New York City announced a new perks program that aims to get accused criminals to show up at their scheduled court hearings.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a budget deal last spring that included a $12 million plan to release non-violent suspects as part of a bail-reform policy which outlawed cash bail. Under the policy, suspects will not be detained and will be allowed to stay outside jail while awaiting their court dates.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he would be adding an incentive program to the bail-reform policy that would reward released suspects for showing up at their court dates. Some of the perks include baseball tickets, movie passes, and gift cards to businesses like Applebee's, Target, and McDonald's.
A representative for de Blasio touted the policy, saying, “It will continue to use what are nationally recognized as highly effective ways to make sure folks return to court and not have the wasteful, time-consuming, costly warranting process that would otherwise be initiated should someone not return to court.”