On March 15th, Senator Montgomery addressed "Action with NYS Legislators: Pass Bail Reform Now!" Forum at Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, The event addressed the critical need for bail reform and explored the impact of race and poverty on the NY criminal legal system.
With the passage of Raise the Age, Senator Montgomery details the package of three additional reform measures needed to make the system more fair and representative - bail, discovery and speedy trial reforms. The Senator reflected on the life of Kalief Browder and the role his death has played on drawing attention to the importance these reforms and the impact it would make for the majority of people currently detained on Rikers Island.
With the plan closure of Rikers Island, Senator Montgomery notes that:
I must warn you that nothing has been planned to change what happens in Rikers Island. So we’re moving people from one place to other places in this City but there is not a plan that I’m aware of that says we’re going to change the environment, change the way we treat people, change the way this environment helps people to come out of it whole, change the level of violence that goes on.
It is my understanding that the Brooklyn House of Detention has a higher rate of violence than Rikers Island. We have not addressed Rikers Island properly. I must share what else we need to do in addition to closing Rikers Island.
The event was organized by Congregation Beth Elohim and their interfaith coalition partners:
- All Saints' Episcopal Church
- Park Slope Jewish Center
- Old First Reformed Church
- Park Slope United Methodist
- All Souls Bethlehem Church
- Plymouth Church
- Brooklyn Heights Synagogue
- Resurrection Park Slope
- First Presbyterian Church
- Society for Ethical Culture
- First Unitarian Congregational Society
- St. Augustine
- Fourth Universalist Society
- St. Boniface
- St. Francis
- St. John's Lutheran
- St. Savior
- Grace Church Brooklyn Heights
- Greenwood Baptist Church
- Kane Street Synagogue
- Union Temple
- Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian
- Kolot Chayeinu
To read Senator Montgomery's analysis of the Executive, Assembly and Senate Democratic Conference proposals on Bail, Speedy Trials and Discovery Reform, download the PDF.
To learn more about Senator Montgomery's work on criminal justice reform, visit:
To watch Senator Montgomery's 2017 Caucus Weekend workshop “Voices from the Formerly Incarcerated: Reform and Re-Entry” Workshop, visit https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/articles/velmanette-montgomery/voices-formerly-incarcerated-reform-and-re-entry-workshop
For more information about Senator Montgomery's criminal justice legislative agenda, visit https://www.nysenate.gov/senators/velmanette-montgomery/legislation