Safe Community Through Opportunity
Right now, New York is the only state that does not allow a judge to hold someone in pretrial detention who poses a danger to the community. The only factor a judge is allowed to consider is risk of flight in deciding whether they can be held pending trial.
There are common sense, targeted reforms that do just that – keep our neighbors safe and build a fairer, more just criminal justice system.
If there is an individual who is a repeat offender with a history of violence, we want to make sure our judges can keep our community safe and hold them in pretrial detention. Judges do not currently have the ability to detain an offender because of the danger that the offender poses to the community. We also believe that there must be checks and balances on judges to ensure transparency in all their detention decisions.
Discovery reform allows too many cases to be dismissed because of technical issues. We need common sense, targeted changes to the discovery process to ensure that our justice system remains fair but does not let potentially dangerous people free on technicalities. Timelines are too tight, burdens are too strict, repercussions are too severe cases get dismissed or don’t go to trial based on technicalities
We support targeted reform of “Raise the Age” to allow 16- and 17-year-old defendants to be charged in criminal court, rather than the family court, in specified gun cases, and to allow judges to consider a juvenile’s full criminal history. Reforming Raise the Age legislation in a targeted manner to protect public safety and to target juveniles who carry guns is necessary to prevent adults from using juveniles in their crimes of violence, Gangs will no longer be able to put guns in the hands of 16-year-old juveniles without subjecting those juveniles to stiffer penalties.
Over the time period from 2018 to 2021, the number of arrests of juveniles for gun offenses more than doubled. In 2016, 54 minors were involved in a shooting. In 2021, that number was 239, We support targeted reform, to section 381.1 of the Family Act. to allow superior court judges access to a juvenile’s history of family court adjudications. The judge currently does not have the right to review past history because it is sealed even though the defendant may have been involved in gun possession incidents in the past.
Reduces the trafficking threshold in Penal Code § 265.12 from 5 firearms to 2 firearms (Class C felony) and in Penal Code § 265.13 from 10 firearms to 3 firearms (Class B felony). Define the possession of 3 or more guns as presumptive evidence of gun trafficking, not merely gun possession. We support that the penalties for gun trafficking depend upon the number of guns involved in the offense, Additionally, we support common-sense legislation that lowers the number of firearms required to show presumptive evidence that an individual possessed them with the intent to sell from 5 to 3.
A critical component of public safety is providing comprehensive mental health support to the nearly 300,000 New Yorkers with severe mental illness. Increasing access to medical records in order to determine eligibility for Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) and provide continuity in treatment; Reducing the barriers for patients to remain in continuous effective care treatment is a must.
Integrating AOT orders and the most updated treatment plans into assessments and care delivery to provide continuity of care between AOT services and inpatient psychiatric services; Addressing the concerns regarding comorbidity of those with both serious mental illness and substance use disorders; Allowing a primary clinician (psychiatric nurse practitioner or psychologist) to stand in for a psychiatrist in court; and Changing the standard of dangerousness to align with most other states, which include a patient’s inability to meet their own survival needs and an inability to protect themselves from psychiatric harm as acceptable criteria for treatment that’s my priority.