New York Comptroller Brad Lander just released an analysis of the state’s 2019 bail bonds law. And the crisis, Lander says, isn’t that crime has skyrocketed — it’s that too many people are still being held in prison. Fasten your seatbetls.
The most glaring problem with landers The report states that bail bond reform hasn’t affected cities’ crime rates — but nowhere are city crime statistics cited. For the record, Mr. Comptroller, there were 319 homicides in 2019 before bail reform went into effect; There were 468 in 2020 and 485 in 2021, the highest numbers since 2011.
Overall crime is up 45% this year from last year, largely due to a 60% increase in grand larceny and an 85% increase in auto theft — coincidentally, two counts that judges under the Act of 2019 not allowed to set a deposit.
Nowhere in the report does the word “relapse” appear. Nowhere is there an analysis of the more than 2,000 professional criminals released under the 2019 law and their criminal activities since then.
And nowhere does the Comptroller cite statistics released by the Office of Court Administration showing that criminal defendants with prior convictions or pending cases have been released on supervised release or non-monetary release — thanks bail reform – 43% are re-arrested while their cases are pending. Defendants charged with home burglary and published on NMR are being re-arrested at a rate of 57%.
And these numbers show just that backrest Guess not them relapse Rating. Defendants are not arrested for every crime they commit. In fact, most of them beat the raps for most of their crimes. Just look at the numbers: in 2021 there were nearly 13,000 Gotham burglaries; Just 300 people are being held on Rikers Island on charges of burglary.
Somehow this OCA data, which is readily available on their website, never made it into the auditor’s report. The Bureau either saw the statistics and ignored them, or didn’t know they existed. Either way, it’s sloppy work.
Instead, Lander cites a single statistic from the Criminal Justice Agency showing that as of December 2021, 41,000 people with a pending case were in New York City courts. This figure includes people arrested for the first time and for minor offenses who would never have been given bail under the old law. He notes that 4% of those 41,000 were arrested again this month, essentially the same as before bail reform.
It’s a terribly misleading statistic. For example, a defendant arrested three times is only counted once. But more importantly, crime has gone up and arrests have gone down since 2019. So far, more people are getting away with crime than before.
But even that 4% could mean around 1,640 people with pending cases in December 2021 were arrested again this month. And the report commendably notes that only 1% of them are re-arrested every month for a violent crime.
That’s about 5,000 violent crimes per year committed by people awaiting trial. I guess those numbers don’t mean much unless you’re a victim.
Nobody says we should lock everyone up for every crime. But we can identify the backsliders among us. We can allow judges to remand suspects who pose a risk or are at risk of re-offending. But instead, Lander applauds the city for their release amid a rise in crime, even recommending the release of 2,000 more.
Bail reform was designed to get more people out of prison. And it did. Those held on bail had extensive criminal records or were charged with very serious crimes.
Police made almost 180,000 arrests in 2019. When bail reform was passed on April 1, 2019, 7,822 of New York City’s 8.6 million residents were incarcerated. Hardly any “mass incarceration”.
The people who will pay the price for the bail reform mockery are poor people of color who are overwhelming victims of crime in this city, particularly violent crime.
Lawmakers in Albany who passed this legislation must admit they were wrong, or accept that the increase in crime and the thousands more victims of crime are an acceptable price to pay for their progressive ideology. They never will. But just saying, “Go on, there’s nothing to see here” is not an acceptable response.
Jim Quinn was a prosecutor in the Queens Attorney’s Office for 42 years.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/27/comptroller-lander-claims-bail-reform-hasnt-caused-more-crime/ Comptroller Lander claims bail reform hasn’t increased crime