Oversight Panel Observes Excessive Bail Bonds and Overcrowding in New York City Prisons

The House Oversight and Reform Committee requested briefings from five New York City district attorneys on prison conditions and excessive bail.

“We are very concerned that excessive bail amounts will lead to unnecessary pretrial detention and contribute to a humanitarian crisis in the New York City prison system, particularly on Rikers Island. Fourteen people have died this year in the custody of the New York City Department of Correction, ”committee members wrote in your letter.

“Condemning thousands of people to languish in an environment plagued by persistent overcrowding and escalating violence while awaiting trial is unacceptable and runs the risk of violating the federal civil rights of these individuals. If these conditions are not addressed, federal intervention may be necessary to protect detainees from further harm, “they added.

According to the committee, three-quarters of those detained in New York have not been convicted of a crime and are currently in custody for not being able to post bail. Committee members specifically noted Rikers Island’s “understaffing”, describing conditions as having “dramatically deteriorated” in recent months.

In 2019, the New York Legislature passed a bail reform package aimed at reducing the number of crimes for which judges could set bail. The new measure was in effect for the first half of 2020, but was later revoked in response to criticism from police that it was causing a spike in crime. Supporters of the package said it had not been in place long enough to really see the long-term effects.

Four members of the New York Congressional delegation wrote to the governor. Kathy hochulKathy HochulNY mogul with ties to Lt. gov. Faces Campaign Fraud Charges Williams Launches New York Governor Run Zephyr Teachout Runs For New York AG MORE and the mayor of New York City Bill de BlasioBill de Blasio Five faces of the media who became political candidates Unrequited anger: the demand for mass justice in the Rittenhouse trial The two Kyle Rittenhouse trials MORE in September calling for Rikers Island to be fully closed due to inhumane conditions.

The issue of New York bail reform attracted national attention due to the incarceration of Kalief Browder, a Bronx teenager who was detained for three years at Rikers without being charged with any crime, because Browder’s family was unable to pay. the $ 3,000 bond.

Browder was finally released in 2013 when the charges against him were dismissed. He committed suicide in 2015 at the age of 22.

In their letter to district attorneys, committee members requested that they instruct prosecutors to seek new bail hearings for individuals charged with misdemeanors, non-violent crimes, and those facing health risks due to COVID-19.

They also requested information on what actions DAs have taken to reduce New York’s prison population and what factors were considered when determining whether a person was eligible for supervised release.

The letters were signed by the committee chair. Carolyn maloneyCarolyn Maloney GOP Seeks Oversight Hearing With Kerry On Climate Diplomacy Senators Seek Defense Bill To Move Cyber ​​Security Measures Over 100 Democrats Sign Bill Securing Access To Birth Control MORE (DN.Y.) as well as Reps. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben Raskin Jan. 6 panel can see influence on Bannon prosecution Maryland Democrats target lone Republican in redistricting scheme GOP leader’s marathon speech forces House Democrats to boost voting MORE (D-Md.) And Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez on Virginia gubernatorial race: ‘We weren’t welcome to present’ Ocasio-Cortez: spending plan must be approved soon or it will be ‘difficult’ for Democratic leaders ‘to get votes on anything’ Democrats should be about votes, not megaphones MORE (DN.Y.).


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