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

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

Jan 2, 2020

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.