Bail Reform

Voters Back Bail Reform Changes, But Think Crime Won't Change – or Will Get Worse

Some 54% of voters surveyed by Siena College think recent tightening of the 2019 bail reform laws either won't affect the crime rate or could make it even worse

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New York voters strongly support recent changes to the state's controversial 2019 bail reforms -- but a majority also believe the changes either won't affect the crime rate or could make it even worse.

That's the conclusion of a new Siena College poll released Monday, which showed that a majority of every demographic group surveyed favored tweaking the bail reform laws to give judges more discretion in some cases.

But even as voters back the idea of changing the law, 38% also said the changes would have no effect on the crime rate, and another 16% said the changes could fuel an increase in crime.

“While twice as many voters think the changes will decrease rather than increase crime, a plurality says the changes won’t affect the crime rate," Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said in a release.

Crime remains top of mind for voters - 24% said it would be their top issue as they vote for governor in November, nearly 3x any other issue on a lengthy list.

The telephone and online poll of 806 New York state registered voters was conducted April 18-21 and has a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.

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