ALBANY — Local law enforcement agencies and district attorneys will have to reconcile how to pay for sweeping criminal justice reforms that were passed with great fanfare by state lawmakers — but left unfunded in the budget.
The measures approved in the state budget will eliminate cash bail for misdemeanors and many non-violent felonies, mandate the issuance of appearance tickets for certain crimes and create new speedier pretrial discovery. County officials around the state are worried that the potential savings from the reforms won’t offset the new costs of compliance, including beefing up pretrial services provided by law enforcement and prosecutors.
The budget also failed to provide direct funding for a Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct that is being established — over the strong objections of state prosecutors — to investigate allegations of malfeasance by district attorneys offices.
The 2020 spending plan “includes groundbreaking legislation going into effect next year that dramatically reforms New York’s criminal justice system, including cashless bail that will ensure approximately 90% of cases where people are charged, but not yet convicted, will remain out of jail before their day in court,” said Freeman Klopott, a spokesman for the state Division of Budget.
He said the changes “will provide savings for …read more
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