Approximately 47,000 people will stay in jail this year in new york city
before they are convicted, and simply because they can't afford to get out. Only 11% of poor defendants can post bail at $1K, just 17% at $500.
Nearly 50% of people with
bail set can’t afford it.
Bail is only supposed to be used to ensure someone returns to court — judges are not required to set bail in every case. Research shows that 84% of those charged with a crime in New York City return to court voluntarily on their scheduled court date without bail. 94% of defendants return voluntarily within 30 days of missing a court date.
There is an immediate solution.
In New York City judges have many options for how bail is set but rarely utilize them. For example, poor defendants can be released immediately to the custody of family and friends on a "promise to pay" if they fail to return to court. These alternative forms of bail are routinely used in other jurisdictions, but almost never in New York.
Contact Legal Aid if you wish to partner with the Decarceration Project or sponsor this campaign.
The Decarceration Project, a project of The Legal Aid Society, is an ambitious city-wide
campaign with the goal of reducing, and eventually eliminating, the unnecessary
pre-trial incarceration of poor people in New York City.
Follow us on twitter at @decarceratenyc