Ortt asks court, criminal justice officials to see if bail reform part of recent crime spike

Posted 23 July 2021 at 8:36 am

‘The unfortunate reality is our state is in the midst of a self-inflicted crime crisis.’ – Rob Ortt

Press Release, Rob Ortt, State Senate Republican leader

Photo by Tom Rivers: State Sen. Rob Ortt speaks during the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Luncheon on July 16 at Tillman’s Village Inn. Ortt said new state policies on criminal justice have made New York and local communities less safe. Congressman Chris Jacobs is next to Ortt during the luncheon.

ALBANY – Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt have a sent a letter to the Office of Court Administration and New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services requesting a thorough and transparent analysis on the correlation between changes to New York State bail laws in the 2019-2020 State Budget and the increase in violent crime across the state since those laws went into effect January 1, 2020.

“The recent surge in shootings and violent crime all across the state have confirmed our worst fears – so called criminal justice ‘reforms’ passed under One-Party Rule are a danger to all New Yorkers,” Ortt said. “Shootings are up. Hate crimes are up. While the Governor’s recently declared state of emergency finally acknowledges what the Republican Conference has stated all along, that violence in our cities is a serious problem, it ignores the very policies and rhetoric he has embraced in the past two years: bail reform, discovery reform and a war on our police. It’s time for the Governor to acknowledge the consequences of his actions, and that begins by examining his own state data – not ignoring or whitewashing it.”

The timing of the recent surge in shootings and violent crime directly correlates with the implementation of changes to the bail laws passed by the majorities in the Legislature and signed by the Governor as part of the 2019-2020 State Budget.

Changes to the bail laws, which removed discretion from judges when it came to setting bail for ninety percent of defendants, took effect on January 1, 2020.  Since the start of 2020, shootings, murders, assaults and other violent crimes have skyrocketed all across the state.

Law enforcement experts all across New York have almost unanimously condemned bail reform as a cause of rising violent crime. The NYPD commissioner, Monroe County law enforcement officials, and even Albany County’s Democratic District Attorney have all linked bail reform with rising violent crime in communities all across the state.

“The unfortunate reality is our state is in the midst of a self-inflicted crime crisis,” Ortt said. “In order to come up with solutions, we must fully understand the consequences of recent policies. I believe that by repealing these policies, and increasing support and funding for law enforcement, we can reverse this sharp increase in violence.”