Bail Reform in New York, Legislative Provisions and Implications

On April 1, 2019, New York State passed sweeping criminal justice reform legislation that eliminates money bail and pretrial detention for nearly all misdemeanor and nonviolent felony defendants; requires prosecutors to disclose their evidence to the defense earlier in case proceedings; promotes speedy trial rights; and reduces the maximum length of a jail sentence for people convicted of a misdemeanor from one year to 364 days (avoiding deportation exposure for many immigrants convicted of minor crimes). This document reviews the major components of the first of these changes, bail reform, and includes data indicating the scope of its potential impact in New York City.

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