Citizen Action calls for drug treatment and health resources, not more jail deaths in Broome County
Binghamton, NY – In response to Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy and State Senator Fred Akshar today calling for a repeal of the state’s new bail and discovery laws, Mary Clark, Regional Director for Citizen Action of New York in Broome County, said:
“Justice and fairness should transcend partisan politicking. A GOP party leader coming to our community to call for jailing more Black and Brown and poor and sick people as part of an explicit electoral strategy just plain disgusts me. Our pre-trial detention population in Broome County has dropped by nearly a third since last year and we have to keep moving forward for justice. We need drug treatment and mental health resources, not more jail deaths.”
The incarceration rate in Broome County’s local jail was 120% higher than that of New York City in 2015 and kept climbing higher through 2017. Finally, the pre-trial detention rate dropped by 27.5% from January 2019 to January 2020. Incarceration had increased substantially over twenty years despite steady crime rates.
Black people make up 28% of all jail admittances, despite representing only 6.2% of the county population.
Broome County has been wracked by a spate of deaths in its local jail and bail reform and de-carceration are therefore a matter of life and death.