Legislators introduce criminal justice reforms amid statewide rallies
Legislators introduced criminal justice reform goals for the upcoming year as people across the state rallied for change.
Legislators are calling the reform plan Justice Roadmap 2021. In a seven-page document, goals are listed such as decriminalizing marijuana and reforming the parole system.
Small rallies were held across the state from Buffalo to Long Island and joined together virtual via Zoom. One of the rallies was outside the Westchester County Courthouse.
Lower Manhattan Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou says this is the right time for these reforms.
“This is the first time that both houses will have a supermajority of Democrats,” says Niou. “And that means that we have the opportunity to make history through urgent and essential criminal justice and immigrant justice reform.”
Sen. Julia Salazar of Brooklyn believes court and administrative fees need to be demolished.
“There are numerous fees that are kicking people while they’re down. They’re criminalizing poverty, and they’re needlessly making it hard for people who interact with the criminal system,” says Salazar.
Yonkers PBA President Detective Kevin Olson is urging lawmakers to sit down with the law enforcement community before passing new reforms.