Where Cash Bail Dies, Repeat Offenders Thrive
Just 10 criminals were arrested nearly 500 times between them after New York City enacted bail reform in 2020. Two of them didn’t even become criminals until the changes were made, with no arrests before reform and double-digit arrests since. One recidivist currently walking free has been arrested 101 times.
Worse: The NYPD estimates that nearly one-third of the 2,400 shootings in the city since 2021 were committed by just 716 perpetrators. More than half of them have a felony on their records.
Said NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell this summer: “Their efforts are increasingly aided by the fact that after the NYPD has arrested them, the criminal justice system fails to hold them appropriately accountable for their actions. These offenders face very few, if any, repercussions, despite committing crime after crime.”
New York’s ending of cash bail was aimed at protecting the rights of poor defendants, some of whom had been unjustly incarcerated even though they hadn’t been convicted of the crime they were accused of. But the crime surge has Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul — both Democrats — calling for a rollback.
Across the continent in San Francisco, recently elected District Attorney Chesa Boudin eliminated cash bail. This spring, following a crime surge, the voters of the liberal city removed him from office in a landslide recall vote.
Concern about crime is truly bipartisan:
- Among Democrats, 77% say violent crime is a major problem, and 68% say it is getting worse.
- Among Republicans, 80% say it is a major problem, and 79% say it is getting worse.
- Among independents, 77% say it is a major problem, and 74% say it is getting worse.
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