ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Rollbacks to bail reform measures from early 2020 went into effect Thursday, and activists are demanding more progressive policy in exchange for conservative concessions. At 10:30 a.m., activists and lawmakers are coming together to discuss other reforms via Zoom.
Advocates are demanding state legislators address the incarceration rates that disproportionately effect Black and Latinx communities. To them, bail reform measures that ended pretrial incarceration were the first steps in passing critical police and prison reforms.
They say rollbacks will mean thousands more people—detained on the basis of income-level—in jails throughout the state as the coronavirus pandemic and mass protests against racism in the justice system continue. Reform activists are agitating for a slate of criminal justice measures:
- Elder Parole: Make it easier to evaluate and parole medically vulnerable prisoners or detainees over 55 who have served 15 years or more
- Fair and Timely Parole: Provide more meaningful review of prisoners or detainees already eligible for parole
- HALT Solitary Confinement: Replace solitary confinement with humane and effective alternatives
- Repeal Walking While Trans: End the criminalization of loitering for the purposes of prostitution, which disproportionately targets transpeople of color
- Protect Our Courts: Illegalize arrests for civil violations while suspect is going to, attending, or leaving court
Several measures already have enough support to pass, and could help slow coronavirus in courts, jails, prisons, and detention facilities.