ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is announcing proposals during his State of the State Address to reform the state’s criminal justice system.
According to the governor’s office, the new legislation will eliminate monetary bail for people facing misdemeanor and nonviolent felony charges; expand the discovery process to include disclosure of information in a timely manner; reduce unnecessary delays and adjournments in court proceedings; ban all asset seizures, unless an arrest is made and enhance reporting requirements for local law enforcement and district attorneys; and improve the re-entry process for individuals transitioning from incarceration to their communities.
“The Empire State has always served as a beacon of equality and social justice, and with these actions, New York is once again showing the nation the way forward,” Gov. Cuomo said. “For too long, our antiquated criminal justice system has created a two-tiered system where outcomes depend purely on economic status – undermining the bedrock principle that one is innocent until proven guilty. This sweeping overhaul will transform our criminal justice system by removing critical barriers, reaffirming our beliefs in fairness, opportunity and dignity, and continue our historic progress toward a more equal society for all.”
In the time since Governor Cuomo took office, New York State has closed 24 prisons and juvenile detention centers. The prison population has also decreased by more than 6,000 within that time.