Nassau County Exec Lies About Bail Reform Again

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman – whose the county was named safest in the United States twice since bail reform took hold – and his allies once again peddled misleading statistics in a politicized attempt to connect bail reform with increased arrest numbers in their community.

Fact Check: False

The Briefing

Local leaders, headlined by the County Executive of Nassau County, lied and fearmongered about bail reform again. Bruce Blakeman – whose the county was named safest in the United States twice since bail reform took hold – and his allies once again peddled misleading statistics in a politicized attempt to connect bail reform with increased arrest numbers in their community. The very report Blakeman commissioned to try to undermine bail reform, actually proved the opposite: as multiple outlets confirmed, rearrest rates have actually declined since bail reform. 

Bail reform is a successful public policy

In this latest effort, Blakeman fearmongered about rearrest rates in the wake of bail reform. But his report actually points to the ongoing success of bail reform in Nassau County. According to the report, fewer than 10 percent of people in Nassau County were rearrested for any offense – which is half the statewide rearrest rate for any alleged offense. Rearrests for violent felonies in New York are exceptionally rare. 

Blakeman – and the New York Post that amplified his lies – then sensationalized a report showing a year-over-year increase in arrests in 2022 in Nassau County.  Puzzlingly, Blakeman claimed this increase in arrests from 2021 to 2022 has something to do with bail reform, even though bail reform in New York went into effect in 2020. Bail reform was already enacted in 2021, so any attempt to draw a connection between bail reform and the data cited is wrong, misleading, and deceptive. All the data shows is that arrests for some alleged offenses increased between 2021 and 2022 in Nassau County. There is no connection between bail reform and any increases in crime.

Bail reform protects freedom and upholds public safety

Blakeman tried to scare the public with the large percentage of people who were released, instead of jailed pretrial. Conveniently, they fail to discuss what happened to the 90 percent of people in Nassau County who benefitted from bail reform and were able to fight their cases from a position of freedom at no cost to public safety. Instead of focusing on the facts, Blakeman only seems interested in politicizing sensible policies and undermining public safety, which recent criminal legal reforms have sought to uphold. In the same press conference, he advocated for the increased usage of torture, taking aim at a law that limits solitary confinement for incarcerated people.

Blakeman has lied about bail reform before

This isn’t the first time Blakeman has employed data that proves how well bail reform is working. In August, Blakeman was discredited by a report on crime in Nassau County that he requested himself. The data showed that just 7 percent of people released without bail were rearrested for any crime, with violent rearrest rates even lower and failed to prove any connection between pretrial release and increases in crime.

Perhaps Blakeman should spend more energy highlighting how safe his community actually is, thanks in part to bail reform. Nassau County was named the safest county in America two years in a row following the enactment of bail reform, and a recent independent Bloomberg investigation listed Nassau County as among the very safest in the country.

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