News & Politics

The 'Post-Bail Reform' Era in New York Has Gotten Off to a Rocky Start

The 'Post-Bail Reform' Era in New York Has Gotten Off to a Rocky Start
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

I love this from New York Post columnist Bob McManus: “Not only does government usually get more of what it encourages, when it comes to crime, it also gets more of what it fails to discourage.”

McManus is highlighting the uptick in crime this month following the passage of bail reform, which essentially allows criminals charged with most crimes to walk out of the court room without posting a bond, signifying their promise to show up at their court hearing.

Bail used to be an effective tool for lowering the crime rate. Chronic criminals who had to sit in jail until their case was heard kept them off the streets for a while, making them safer.

But in New York and elsewhere the legislation is being considered, it’s simply not fair that some criminals can pay to get out of custody and others can’t. How’s that workin’ out for ya, New Yorkers?

Time will tell, but consider this as well: According to the latest NYPD stats, the number of shooting victims in the city is up 31% since New Year’s Day — so at the very least Gotham appears to be off to a rocky 2020 compared to last year.

It may be a statistical anomaly and 27 days hardly makes it a trend. But it isn’t just shootings that are way up.

Albany’s bail-reform initiative got off to an ominously comical start. When the feds had to take custody of alleged serial bank-robber Gerod Woodberry because local judges had to keep turning him loose — well, what else was there to do but laugh?

But consider this: Robbery in the third degree became a revolving-door offense Jan. 1, and this was followed by a dramatic, 29% spike in reported robberies, according to the most recent — albeit very short-term — CompStat numbers.

Whatever government encourages, you get more of it.

Could the rise in incidents of guns being used in the commission of a crime be connected?

It’s also no surprise. As a matter of policy, City Hall has backed away from the quality-of-life enforcement that historically encouraged criminals to leave their weapons at home — stop-and-frisk, for example, has virtually ended and hardly anybody is busted for fare-beating any more.

So, more guns — more gunfire. Easy peasy.

One by one, Mayor Bill de Blasio has shredded previous reforms that kept New Yorkers safer. And the liberals who have moved into positions of power have initiated their own “reforms.” The Schools Chancellor, Richard Carranza, walked out of a meeting on school violence and later accused the desperate parents of “grandstanding.”

McManus has a theory on what is driving them:

These are basically the folks who embrace a common, albeit perverse, interpretation of affirmative action — arguing that energetic law enforcement is illegitimate because it tends to have disproportionate racial, ethnic or class consequences.

This is not all that’s going on, of course, but it is the principal motivator of Albany’s revolving door “reforms”; it underlies the virtual abandonment of quality-of-life law enforcement in New York City; it’s the reason Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza refuses to address school violence — angering both parents and the United Federation of Teachers — and it has prompted the federal government to threaten a crackdown on so-called “sanctuary city” policies now so warmly embraced by City Hall and Albany.

New York, a bastion of liberalism since forever, is about to find out what kind of city they get when their fondest dreams come true. Somehow, I don’t think most of the rest of us are going to like it very much.