NEWS & ANALYSIS

Gov. Hochul to Pitch Changes to Bail Reform Law as Part of Public Safety Plan


In a turn of events, Gov. Kathy Hochul is now proposing a public safety package including making more crimes bail eligible in New York after weeks of being accused of ignoring the ongoing crime wave. 

The plan, obtained by the New York Post, includes a measure that would give judges more discretion to order bail and detain criminal defendants for a series of additional crimes based on criminal history. 

“For offenses that are not currently subject to arrest, police will have the ability (though not the requirement) to deny a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) and arrest an individual who has previously received a DAT within eighteen months. All second offenses within a certain period of time will be bail-eligible,” the memo reads. 

“The statute will set forth specific criteria on which judges will base their determinations, including criminal history and history of firearm use/possession.” 

Crimes against subway riders and transit employees will also be subject to bail, according to the memo. 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has signaled he supports giving judges the ability to consider the “dangerousness” of defendants before deciding the terms of their release. 

This would amend the controversial 2019 bail reform law passed by the legislature, which limits a judge’s discretion to consider whether an individual should have to post bail. 

The bail law was approved to prevent people from being detained because they didn’t have the money to post bail.