DEMAND REAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM IN NY

TAKE ACTION NOW

New York’s criminal justice system is inadequate, unfair and deeply broken.

Each year tens of thousands of New Yorkers who have not been convicted of a crime are stuck behind bars, pulled away from their work and their families, because they can’t afford to pay bail. A slow and backlogged court system drags out their injustice, as they wait months – or even years – for trial.

Worse still, these injustices disproportionately hurt people of color and poor New Yorkers. We need real criminal justice reform – and we need it NOW.

In the coming weeks, legislative leaders will negotiate our state budget, and with it, a series of criminal justice reform measures introduced by the governor and by lawmakers in the Senate and Assembly.

In these negotiations, lawmakers must not trade away real reform.

TAKE ACTION: Tell the Governor and lawmakers they must ensure final budget legislation fulfills the promise of fairness and justice We need real reform of our bail, speedy trial and discovery laws. 

Message Recipients:
Andrew M. Cuomo (D-NY), Governor
Your State Upper Chamber Representatives
Your State Lower Chamber Representatives
Carl E. Heastie, Speaker,  New York State Assembly
John J. Flanagan, Majority Leader, New York State Senate 

Demand Real Criminal Justice Reform in New York
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Your Message

Our state criminal justice system is inadequate, unfair and deeply broken.

Each year tens of thousands of New Yorkers who have not been convicted of a crime are stuck behind bars, pulled away from their work and their families, because they can’t afford to pay bail. A slow and backlogged court system drags out their injustice, as they wait months – or even years – for trial.

Worse still, these injustices disproportionately hurt people of color and poor New Yorkers. We need real criminal justice reform – and we need it NOW.

As you enter state budget negotiations, we are counting on you to make sure the final agreement fulfills New York’s promise of fairness and justice. We need real reform of our bail, speedy trial and discovery laws.

New Yorkers charged with minor offenses should not spend time locked up, period. No one should be in jail because of the size of their bank account. Jail time before trial should be rare, used only when there is absolutely no other way to ensure someone returns to court. 

We must live up to our constitutional guarantee of a right to trial within a reasonable timeframe. The tragedy of Kalief Browder, who spent three years on Rikers Island without being convicted of any crime, reminds us of the horrors our current system inflicts on people. We cannot allow people to suffer in jail because a court is understaffed and busy.

We also need “discovery reform” which will ensure open, early and automatic access to all evidence collected by prosecutors so New Yorkers aren’t defending themselves with one hand tied behind their backs.

Please do your part to make our state a national leader in criminal justice reform. New Yorkers will not wait any longer.

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]
[Your Address]

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