Hochul Invests $50M in Criminal Justice System
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul recently announced the allocation of an additional $50 million to the budget to assist with crime prevention, law enforcement and the justice system. This increase brings the budget’s total investment in public safety to $227 million.
The governor emphasized the use of $20 million of this new allocation for programs specifically for pretrial services. This investment is the largest in a generation. It is fair and necessary. It is these types of investments over the last two decades that have helped keep our youth out of jail and detention. For example, in 2001, in data provided by the national KIDS COUNT, 4,593 persons under age 21 were detained, incarcerated or placed in residential facilities in the state of New York. That’s a rate of 284 per 100,000. In 2019, the last year for which statistics are available, the rate of those under 21 who were incarcerated or detained had dropped to 837 or 54 per 100,000.
The justice system is an integral part of our state government. All New Yorkers are subject to the social contract that binds us to the justice system, and it has such a tremendous impact on our lives that we must all be vigilant and work together to improve it.
Historically, impoverished communities like the one I represent have paid for the justice system’s shortcomings. The cost? A detriment to the quality of life. If we calculate the total population of New York, we see that this additional $20 million for pretrial services translates to approximately 97 cents on the dollar per person per year. Not everyone will come into contact with the justice system. Not everyone will need the courts to operate efficiently, correctly and without bias. But what if the person who comes into contact with the system is you? Would you expect a system that is grossly underfunded to operate correctly and treat you fairly?
In all state responsibilities, such as education, mental health, public safety and others, we are in a battle to amass and allocate more funding, make public spending more efficient and allocate
more resources for communities that have historically been left behind. In a move to repair the chronically underfunded children’s mental health system, Hochul has pledged to invest $53 million in new services this year, a move I applaud because it will help our youth and hopefully prevent them from finding themselves in the criminal justice system.
The price minorities and poor communities have paid is very high and this price will be even higher if we continue to let the lives of many of our people remain bereft of any hope of
progress. When a young person in our community faces the justice system, and the system does not work as it should, their life is forever scarred and each path they choose becomes
more difficult for them to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families. The allocations announced by the governor are a great encouragement in a process that needs
much more. It is time to measure the results of this investment. If I am right, it will prove that by investing in these services our people will have better opportunities and better futures.
Sen. Luis R. Sepúlveda, D-N.Y., was first elected to represent the 32nd Senate District in April 2018. His diverse district covers large parts of the south and central Bronx. He previously served for three terms as the assemblyman for the 87th Assembly District. Sepúlveda earned his bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University and his law degree from Hofstra’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law. He is one of two Latino attorneys in the New York State Legislature. His office can be reached by email here and he can be found on Twitter @nysensepulveda.
In The News
While the final election results are trickling in, there is enough evidence to glean lessons about the health of U.S.... Read More
While the final election results are trickling in, there is enough evidence to glean lessons about the health of U.S. democracy. Most importantly, we can celebrate that extremism was largely rejected in closely contested elections, but we cannot let our guard down. The overarching threat to... Read More
It’s rare these days to see a cash-only business in the United States. Why? Because consumers prefer the security of... Read More
It’s rare these days to see a cash-only business in the United States. Why? Because consumers prefer the security of credit cards and enjoy earning rewards, while businesses like faster, safer transactions and higher sales. Accepting cash is also more expensive for retailers. Cash costs on average over... Read More
When I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia I was given just a 5% chance of survival. Revolutionary treatment options... Read More
When I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia I was given just a 5% chance of survival. Revolutionary treatment options saved me. Being around horses provided me a sense of safety and serenity. And it helped me find my life’s new purpose: saving the lives of... Read More
The Department of Labor's proposed rule to remove gig workers' status as independent contractors threatens to cause millions in lost... Read More
The Department of Labor's proposed rule to remove gig workers' status as independent contractors threatens to cause millions in lost income. Despite the Biden administration's inflation reduction efforts, over half of U.S. adults are now considering a second job to make ends meet. While the Federal... Read More
The credit card industry is terrified of free market competition. So much so that it's trying to conflate it with,... Read More
The credit card industry is terrified of free market competition. So much so that it's trying to conflate it with, of all things, price controls. But it’s nothing more than a desperate, smoke-and-mirrors diversion to ensure that Visa, Mastercard and major banks continue raking in record profits... Read More
In races across the country, LGBTQ candidates broke generational electoral standards this midterm season. From local elections to congressional races,... Read More
In races across the country, LGBTQ candidates broke generational electoral standards this midterm season. From local elections to congressional races, queer candidates outperformed expectations and set a new standard for what elected office can and should look like. Some of the most notable victories for LGBTQ... Read More