“Earlier this year, we released a report on the pernicious and predatory nature of the commercial bail bond industry in New York. That report showed that bail bond companies extract between $16 and $27 million in non-refundable fees from mostly low-income New Yorkers every year – while doing nothing to make our communities any safer. This industry is about making money off of misery – it’s why we’ve called for commercial bail to be banned and have worked with our colleagues in government to propose state legislation that will do just that.

“But as we take on the issue of bail in our criminal justice system, and seek to root it out entirely so no New Yorker is incarcerated because they’re low-income, we need to take decisive steps today to provide immediate relief to those who need it. At the City level, we must pursue all avenues toward reforming our criminal justice process, as we simultaneously work with the state to pass the sweeping overhaul this problem demands. The City Council is considering legislation that would protect detainees from the worst abuses of commercial bail operators. This is an important step, and I hope these bills move swiftly through the Council and are signed into law by the Mayor.

“Until we can pass a ban on commercial bail, the industry must be reined in. New Yorkers deserve to be protected from these private, opportunistic operators that harm our communities. I want to thank the Council for holding a hearing on these pieces of legislation today, and I applaud the passionate advocates who are standing up for fairness. The current bail system fails any reasonable standard of justice, and these bills are a worthy effort to right the wrongs of the status quo. They should become the law.”

To read Comptroller Stringer’s report calling for a ban on commercial bail, click here.

To read about the state proposal sponsored by Senator Brian Benjamin and Assemblymember Michael Blake to ban commercial bail, click here.