New York’s bail reform has become a statewide point of contention. Mayor Adams wants rollbacks, while others say they will challenge these changes in the courts. This could seriously impact offenders and their families, and make 24/7 bail bonds providers virtually obsolete. In this video, Doctor Calvin John Smiley, Ph.
D., Associate Professor of Sociology at Hunter College, gives CBS New York his opinions on the issue.
Doctor Smiley is the author of Purgatory Citizenship: Reentry, Race, and Abolition, plus he works with young offenders at a juvenile detention center in The Bronx. His views on the bail reform changes come from a long career seeing how help and support as opposed to penalization benefit offenders and the wider justice system.
The current bail laws already provide judges with the power to remand offenders over a variety of concerns, from being a flight risk to previous offenses. Mayor Adams believes that rolling back bail reform is the key to reducing recidivism: the repetition of offenses even after penalties and punishments have been delivered. However, Dr. Smiley argues that around the nation, evidence suggests that what actually drives lower crime rates is improved investment into communities, access to education, healthcare, and housing.
Watch the interview and decide for yourself where you stand on these crucial New York bail reform issues.