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Few satisfied with bail reform modifications in New York

No one is crazy about the changes to bail reform amid the COVID-19 pandemic it would seem.

Critics of reforming the measures passed last year say it was an unnecessary step. Meanwhile, opponents of the original bill say the changes in this year’s budget didn’t go far enough.

However, one criminal justice reform coalition thinks it’s a fair balance.

“We view these changes to the pretrial reform laws as a signal that the legislative portion of pretrial reforms has drawn to a close,” said Khalil Cumberbatch, of New Yorkers United for Justice. “Looking ahead, we will continue our tireless pursuit of oversight and accountability — and the wide, public availability of statewide data — to ensure that the goals of the laws, to make the pretrial process fair, equal, and free from bias based on race and poverty, are achieved and sustained. We will continue to offer our partnership to all stakeholders involved, including the governor and the legislature to affect that, and to help demonstrate that fairness under the law and the safety of our communities go together.”

More charges were added to the list of those that could qualify for cash bail. The final agreement did not include a provision allowing judges to remand a defendant based on whether the person is believed to be a danger to the community, though.