“It is clear we have a problem with rising violent crime throughout our State, in New York City and in every community across our state. We don’t need more task forces or to shift the blame for our failing policies. We know how to curb violence, we have done it before and we can do it again.
The Governor of New York has unique authority to force discussion on meaningful reforms that can save lives, restore public safety and support law enforcement. We can curb violence to create a Fairer and Safer New York with help of common-sense ideas:
Allow judges to evaluate a defendant’s criminal history and consider the potential danger a defendant poses to the community or themselves
Reevaluate our judicial processes and timelines for criminal cases allowing understaffed DA offices to better handle the case loads in our counties
Invest in programs that serve our young people, expand mental health services, and focus on diverting first-time non-violent offenders
In Dutchess County, we reduced violent crime by 50% while creating initiatives to reduce our jail population by 30% through diverting lower risk or mentally ill defendants into our newly built stabilization center. Our County provides crisis intervention training to law enforcement and utilizes evidence-based pretrial practices to build upon an effective policing and judicial system.
These reforms and others were achieved through a deliberate process with input from the community, service providers, and criminal justice practitioners. This change took time and required community wide buy-in and a lot of hard work.
This is a critical moment. New York and America need to reset our priorities. Governor Hochul - the time is now.”