The members of Interfaith Impact of NYS strongly support the Bail Elimination Act of 2018 (S3579A/A5033A). We will support a similar act in the 2019 session.
Eliminate cash bail because:
- Cash bail discriminates against the poor and privileges those who can afford to buy their freedom.
- In most cases, a release on recognizance with a reminder shortly before their next court date works.
- Cash bail is racist in its application. It’s an egregious example of Jim Crow justice. Blacks and Hispanics are routinely assessed 50% to 100% more for misdemeanor crimes than Whites.
- Cash bail is expensive for New York Taxpayers. On average, nearly 70% of the inmates in our county jails are there because they cannot afford to post bail. Releasing that population would be a major savings.
- The pre-trial incarceration of the poor who can’t afford bail punishes the innocent, destroys families, and ruins lives.
- It is cruel, inhumane, and ultimately has little effect on whether the accused who have been released return for trial.
For more about cash bail, see www.katalcenter.org.
The members of Interfaith Impact of NYS represent clergy and activists from Unitarian Universalist, Reform Jewish, Mainline Protestant and other faiths across New York State. We are appalled by the profoundly unjust system of cash bail that exists in our justice system. This can and should be remedied as soon as possible.