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Criminal justice reform in New York

Talk about crime and how to address it is nothing new to people who live in New York. Most people would agree that it is important for lawmakers and law enforcement agencies to work to protect the safety of citizens but that would should be equally balanced by ensuring that the rights of people accused of crimes or even convicted of crimes are properly respected. How to achieve this is where disagreements can come into play at times.

As explained by City and State New York, the state was hoping to make progress on some criminal justice reform by the first part of April in 2019. It seems that may take more time and that might end up being acceptable so long as the progress is made. There are multiple topics being addressed under the large umbrella of criminal justice reform.

One of the proposals put forth would eliminate bail and allow people to be released from custody while they wait for a court date. This effort has failed so far in large part due to fears about safety or how to decide who should be kept in custody between an arrest and a hearing or trial date. Pretrial detention can end up lasting a long time and contributing to less-than-ideal options for defendants.

The State of New York has noted that one step forward has been made to protect underage defendants. In 2017, the age of criminal responsibility was raised to 18. This took effect for 16-year-olds on October 1, 2018 and will take effect for 17-year-olds on October 1, 2019.

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