The New York state assembly has presented language that impacts bail laws by removing the “least restrictive means” that judges use for bail.

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The change is led by Gov. Kathy Hochul, opening leadership to the revisions that fall under a $227 billion budget. The language was revealed by Politico, showing the “least restrictive means” would be removed from standard judges on how to ensure a person comes to a court date.

Reps stated judges should lean more into current state law for qualifications of a bail. The final conditions decision would still rely on a judge’s indvidual analysis. Removing those would significantly impact Black, brown, and poor communities.


Hochul’s desire to remove the “least restrictive” standard reduces the access to bail for all crimes, including violent felonies, creating classes for offenses. The next step would be opening the negotiation table to accept the draft language.

The state budget is due March 31, but the entry is expected later.

To provide an actual investment into safety and protect bail options, the assembly must recognize Real community safety measures should be available to all communities. In addition, every resident should desire to be healthy and safe to thrive; those options include affordable and supportive housing, vouchers, support for all works, mental health first responders, and more.

The efforts for bail reform have shown success across the state without affecting the re-arrest rate, decreasing pre-trial incarceration, and raising court appearance rates. In addition to eliminating a legal norm from the bail law’s Civil Rights era and replacing it with nothing, the Governor’s proposal will only result in more Black, Brown, and poor individuals being imprisoned pending trial.

The proper direction would be a no to mass jailing and reducing the citizens’ options.

About The Author

Senior Editor

Shawn Grant is a Chicago native and the Senior Editor of The Source Magazine. He can only be found on Instagram and Twitter at @shawnxgrant.

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