Bail reforms will affect jail populations, says sheriff

Ulster County Law Enforcement Center

KINGSTON – Criminal justice system reforms, which will eliminate bail for many crimes in New York, take effect in January and that will lower county jail populations.

On the downside, local law enforcement officials say many who are released under the new system, may not show up for court appearances, and Ulster County Sheriff Juan Figueroa said manpower will have to be set aside to go after those offenders.

“Criminals are going to continue to be criminals and they are not going to go to court, which means there will be the advent of more warrant squads that have to go out and find the folks, which means, I believe, at some point, the population (in the county jail) will level off,” the sheriff said.

Figueroa said 58 percent of those in the Ulster County Jail are held in lieu of bail, so if they are released, the population in his facility will drop significantly.

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