Joint Statement on Mayor Adams’ Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Testimony Before the New York State Legislature

“Defenders statewide are desperately in need of additional staffing and technological resources to collect, store, access and work with evidence in an increasingly digital era, while at the same time facing an unprecedented staffing and attrition crisis.

"We echo the call from Mayor Adams, as well as New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, that a significant allotment of funding from Albany in the upcoming budget is required to address our hiring and retention needs, and help ensure that we, along with others in the criminal legal system, are able to access discovery - the sharing of documents and other evidence - in a timely and meaningful way.

“However, we reject efforts to remove a well-established provision of law requiring that judges consider the ‘least restrictive’ alternative in bail-eligible cases. This change will only lead to confusion and the pretrial caging of more New Yorkers in deadly local jails. The route to public safety is achieved by increasing investments in community-based mental health and other services, not in rollbacks to New York’s bail or Raise the Age laws."

View the full statement here.

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