Staten Island Lawmakers Raise Concerns About NY Bail Law

WCBS 880 Newsroom
November 15, 2019 - 6:19 pm
Nicole Malliotakis

Peter Haskell/WCBS 880

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Lawmakers on Staten Island spent Friday speaking out against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s bail reform plan for 2020.

As WCBS 880’s Kristie Keleshian reports, the plan will eliminate bail for most non-violent charges in New York State.

While most lawmakers in the state are on board with the proposal, Staten Island Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and Councilman Joe Borelli say the change is “radical” and a threat to New Yorkers.

“It’s about being the most extreme, it's about being the first. That's what this is about,” Malliotakis said.

She does agree that some sentences may be disproportionate for low level crimes, but notes some crimes that qualify for the bail reform include selling drugs on school grounds, which she is outraged over.

The Legal Aid Society has backed the law and issued a statement saying it's tragic that law enforcement officials and lawmakers who have the power to end suffering of those in jail disagree with the measure.

On Thursday, two probation directors from upstate also raised concerns about how the bail law will be implemented.

Delaware County Probation Director Scott Glueckert told lawmakers that he doesn’t have the staff, infrastructure or office space to implement the bail changes.

Robert Iusi, the probation director in Warren County, says the changes need to be adequately funded.

The bail law was passed by lawmakers earlier this year. It eliminates pre-trial detention and money bail for the wide majority of misdemeanor and non-violent felony cases. The changes are expected to curtail the number of people held in jail while awaiting trial.

The law also allows the court to release a person under certain conditions. It takes effect in January 2020.

(© 2019 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)