New York Gov. Kathy Hochul defended the state's bail reform law on Monday amid criticism that the legislation is exacerbating a spike in crime, The Post-Journal of Jamestown reported.
''I'm looking for the data that shows me that bail reform is the reason that somehow crime is going up,'' Hochul, a Democrat, told the news outlet. ''I'm focused on what I have control over right now.''
New York has a complicated history with bail reform. A law passed in January 2020 eliminating almost all cash bail stood for only three months before the state Legislature amended significantly, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.
The amendment passed in April 2020 allowed considerably more situations in which judges could set cash bail. Recent data, however, suggests that it may not have gone far enough.
From July 1, 2020, to Aug. 30, 2020, 3,680 defendants were prosecuted for felonies in New York City, 70% of which had a prior or pending case at the time of arrest, the New York Post reported on data from the state's Office of Court Administration.
Most recently, the New York Police Department reported that overall crime was up 38% in January 2022 compared with January 2021, according to WNBC New York.
The New York State Sheriffs' Association and the New York State Association of Police Chiefs have advocated that judges again be given broader authority to impose cash bail, according to the Post-Journal report.
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