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Advocates say addiction issues a major reason to reform state bail measures

While there has been a lot of talk about a full-repeal of bail reform – some advocates of substance use disorder victims say it needs smaller modifications to get right.

Save the Michaels of the World founder Avi Israel has spent a large chunk of his adult life attempting to help those suffering from addiction.

So he approaches the issue of bail reform from a ‘non-political’ standpoint, he says. “I’m not approaching this issue from any political point of view,” Israel said. “I’m approaching this issue as a father who has lost a child who cannot get treatment.”

He says some reform was necessary, but since the state eliminated bail for most nonviolent crimes the court has lost a tool to get people in addiction treatment programs.

“We have people who are addicted or suffering from mental health issues and instead of us offering them access to treatment, we allow them to keep going on committing crimes and be sent back out to the street,” Israel told Spectrum News.

Republicans say making any changes to bail reform will be difficult, since Democrats control all three governing chambers in the state. That said, it isn’t stopping some from advocating for what they believe will make a better New York.