WILLIAMS RESPONDS TO THE GOVERNOR'S ATTEMPTS TO RETREAT FROM CRITICAL BAIL REFORMS
March 22, 2022
"The 2019 criminal justice reforms represented a long-overdue move toward justice, away from a predatory cash bail system. The real and concerning rise in some crimes is not a reason to return to the harmful, unjust, failed policies of the past, which have already failed both here and in cities across the country. As the comptroller’s report today makes clear, calls to do so are divorced from the data, and ignore the both harm that these laws were created to prevent and the history our country has of instituting, then apologizing for, unjust systems of criminalization.
"The Governor is wrong to try to pull back from progress, a move which would criminalize low income New Yorkers and communities of more color and send more people into the crisis conditions she has refused to see at at Rikers Island, where dangerous conditions for everyone have led to pre-trial detention becoming a death sentence. I urge the Legislature to reject this attempt to give in to loud, fearmongering voices, and instead advance a model of true public safety that includes immediate and long-term investments in the same communities that already have the burden of both an increase in crime and inequitable incarceration that has yet to solve the problem."