criminalized low-income people and led to the coercion of plea deals.

 *Research shows that money bail disproportionately affects Black, Latinx and low-income New Yorkers — destabilizing families and communities. A person who cannot afford bail is subject to pretrial detention and risks losing their job, housing and custody of their children. A stay in jail can also cause trauma and exacerbate existing health problems — especially mental health conditions.

 *In 2020, because of the new bail and discovery laws, many fewer people will be subject to the injustice of money bail and pretrial jailing. In addition, New Yorkers will finally have fairer access to the evidence in their cases as prosecutors will be required to turn over evidence 15 days after arraignment and prior to any plea deal, with time extensions only permitted in narrow circumstances.

 *Some jurisdictions are already beginning to implement the new laws before they are required to do so on January 1. This means that many people awaiting trial will be able to do so while observing the holiday season at home with their families.

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