Since it was passed in April 2019, New York State’s bail reform law has received enormous attention from both its supporters and critics. Vera’s 3.5-year NYBRE study will provide comprehensive impact evaluations of the reform utilizing multiple research methods including administrative data analysis, court observations, interviews with system actors, and justice-involved individuals. This project will examine how front-end reforms at arrest and arraignment impact back-end outcomes, including the use of jails for pretrial detention and sentenced populations. This project will provide the public and policymakers with a nuanced understanding of the impact of the reform in every corner of the state, particularly in counties outside of New York City—home to over eight million New Yorkers and over 1,300 courts.

Project Objectives

  • Analyze the effectiveness of New York’s 2020 bail reform implementation as reflected by its impact on jail incarceration, pretrial release rates, court’s use of money bail, and the experiences of system actors and justice-impacted people.

Key Fact

In January 2019, before the bail reform law was passed, about 6,200 people in New York City and 8,000 people in counties outside New York City were held in jail while their cases were still pending.