Jail Administrator Reacts To Cuomo's Bail ProposalPosted: Updated:
On Wednesday, there were 184 inmates at the Jefferson County jail; 51 of those inmates are in for a misdemeanor or non-violent felony.
During Governor Cuomo's State of the State address, he proposed eliminating bail for people facing misdemeanors and non-violent felony charges. So, people facing those charges could go home and wait for their day in court. Reducing the number of inmates in the Jefferson County Jail.
"It would impact us a little bit and it would vary, probably three or four cells currently, tomorrow it could be ten," said Lt. Kristopher Spencer, Jefferson County Jail administrator.
Cuomo wants to eliminate bail because he says the system is biased against low income people.
Spencer says there are people who are in the county jail simply because they can't afford to get out.
"If the bail was $100, they may sit here for several months, either they refuse to pay it or cannot afford to pay it," he said.
The governor is also proposing better access to a speedy trial, so people waiting for their trial to start don't have to be held in jail for an unreasonable amount of time.
Spencer says the longest he's seen someone wait for a trial to start was two years, but that person was in jail for a violent felony.