BPDA Statement on Bail Reform in New York

WASHINGTON (February 12, 2020) — The Black Public Defender Association issued the following statement on bail reform in New York: “Let’s call it what it is — classic fear-mongering by tough-on-crime proponents who refuse to admit that money is used to unfairly keep Black and Brown people locked in cages. It is the same tactic used across the nation to stop progressive criminal justice legislation aimed at ending mass incarceration.

For decades, cash-bail criminalized poverty, destroyed lives and made New York’s Black and Brown communities less safe. New York took the right step towards righting decades of wrongs by leading the charge to become a national model for progressive pre-trial justice reform for states across the country.

We strongly urge the New York legislature to protect the new pretrial justice reforms which combat race- and wealth-based pre-trial detention, keeping New York on the path towards a more fair and equitable criminal legal system.”


The Black Public Defender Association aims to improve the quality of defense provided to low-income communities across the United States by creating and maintaining a national network of skilled Black public defenders that identify with and are committed to the populations they serve.