Inmates accused of misdemeanors, nonviolent felonies set to walk free, await trial at home

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More than two dozen inmates are expected to be released from the Nassau County Jail Tuesday thanks to new state bail reform.

Twenty-nine people accused of misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies are expected to walk free and await trial at home.

The new law eliminates cash bail requirements and pretrial detention in lieu of appearance tickets for suspects accused of most low-level crimes. It was passed by the Democrat-controlled New York State Legislature in April partially to fight overcrowded jails.

Critics say the law goes too far and priortizes the rights of criminals over those of victims.

"I think also because people that have maybe other crimes in their background are involved in that because usually when you go to jail you have a history," says Jack Eisenberg, of East Meadow.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran says public safety and safety of the surrounding communities is her "number one concern."

"Albany passed the law," Curran says. "We have to deal with it. The law is the law, and we've done everything we can to make sure we're dealing with it responsibly, safely and abiding by the law."

Curran says extra NICE buses will be transporting people being discharged and Social Services will help with temporary housing where it is necessary. Nassau police say there will also be extra patrols around the jail.

The county jail will start processing the releases at 9 a.m. Tuesday and expects to be completed by mid-afternoon.

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