Democrat and New York City Comptroller Brad Lander have been one of the biggest supporters of bail reform in NYC his firmly planted leftist belief that people who are out on bail behave themselves is something he not only has built his name on, but it is something that has helped keep him in position a government job for some time now.
Under these bail reform laws, people who commit crimes are arrested, taken to the precinct, have their photo taken, and are issued an appearance ticket. No time behind bars, no getting to stamp their record books with a trip to Riker’s Island. Instead, they just get a chance to go back on the streets and re-offend as soon as possible.
Making progress on getting the crime stats down in lower-income demographics has been a big priority for nearly every governor, mayor, city comptroller, and state senator in NYC for the last 40 years. They have all had minimal success, and this new process has done little to help. Comptroller Lander’s office issued a report to sift through the data. “We think it’s important that policymaking follows facts rather than fear. We wanted to take a look at the data on bail trends and understand what is really happening. The conversation on bail reform has gotten divorced from that data.”
Breaking down the data is rather simple. As of December, just over 4% of people out on pretrial release were rearrested. 1,889 out of 44,560 to be specific. Of that figure 273 of those were on violent felonies. Meanwhile, in the year before with pretrial bail still established 5% of the people released were rearrested. This breaks down to 2,609 people from 57,534 arrests and 254 were for violent felonies.
Analyzing such statistics is incredibly difficult. While there was a decent rise of about 8% in the violent felony category, this stat alone isn’t enough for Democrats to concede that this idea is a failure. They instead want to look at the larger number of bails the year before and say that because that number went down fewer people were offending.
Such assumptions are what get people like Comptroller Lander into trouble. One of the biggest problems with this data is if someone is arrested in another borough it becomes a new arrest, not a re-offense. The same goes with towns if it’s a local arrest; counties for bigger cases. Having this kind of flaw makes their arguments for this reform nearly silent.
Surprisingly the Democrat who replaced the sexual harassment/assault kingpin Andrew Cuomo is not on board with this bail reform. Governor Kathy Hochul promised back in January that she would give a full evaluation on the program down the line, and consider what people brought to her. Now she has come up with a 10-point-plan to bring some of these crimes back into the bail measures category.
Even with all the data and facts, she still only wants to bring back bail for a few crimes, and while they are some of the worse offenses currently eligible for no bail release, she also wants to look at more of their records before deciding on their eligibility for bail. A large part of this is comprised of the dangerousness of the crime being convicted, and who (if any) the victim is. This also brings about the question of biases and intelligence of the arresting officer.
Somewhat unsurprisingly Marie Ndiaye, of the Legal Aid Society’s Decarceration Project finds that to be an incredibly horrific idea. “Bail reform has been widely successful, allowing our clients to stay in their communities with their families with no measurable impact on public safety. The data on bail reform speaks for itself: The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers on pretrial release do not commit new crimes and return for future court appearances.” Now if she could only learn to read the data correctly.