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In April 2019, New York passed legislation on bail reform to update a set of state pretrial laws that had remained largely untouched since 1971. Compared to bail reform efforts in New Jersey and California, New York’s new bail law received relatively little media coverage or national press as it didn’t go as far as originally promised to eliminate money bail entirely. Yet the relative lack of fanfare over the passage of New York’s new bail law belies its historic and transformative potential to end mass incarceration at the local level. If implemented effectively, a conservative estimate of the legislation’s impact suggests that New York can expect at least a 40 percent reduction overall in the state’s pretrial jail population.

Please join Insha Rahman, Director of Strategy & New Initiatives at the Vera Institute of Justice, to learn more about:

  • The key provisions of New York’s new bail law, including mandatory release on almost 90% of arrests statewide, limitations on the use of electronic monitoring and other conditions of pretrial release, and a mandate to consider “ability to pay” for the small number of cases where bail may still be imposed;
  • Opportunities and challenges with implementation, including roll out of the new law in rural and suburban counties across New York State; and
  • The potential of this new law to inspire transformative bail reform elsewhere. 


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