Nassau officials plan for release of inmates after bail reform law launches on New Year’s Eve

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Nassau officials announced their plan to handle the expected release of inmates from the county jail on New Year’s Eve.

The controversial bail reform laws set to go into effect in the state will allow people charged with misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies to be released without cash bail, pending their trials.

As a result, approximately 175 inmates currently at the Nassau County Jail are expected to be discharged.

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County Executive Laura Curran announced that the approved inmates would be discharged throughout the day on Tuesday Dec, 31. She says extra Nassau Inter-County Express buses will be at the ready and that Social Services will assist with temporary housing, if necessary.

Nassau police also say there will be extra patrols around the jail.

“My number one focus, our number one focus, is the safety of our residence,” says Curran.

Critics of Nassau's plan say they wish more community members were consulted, especially those that live in the neighborhood surrounding the jail.

“East Meadow, Salsbury, Levittown…those are the residents that are showing the most concern because these inmates are going to be released in their community,” says Rep. John Ferretti. “How can our voices be heard when we are being excluded from participating?”

Peggy Marenghi, of Seaford, worries that without a bail option for some defendants, they won't get the help in jail they desperately need.

“I see we are setting these people up for failure, to use again, to deal again. to sell again,” says Marenghi.

Nassau and Suffolk counties have budgeted millions of dollars for the new bail laws. Officials say the money will be put towards extra probation and county attorneys to monitor those accused of crimes that are given appearance tickets instead of bail.

Suffolk police are working closely with the Sheriff’s Department to insure the public’s safety when inmates there are discharged.


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