Statement from Vera President Nicholas Turner in Support of Criminal Justice Reforms Proposed by New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

“Since assuming the mantle of leadership of the New York City Council, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has been an invaluable ally to those who believe that our city’s criminal justice system can be more effective, more efficient, and better at meeting the needs of vulnerable populations and disproportionately affected communities. Today’s State of the City address proved that the Speaker’s commitment to reform has only gotten stronger. We share her belief that too many New Yorkers are being saddled with criminal records for low-level, nonviolent offenses, and that our jails are unnecessarily crowded with people who are too poor to pay even minimal amounts of bail.
Vera has a long and fruitful history of working closely with the New York City government to enhance its ability to dispense justice fairly and effectively, and with the Speaker in particular. She has championed our New York Immigrant Family Unity Project—which aims to keep families together by providing legal representation to all eligible detained New Yorkers facing deportation proceedings—and worked tirelessly to secure its full funding in the current city budget.
Given the proposals put forth today by the Speaker and in consideration of this city’s unwavering commitment to the health and safety of its residents, I have every confidence that she and the city council will continue to pursue a more equitable justice system for all New Yorkers.”