Judges required to consider victim’s risk factors before determining bail
Senator Steve Saland (R, I, C - Poughkeepsie) today announced that the Senate has passed his legislation to further protect victims of domestic violence by requiring judges to consider certain risk factors to victims when determining bail in domestic violence cases (S.1414A).
“Domestic violence is a societal problem of enormous prevalence and impact. It has been identified by the U.S. Surgeon General as the number one health problem affecting American women, and it floods the justice system of New York State as well as the courts of every other state in the nation. While it especially affects those abused, it also impacts witnesses, family members, co-workers, friends, and the community at large,” stated Senator Saland.
Senator Saland has had a long history of addressing domestic violence issues authoring numerous significant laws including the mandatory arrest law, the law creating the registry of orders of protection, and a law requiring judges to consider evidence of domestic violence in all child custody and visitation cases.
Currently, perpetrators of domestic violence are often set free on low or no bail and thereby allowed to stalk, harm and sometimes kill their specifically targeted victims. In Dutchess County alone, there have been instances of death due to perpetrators killing their victims shortly after they’ve been released on bail following an incident of domestic violence.
“While we have clearly made progress in strengthening our laws pertaining to domestic violence, more needs to be done. One of the important measures needed to afford greater protection to victims, requires New York to modify its bail system to recognize the unique nature of domestic violence cases. My bill accomplishes that. As the former Chair of the Children and Families Committee, during which I passed the Family Protection and Domestic Violence Intervention Act, and as current Chair of the Senate Codes Committee, domestic violence issues have been and remain a continued priority,” stated Senator Saland.
The bill has been sent to the Assembly for consideration.