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Read the Senate’s Draft Compromise on Bail Reform

New York Focus obtained and analyzed a proposal presented by Senate leadership to the chamber’s Democratic caucus.

Chris Gelardi, Sam Mellins and Akash Mehta   ·   March 30, 2022
Kathy Hochul Is Ready to Spend Millions on New Police Surveillance

New York state legislators have just days to question phone hacking, forensics, and fusion centers before the budget passes.

Chris Gelardi   ·   March 29, 2022
Loopholes Hobble Hochul’s Proposal on Conviction-Based Housing Discrimination, Critics Charge

Advocates organizing for similar laws say loopholes in Hochul’s proposal make it “virtually meaningless,” and are encouraging the governor to withdraw the measure.

Chris Gelardi   ·   March 22, 2022
Delayed Treatment and Denied Services: Health Care In New York Prisons Is A “Joke”

Cuomo vetoed a bill to expand oversight of the prison medical system. Will Hochul take a different tack?

Victoria Law   ·   March 17, 2022
Parole Reform Squabble Has Left Hundreds Sitting in New York Jails

New York’s prison agency is interpreting key provisions of a landmark parole reform law to keep more people locked up. A lead sponsor of the legislation calls it “appalling.”

Chris Gelardi   ·   March 10, 2022
Senate Holds First-Ever Hearing On Rape in Prison and Jails

Incarcerated survivors face a broken system for reporting abuse, frequent retaliation, and little accountability for staff perpetrators.

Victoria Law   ·   March 9, 2022
Eric Adams Is Bringing Back the NYPD’s Anti-Crime Unit. Do They Commit More Crimes Than They Solve?

“I don’t want the ‘jump-out boys’ back out on the street,” said retired NYPD commander Corey Pegues, who disagrees with the mayor’s plan to bring back the controversial NYPD units.

Tana Ganeva   ·   March 3, 2022
Two Years Into Pandemic, Basic Critiques of Prison Covid Policies Remain Unaddressed

The prison agency has done little to update policies on transparency, masks, social distancing, or vaccination.

Lyra Walsh Fuchs   ·   March 1, 2022
Rural Counties See Dramatic Declines in Family Lawyers, Costing Poor Parents their Kids

In six of eight rural counties, panels of children’s attorneys have lost more than half their lawyers over the past decade.

Tracy Tullis   ·   February 28, 2022
Perspective: Joe Biden, Eric Adams and the Myth of Policing Our Way to Safety

In 2016, the NYPD and federal prosecutors staged a massive “gang bust” that derailed the lives of dozens of young people — including me — while failing to improve public safety. Why is Eric Adams doubling down on this failed strategy?

Kraig Lewis   ·   February 28, 2022
Is There Anything New in Eric Adams’s Gun Violence Plan?

Many have described the New York City mayor’s “blueprint” to address gun crime as occupying a novel middle ground. But it mostly copies the policies of his predecessor and relies heavily on tough-on-crime tactics.

Chris Gelardi   ·   February 24, 2022
Hochul Proposes Bringing Back Private Prison Labor

Banned for a century, contract labor could return to New York’s prisons.

Lauren Gill   ·   February 23, 2022
Despite Ethics Rules, Top Prosecutor Against Bail Reform Has Close Ties to GOP

Orange County DA David Hoovler has repeatedly spoken at Republican Party political events — in apparent violation of the ethics rules of the prosecutors’ association he led.

Rory Fleming   ·   February 18, 2022
Crucial Evidence Goes Stale As Desk Appearance Tickets Are Issued For More Serious Crimes, Leaving Defendants In Purgatory

Defendants given desk appearance tickets may not be assigned a public defender until 20 days after their arrest. That means crucial evidence in cases involving possible jail time could go missing.

Max Rivlin-Nadler   ·   February 14, 2022
Zombie Commissioners and Antiquated Structure Pose Hurdles for Parole Reform

Governor Kathy Hochul says she will finally fill vacancies on the state’s parole board, opening the potential to shift from presumptive detention.

Nick Pinto   ·   February 8, 2022
Cop Shooting Highlights Slow Start for City Effort to Remove Police from 911 Mental Health Emergencies

The shooting occurred in the program’s pilot area, but even there, police still respond to four out of every five crisis calls - more than twice as many as the city had initially projected.

Garrison Lovely   ·   February 4, 2022
“They Didn’t Test Anybody”: Jails Across New York Administer Alarmingly Few Tests During Omicron Surge

During the first eight weeks of omicron, only one jail system administered enough tests to screen every incarcerated person even once, a New York Focus analysis found. Most didn’t come close to that rate.

Chris Gelardi   ·   February 2, 2022
After Years Locked Up For Stealing Cold Medicine, Reginald Randolph is Released

But if he loses his appeal and Gov. Kathy Hochul declines to grant him clemency, he will likely be sent back to prison.

Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg   ·   January 25, 2022
The Real Way to Get Guns Out of Schools

Putting more police officers and metal detectors in schools won’t solve the crisis of youth gun violence. We need to invest in community-based programs to address the root causes of the violence.

Freddy Medina   ·   January 24, 2022
I Know What It Means to Strike at Rikers

I helped organize a strike at Rikers during the first wave. Those striking now are not to be ignored.

David Campbell   ·   January 14, 2022
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