Criminal Legal Reform in New York: Five Years In

In April 2019, New York legislators passed sweeping bail, discovery, and appearance ticket reforms. Five years later, what have they achieved, what obstacles emerged, and what should State and local leaders do next?

To discuss these questions, the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance and John Jay’s Data Collaborative for Justice hosted a two-part event, featuring a mix of research, reflection, and commentary.

  • Part 1: Bail Reform: Wednesday, April 3, 2024, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at The Skylight Room.
  • Part 2: Discovery and Pre-Arraignment Detention (“Desk Appearance Ticket”) Reform: Wednesday, April 17, 1:00-2:30 p.m. via webinar.

Bail Reform in New York, Five Years Later: What’s Next

In-Person & Online Event

Implemented January 2020 and hailed as one of the most ambitious reforms in the country, New York’s hotly contested reforms eliminated bail and pretrial detention for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies, expanded pretrial services, and required courts to consider people’s ability to afford bail before setting it. Researchers and practitioners discussed bail reform’s implementation, its impact on crime and recidivism, and next steps for a fairer and more equitable system of pretrial justice in New York.



Krystal Rodriguez | Policy Director | Data Collaborative for Justice (Moderator)

Darren Mack | Co-Founder/Co-Director | Freedom Agenda

Jaeok Kim | Associate Director of Research | Vera Institute of Justice

Jennifer Ferone | Deputy Research Director | CUNY Institute for State & Local Governance

René Ropac | Senior Research Associate | Data Collaborative for Justice

Hon. Joseph Zayas | Chief Administrative Judge | New York State Unified Court System

Agnieszka Mamczur-Fuller | Associate Director of Clinical Services I Queens Supervised Release Program, New York City Criminal Justice Agency

Event Info:

Wednesday, April 3, 2024, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Skylight Room, CUNY Graduate Center

365 5th Ave., NY, NY

Head over to ISLG’s website for a synopsis of the event, and a live Twitter thread throughout the day.

Beyond Bail: How Reforms to Discovery & Appearance Tickets Impacted New York’s Criminal Legal System

Online Event

New York’s groundbreaking criminal legal reforms made changes to more than just bail. The legislation overhauled how evidence is shared between prosecutors and defenders—known as discovery—and standardized when and how police should issue “desk appearance tickets,” which allow people to return to court on their own in lieu of pre-arraignment detention. Panelists shed light on these important but often-overlooked reforms, discussed research on their implementation, what is needed to better support practitioners (as well as increase accountability), and how to move forward to ensure these laws are meeting their goals.



Jennifer Ferone | Deputy Research Director | CUNY Institute for State & Local Governance (Moderator)

Kate Jassin | Research Associate | CUNY Institute for State & Local Governance

Yung-Mi Lee | Legal Director | Criminal Defense Practice | Brooklyn Defenders

Scott Levy | Chief Policy Counsel |

Olive Lu | Associate Director of Research | Data Collaborative for Justice

Tarek Rahman | Counsel to the District Attorney | Westchester County District Attorney’s Office

John Vespucci | Associate Professor | John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Event Info:

Wednesday, April 17, 2024, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

See Twitter thread for a live commentary from the event.

Key Resources

Please see DCJ’s Bail Reform Resources Page for additional New York and national resources. Select reading for the two-part event series include:

Results for New York City (DCJ, 2023) | System-Wide NYC Recidivism Effects (DCJ, 2023)

Results for the State’s Suburban and Upstate Regions (DCJ, 2024)

Evaluating Bail Reform in the Justice Courts (Finn Institute, 2024)

Evaluating Desk Appearance Ticket Reform in the Justice Courts (Finn Institute, 2024)