LISTEN: 4 people affected by bail laws discuss what the new bail reform law means to them

1010 WINS Newsroom
January 22, 2020 - 4:29 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- New York state's new bail reform law -- passed to address complaints that low-income individuals accused of minor crimes were often jailed for long periods because they couldn’t afford to post bail -- went into effect on Jan.1, but that doesn't mean the debate about it has ended.

On Tuesday, while delivering his budget address for fiscal 2021, Gov. Andrew Cuomo defended the law, insisting "reform is an ongoing process."

The law mandates the release of defendants charged with misdemeanors and non-violent felonies.

According to the nonprofit Center for Court Innovation, the law is expected to decrease the number of pretrial detainees by more than 40 percent.

But like any legislation, the new bail reform law has its critics and supporters.

In the podcast above, 1010 WINS' Ben Mevorach brings together four people who are directly impacted by bail reform: 

--Akeem Browder, whose brother Kalief, was held without trial for three years because he could not afford bail

--June Rogers, whose son, Christian, was murdered by a man who was released without bail

--Stanley Richards, executive director of the Queens-based nonprofit The Fortune Society, whose mission is to "support successful reentry from incarceration and promote alternatives to incarceration

--Robert Kennedy, the mayor of Freeport, N.Y., who in the fall joined other mayors in calling on Cuomo to provide more funding for localities to comply with the state;s new criminal justice laws.