Should freedom have a cost for all criminal defendants?

Advocates say the bail system, designed to ensure that people who have not been convicted return to court, has become a form of pretrial punishment for many defendants.

The system also been criticized for placing a disproportionate burden on Black and brown New Yorkers.

The state’s 2019 bail reform law eliminated cash bail for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies. Controversy soon arrived, with some elected officials blaming bail reform for an uptick in crime.

Did the new law advance social justice or add to a rising crime rate?

Anslem Joseph provides this video report and then moderates a panel discussion with experts.