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Legislation Action Alert - New York Bail Reform

MUSC State Legislative Campaign - 2019
New York Bail Reform Call to Action


Bill Summary: New York Bail Elimination Act of 2019 To end the use of monetary bail, reduce unnecessary pretrial incarceration and improve equity and fairness in the criminal justice system.

Bill Sponsor: Michael Gianaris


MOBB United for Social Change Action in SUPPORT of New York Bail Elimination Act of 2019 SB-2101A


Background: M.O.B.B. United for Social Change is supporting Senate Bill SB 2101A which is currently under consideration in the New York State Legislature. SB 2101A is a comprehensive bill which would end the use of monetary bail, reduce unnecessary pretrial incarceration and improve equity and fairness in the criminal justice system.

In New York state, a person arrested for any criminal charge has a monetary bail - the payment required for a person to be released from jail as they await court hearings - amount set. Even before a criminal charge is made against a person, an individual could remain incarcerated for indeterminate periods of time. Judges have great discretion on increasing or lowering this amount. This practice has led to people of color and poor people being incarcerated during pre-trial simply because they cannot pay bail, or people of color and poor people becoming trapped in increased debt after paying a bail bondsman a nonrefundable lower amount, usually five to ten percent of the bail.

The gravity of this injustice is most pointed in Kalief Browder’s story. 16-year-old Kalief was accused of stealing a backpack in 2010. His family couldn’t afford the $3,000 bail set by the judge, and he spent the next three years in a jail on Rikers Island awaiting trial. Browder refused to plead guilty, and his case was dropped; however, after years in jail, much of it in solitary confinement, Kalief had trouble readjusting and committed suicide in 2015.

Governor Cuomo has promised to bring criminal justice reform to New York and has asked the Legislature to send him SB 2101 as part of his budget package, due April 1, 2019. Although the package would bring some much needed reforms, some state officials - NY prosecutors and Law Enforcement groups - are opposing forward movement, citing cost concerns.

However, the cost of freedom and justice are immeasurable. If states like California, North Carolina and Texas have reformed their bail practices, New York can as well. Our sons lives may depend on it. We need moms to mobilize now.

  1. Using the script below please call or email your Assembly and Senate representative NOW. You can find their contact information through these links.
  2. If you say nothing else, ask that they get behind SB 2101A and ensure that the bill is voted on a becomes part of the Governor’s package.
  3. Share this page with your friends and family members; ask them to do the same!


Sample Script:

(Ask to speak with the staff member most familiar with the Senator or Assembly member's position on SB-2101A)

  • Hi My name is _______ and I am calling from Moms of Black Boys United and MOBB United for Social Change, an organization consisting of over 180,000 concerned moms. We are in strong support of SB-2101A and monetary bail reform. We believe a person should not remain in jail simply because they cannot afford bail. SB-2101A promotes evidence based public safety by utilizing risk assessments.

(If Senator / Assembly member is not a supporter of SB 2101A)


  • I noticed that you are not listed as a supporter of the bill or ( SB2101A’s sister bill, AB 1359 if a member of the General Assembly).  Can we count on _______ to support SB-2101A and ensure Bail Reform makes it into the Governor’s budget?

(If Senator / Assemblymember says they will vote no on including SB 2101A)

  • Assemblymember / Senator_____________ voted no on SB-2101A. We are encouraging __________ to change their vote and use science and evidence not lobbying money and support SB-2101’s inclusion into the budget. Can we count on a “yes” vote?