Bail Reform News Archive

  • What Responsibility Do Courts Bear for the Crisis at Rikers Island?

    The New Yorker

    Eric Lach for the New Yorker spends time in the courtroom at arraignment to understand some of the factors fueling the current crisis on Rikers Island. The article cites our research that identified a 2020 spike in judges setting bail and explores the alternatives that judges have to bail--like someone being released on their own recognizance or supervised release.

  • Crisis At Rikers: How NYC Judges Fueled An Increase In The City’s Jail Population


    Citing our research, Gothamist looks at the role of pretrial decision-making in fueling the crisis on Rikers Island where the jail population has been rising steadily for months. “The research overwhelmingly indicates that releasing people reduces recidivism in the long run, and pre-trial detention increases it,” said Michael Rempel, our director of jail reform. 

  • ‘A Ticking Time Bomb’: City Jails Are Crowded Again, Stoking COVID Fears

    The New York Times

    Citing our report on New York City's jail population under COVID-19 and our forthcoming lookback on the city and one year of bail reform, The New York Times reports city jails are now more full than they were before the start of the pandemic. The Times found unsafe conditions and the fear of contracting the virus are fueling a mental health crisis behind bars, with rising rates of self-harm among people detained.

  • America’s Biggest City Was Hit Hard By COVID-19. Its Jails Are Filling Up Again

    The Appeal

    New York City’s jail population is close to reaching pre-pandemic levels. The Appeal reports, "The city’s jail population, now over 4,700, is largely the result of a growing number of people held awaiting trial. According to a recent report by the Center for Court Innovation, between the end of April, when the city took emergency COVID-related decarceration measures, and Nov. 1, the pretrial population incarcerated in city jails has increased by more than 28 percent."

  • How New York Judges are Getting Around Bail Reform

    New York Focus

    When New York's bail reform took effect in January, it meant people wouldn't be behind bars because they couldn't afford their freedom. Some judges are skirting the intent of that law by setting alternative forms of bail, like partially secured bonds (PSB), at significantly higher rates. Our Krystal Rodriguez explains the intent behind PSBs.

  • New York City's Pretrial Jail Population Grows After Rollbacks on Reform

    The Hill

    The pretrial jail population in New York City has increased by nearly 16 percent since July, when the state amended a previously passed bail reform measure, reports the Hill. The article cites our study, which predicted the same percentage increase and found that under the amended law, 84 percent of total cases remain ineligible for bail.

  • Violent Crime Linked to Bail Reform? NYPD Says Yes, Experts Say No


    Michael Rempel, director of jail reform at the Center, say it is far too early to draw any hard conclusions on how the new laws have affected New York, given that the policy has been in effect less than a year, and that COVID-19 has created "a series of confusing dynamics" within the criminal justice system that make it even tougher to study.