cash bail reform

Thomas O'Neil-White

Less than two weeks after new bail laws took effect in New York, politicians, law enforcement agencies and victim advocacy groups say the laws are a threat to public safety.


One week into New York’s new bail laws taking effect, local politicians are calling for change. Buffalo Common Council members Joel Feroleto and Chris Scanlon are co-sponsoring a resolution saying the unintended consequences of the new laws pose a public safety risk.

File Photo / WBFO News

Beginning Jan. 1, some criminal justice law changes take effect in New York that have divided defendants' rights advocates and law enforcement groups.

Thomas O'Neil-White

Starting Jan. 1, cash bail and pre-trial detention will be eliminated for most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies in New York State. That change has left local criminal justice reform advocates rejoicing and law enforcement officials crying foul.

In advance of January 1, 2020, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn is advising his prosecutors to seek special permission before requesting bail for those charged with misdemeanors and non-violent crimes. At the start of the new year, New York State will no longer allow bail to be imposed in such cases. According to Ali Ingersoll of Investigative Post, some factions of the criminal justice system may not be ready to embrace the reforms.

Thomas O'Neil-White

The Frank E. Merriweather library held a community discussion Wednesday night on new bail reforms set to take effect in the state in January.

WBFO file photo

If New York State passes legislation which eliminates cash bail for many crimes, Erie County lawmakers want to be sure those accused of domestic violence are prevented from obtaining a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Pro football Hall of Famer and former Buffalo Bills star running back Thurman Thomas sat before an Erie County Legislature committee Thursday, expressing his support for cash bail reform in New York State.