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Ulster sheriff says bail reform could cut the county jail population by 50 percent

Oct 21, 2019 12:30 pm
Diane Pineiro-Zucker is reporting for the Daily Freeman Ulster County Sheriff Juan Figueroa is estimating that the population of the Ulster County Jail could drop by as much as 50 percent come January 1, as a result of statewide bail reform. The bail reform measure was signed into law in early 2019, by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and will prevent judges from imposing bail in a majority of cases, keeping many of those charged with non-violent crimes out of jail until they are tried and convicted. Figueroa said the fiscal impact of the new law is yet to be determined and will not be known fully until after at least a year of implementation. Figueroa, who took office in January and ran as a supporter of bail reform and restorative justice, said he supports “the premise of common sense bail reform,” but he acknowledges that some individuals will take advantage of the system. “We do not live in a police state,” the sheriff said, describing what he sees as the unfairness of a system in which “an indigent person has to stay in jail while a person with money walks out.” Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.