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statement by criminal justice reform groups across new york

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The governor’s commitment to criminal justice reform is welcomed and needed. At his 2018 State of the State Address, the governor said, “Race and wealth should not be factors in our criminal justice system.” We wholeheartedly agree with the governor on this point and believe achieving this goal is an urgent priority for New York.

However, we have deep concerns about many of the details in the governor’s current criminal justice reform package.

These proposals are unsupportable as they currently stand. The proposals will not produce the outcomes he seeks to achieve, or reflect the values he seeks to uphold. While there are good components in some of the proposals, including the bail reform bill, critical amendments are needed to make true reform. The discovery and speedy trial proposals are a major step backwards, potentially causing more wrongful convictions, higher rates of pretrial detention with sharp racial disparities, and even more case delays. These proposals are counterproductive to the progress New York has made in criminal justice reform to date.

We are united in the belief that the time for reform is now. We look forward to working with the governor and legislature to improve these proposals so that we may stand together in advancing reform.

Attached to this statement is an addendum with suggestions as to what needs to be improved, which you can find here.

Listed in alphabetical order by org name
66 Signatories as of 11:00 am on 3/7/2018

  • 5 Boro Defenders
  • Albany County Public Defender
  • All Souls Unitarian Church, Justice Task Force
  • Alliance for Quality Education
  • BOOM!Health
  • Bronx Defenders
  • Bronx Freedom Fund
  • Brooklyn Community Bail Fund
  • Brooklyn Defender Services
  • Brotherhood SisterSol
  • Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (CAIC)
  • Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration
  • Center for Appellate Litigation
  • Center for Community Alternatives, New York
  • Center for Constitutional Rights
  • Center for Law and Justice
  • Challenging Incarceration
  • Child Welfare Organizing Project (CWOP)
  • Correctional Association of New York
  • Corrections Accountability Project, Urban Justice Center
  • CUNY School of Law, Defenders Clinic, Prof. Nicole Smith et al.
  • Defending Rights & Dissent
  • Discovery For Justice
  • El Centro del Inmigrante
  • Green Party of NY (GPNY)
  • Harm Reduction Coalition
  • Incarcerated Nation Corp.
  • Innocence Project
  • Interfaith Center of New York
  • Interfaith Impact of NYS
  • International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
  • Jewish Voice for Peace – NYC
  • Justice and Unity for the Southern Tier
  • JustLeadershipUSA
  • Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice
  • LatinoJustice PRLDEF
  • Legal Aid Society
  • Legal Aid Society of Nassau County
  • Legal Aid Society of Westchester County
  • LPS/LIFE Progressive Services Group Inc.
  • Make the Road New York
  • Middle Collegiate Church
  • Mobilization for Justice
  • Nassau County Criminal Courts Bar Association
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI Huntington
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI-NYS (Criminal Justice)
  • New York City Books Through Bars
  • New York City Jails Action Coalition
  • New York Civil Liberties Union
  • New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • One Thousand Arms
  • Park Avenue Christian Church, The Rev. Kaji S. Douša
  • Partnership for the Public Good, Buffalo
  • Photo Patch Foundation
  • Policing and Social Justice Project, Brooklyn College
  • Prison Action Network
  • Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP)
  • Release Aging People in Prison/RAPP Campaign
  • Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
  • STEPS to End Family Violence
  • United Voices of Cortland
  • Urban Justice Center
  • Washington Square Legal Services Bail Fund
  • Women & Justice Project
  • Youth Represent

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