Bail reform advocates rallying at Cuomo’s office on Tuesday

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Slamming Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for pushing what they call a racist bail reform rollback plan, supporters of bail reform plan to protest at the State Capitol on Tuesday morning at 11:30. They will meet outside of Cuomo’s office, in the second-floor War Room.

The rally and press conference will condemn Cuomo’s support of rollbacks. Several who have been impacted by pretrial jailing will present what they say is proof that rollbacks—and the cash bail system generally—will disproportionately harm nonwhite communities.

Advocates say racism drives the rollback campaign.

Indeed, a 2018 report from the New York Civil Liberties Union showed white New Yorkers making bail, even on the same day it was set, at twice the rate of black New Yorkers. Reformers say this demonstrates how pretrial jailing criminalizes poverty and specifically targets communities of color.

Advocates maintain that financial investments in community programs keep those communities safer than the cash bail system. They point to a new report showing that the 2019 state budget for jails was 11 times larger than the budget for mental health.

They want the state to reallocate the costs of incarcerating prisoners, and instead fund health care programs, mental health services, and other community resources.

The racial justice and community advocacy organizations behind the rally include the Anti-Violence Project, the Center for Community Alternatives, Citizen Action of New York, Community Voices Heard, and the Legal Aid Society.

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