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Brooklyn Community Bail Fund;
Money bail continues to divide New York States' criminal legal system into two tiers: one for those who can pay, and one for those who can't. Unfortunately, this means if you can't afford to pay bail, you go to jail.
Brooklyn Community Bail Fund;
In 2019, New York enacted historic pretrial reforms that will result in a dramatic reduction in pretrial detention populations across the state by eliminating bail and pretrial detention for most misdemeanors and non-violentfelonies. That means, in most cases, a person's liberty will not depend on how much money they have.
Center for Community Alternatives;
On January 1st, New York's new bail reform law went into effect. This law, fought for by communities across the state, was designed to reduce the number of people and families harmed by pretrial incarceration, protect the constitutional right to the presumption of innocence, and address the criminalization of poverty and of Black and brown communities.Before the passage of bail reform, New York's fifty-seven counties outside of New York City spent $705.5 million jailing legally innocent people each year.This system of mass pretrial incarceration coerced plea deals and destabilized individuals who were often in dire needof support, not pretrial punishment. By some estimates as many as 84% of people in New York jails had a substance use disorder or mental illness. National surveys show that 20% of people incarcerated in local jails have a "serious mental illness" like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Without bail reform, New York's local jails would have continued to function as warehouses for people failed by social services and social policy, including people struggling with mental health needs, substance use, and homelessness.Bail reform is already working. Each day, there are 6,000 fewer people incarcerated pretrial in New York's local jails.Thousands of people can thus return to their families and receive the treatment and care they need as they await their date in court. With the state budget deadline fast approaching, this is a critical moment for New York's legislature to protect the new law from regressive changes, and instead commit to shifting resources to the services - education, healthcare, mental healthcare, and housing - that keep communities safe and thriving. To do so, we must re-examine the staggering sums counties have historically spent on jailing compared to community-based resources.
Brooklyn Community Bail Fund;
Fact sheet about bail reform in New York, including how the law will affect New Yorkers, as well as the hard data illustrating the personal, economic and systemic impact of money bail and pretrial jailing on individuals, families and communities.
New York Community Trust;
In 2014, The New York Community Trust brought together a small group of funders and advocates to figure out how the arts community could play a role in shaping the City's cultural plan. The New York City Cultural Agenda Fund, a funder collaborative, grew out of the group's recognition that New York City needed a strong and vocal advocacy community with a deep understanding of equity to effect change. Led by The New York Community Trust and Lambent Foundation, the Cultural Agenda Fund's goals were to strengthen advocacy, influence policy, and advance equity by ensuring that small and diverse arts groups were valued.
New York City Environmental Justice Alliance;
Hurricane Maria's devastation of Puerto Rico and other coastal communities in 2017 was a sobering reminder that climate change is happening now, and that the impacts hit hardest in low-income communities, communities of color, and communities historically overburdened by an extractive economy built on fossil fuels. For Latinx communities across the United States, the threats of climate change compound existing inequalities, including poverty, discrimination, proximity to environmental hazards, and challenges in immigration status during this malicious current federal administration.
Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center;
On April 26, 2019, CDP and Flanbwayan Haitian Literacy Project (Flanbwayan) released "Left Out: The struggle of newly arrived Haitian immigrant youth enrolling in New York City high schools through Family Welcome Centers." When immigrant high school students arrive in New York City, their high school admissions are processed through Family Welcome Centers, offices set up by the Department of Education to provide transition services for immigrants and others who are new to New York City. This process is fraught with challenges, and often gives young people little, if any, choice in what school they attend. The report, based on over 150 surveys conducted by Flanbwayan, details the experiences of Haitian youth who enrolled in high schools though Family Welcome Centers. The research reveals significant barriers to education for Haitian immigrant students in New York City. Findings from the report include that Haitian students enrolling in school through Family Welcome Centers are not being asked about their academic preferences and interests, are being placed in schools that are incompatible with their needs and are faced with a lack of information to make informed choices about their academic futures. The report offers policy recommendations and reforms to address the systemic challenges faced by immigrant students enrolling through Family Welcome Centers.
Community Food Advocates;
Community Food Advocates has just completed a new report of the first year of the Universal School Lunch program, with a deep dive into how the program has worked in high schools - where the students have been the hardest to reach. We visited high schools in all five boroughs, totaling 132 high schools in 54 buildings. We met with school administrators, cafeteria staff and students. Our visits to high schools helped us identify practices that can promote the program and encourage students to eat school lunch. These findings form the basis of our recommendations to the Chancellor, the Office of Food and Nutrition Services and school administrators.We are pleased to report that high school students' participation increased by 15.2% - with little public promotion of the program. And high schools with the new Food Court-style cafeteria redesign increased participation by 31%! That is why significantly expanding the number of schools with the cafeteria redesign model remains a high priority for the Lunch 4 Learning Campaign.
New York Community Trust;
For 95 years, The New York Community Trust has served as New York's community foundation— managing charitable funds on behalf of donors and granting more than $4.6 billion to support nonprofits.But where, exactly, does that money go? Which causes do philanthropically minded New Yorkers care most about? And how has their giving changed over the years?To answer these questions, we mined The Trust's data and interviewed and surveyed scores of living donors to create this 2019 Philanthropic Trends Report, a first ever portrait of giving in America's largest city, including its Long Island and Westchester suburbs.
Immigrant Defense Project;
The Immigrant Defense Project closely monitors ICE activity at state courthouses in New York and around the country. Under the Trump administration, we have documented an alarming 1700% increase in ICE arrests and attempted arrests across New York State. The consequent threats to universal access to justice and to public safety are tremendous, as immigrant communities become too afraid to seek justice in criminal, family, and civil courts.
Vera Institute of Justice;
n April 2019, New York passed legislation on bail reform to update a set of state pretrial laws that had remained largely untouched since 1971. Compared to California's Senate Bill 10, passed in August 2018, or New Jersey's Bail Reformand Speedy Trial Act, enacted in January 2017, New York's new bail law received relatively little media coverage or national press. To many interested in bail and pretrial justice, New York's reform seemed un-newsworthy as it didn't go as far as originally promised to eliminate money bail entirely.Yet the relative lack of fanfare over the passage of New York's new bail law belies its historic and transformative potential to end mass incarceration at the local level. If implemented effectively, a conservative estimate of the legislation's impact suggests that New York can expect at least a 40 percent reduction overall in the state'spretrial jail population.1 That bests the 30.4 percent reduction achieved by bail reform in New Jersey, and the anticipated impact of Senate Bill 10 in California— which is currently on hold pending a challenge by the bail bond industry—if it goes into effect in 2020.What exactly comprises New York's new bail law? What inspired this set of reforms? Can bail reform truly claim to be bold if money isn't eliminated entirely? And what precedent might New York's model of bail reform set for other jurisdictions?This primer provides historical context and an overview of the legislation itself, highlights five unique aspects of the legislation, and offers a few thoughts for how the wins in New York can inspire more comprehensive and transformative bail reform elsewhere.