FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 31, 2019
Contact: Melissa Mansfield (firstname.lastname@example.org) 518.339.7769
New Yorkers United for Justice Leaders, Khalil A. Cumberbatch and Topeka K. Sam Applaud Crucial Criminal Justice Reform Passage in New York State Budget
Khalil A. Cumberbatch Available for Interviews Today
“New Yorkers United for Justice (NYUJ) is encouraged and energized that the New York State Senate and Assembly, together with the Governor, have agreed to address urgently needed pretrial reforms as part of a broad push to finally address the state’s deeply flawed criminal justice system. As formerly incarcerated New Yorkers who lead NYUJ, a coalition of diverse nonprofit organizations, we know firsthand how these reforms promising speedy access to a trial, improved discovery laws, and the elimination of cash bail for many offenses will start to resolve a system in crisis that has left a predatory, unsafe criminal justice system in place for too long. Together, these changes will help create a more just and safe criminal justice system.
“Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Carl Heastie have long made it clear that they are serious about reform. Their leadership, along with that of Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris, State Sen. Jamaal Bailey, Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol, Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, and Assemblyman Jeffrion L. Aubry, have finally put New York on the track to the bold, meaningful reforms our state needs and deserves. We are grateful that the reforms signed into law today meet NYUJ’s principles and criteria. We applaud all those involved in making today happen.
“But the work doesn’t stop with pretrial reforms. As the session continues, we urge the legislature and governor to resume discussions on other areas of criminal justice reform—including probation and parole reforms, expungement of marijuana offenses, and the increased exercise of executive clemency power. New Yorkers United for Justice is here for the long haul and will continue to fight to make sure that we reform a system of injustices that have plagued our state for far too long.”