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Family Counseling Services says bail reform having negative impact on client safety in Finger Lakes

Family Counseling Services of the Finger Lakes says the new bail reform measures implemented on January 1st are having an impact.

Not a good one, either.

Cassandra Heyl spoke with Finger Lakes News Radio about the changes, and how they are impacting those served by the agency.

“When an individual violates an order of protection, they will either be charged with criminal contempt first- or second,” she said. “First is a felony, second is not.”

It means that those charged with the felony version can be held on bail. Those charged with the misdemeanor version, which if they are a first time violator is typical, results in them being freed without the possibility of bail being imposed.

Heyl says they recently saw a case where the bail reform process was put into perspective.

“We saw that with a case with a client of ours and it was disheartening,” she told FLNR. “There was an order of protection in place, he was expected to stay away, and he didn’t.”

Governor Cuomo and other state officials have expressed some interest in revisiting the bail reform measures, but Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul called much of the opposition to the bail reform measures ‘fear mongering’.


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