If they’re paying, I’m not staying. This statement would become quite common for nonviolent offenders in New York City if the recently proposed taxpayer-paid bail fund is approved. City council officials are hoping to create a $1.4 million city-financed bail fund to spare low-level criminals the suffering of confinement prior to their court date.
Outrage may be setting in, but wait. The proposed budget is not sympathetic to those who have committed crimes, no matter how “low-level” they may seem. The purpose of this seemly compassionate proposal is to decrease incarceration expenses. The average cost to hold an inmate in NYC is $450 per day. Yes, we said per day. By releasing these nonviolent offenders to wait out their day in court from home, the city would also be releasing a large sum of what many consider “unnecessary” expenses.
Still not convinced? We aren’t either. Many worry that offenders who receive bail from the taxpayers will feel no need to show up for their court date, given there is no personal risk for a “no show.” Not to mention (but clearly we are about to), part of the reason why people resist the temptation of criminal activity is the fear of jail time. At the end of the day, aren’t we removing some of the risk associated with committing a crime?
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