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Dr. Alice Green: Bail Reform "A Good First Step"

Dr. Alice Green
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

District attorneys and police chiefs across New York have voiced their opposition to new criminal justice reforms but a longtime Albany activist says "people should be considered innocent until they are proven guilty."

"Once you put somebody in jail, it affects their employment if they are employed or the ability to get employment, it affects children and families and, you know, ultimately the entire community. So this bail reform is, is I think, a good first step for us.

But a lot of people are fearful that it would, it would harm public safety. I don't think public safety is an issue of, of the jurisdictions of the states have, you know, gone in this direction, and there's no indication that it has affected public safety at all."

Center for Law and Justice Executive Director Dr. Alice Green says the widespread elimination of cash bail and 15-day evidentiary discovery helps minorities by leveling the playing field.

"There are safeguards along the way, but no one can guarantee 100 percent that someone won't commit a crime because they released on bail. Because if you're wealthy and you commit murder, you can be released on bail, if you have the money. The issue is, equity, and constitutional rights."

The provisions took effect New Year's Day.


Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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