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statement from lorenzo jones: newsday report, new york senate democrats planning to rollback bail and discovery reforms

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February 12, 2020


Yan Snead, | (518) 360-1534


In response to Newsday report that the New York Senate Democrats are planning to roll back bail reforms and possibly also discovery reforms, Katal released the following statement, attributable to co-founder and co-executive director, Lorenzo Jones.

“We strongly oppose rollbacks to the pretrial reform package passed last year. There should be no rollbacks of bail reform, no rollbacks to discovery reform. New York must move forward with reforming our deeply broken and racially unjust system, not going backward into profiling and driving up jail populations.

For decades, New York kept thousands of people — mostly people of color— in jail, pretrial — simply because they couldn’t afford to pay bail. This in turn propped up an entire industry of commercial bail companies, who extracted millions from poor and low income communities of color. After years of community groups and advocates fighting for justice, last year New York passed historic bail and pretrial reform packages — eliminating cash bail and pretrial detention for nearly all misdemeanors and non-violent felonies, restoring due process, and ensuring the right to a speedy trial.

In just the first month since the reforms were enacted, thousands of families have been reunited across the state, while jail populations are going down. People can now keep their jobs while fighting to prove their innocence, custody of their children, their homes — but media outlets and legislators who are more concerned about their jobs and not their constituents are not talking about that. Instead, they’ve launched a coordinated campaign of lies and disinformation in an effort to repeal the law. 

We must stand strong and united against potential rollbacks to the new law because bail reform brings more justice to New Yorkers. We expect better from the Senate Democrats. We thank Speaker Heastie and the Assembly Democrats for maintaining their steadfast support for real reform.”

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