Assembly Budget Includes Critical Funding for Pretrial Services & Programs to Fight Gun Violence

Speaker Carl Heastie and Codes Committee Chair Jeffrey Dinowitz today announced that the Assembly State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2022-23 Budget includes critical funding for pretrial services that offer mental health treatment and other alternatives to incarceration, as well as funding for programs across the state to fight gun violence.

“This budget builds on the Assembly Majority’s commitment to getting New Yorkers the help they need when they encounter the criminal justice system, as well as investing in reducing the scourge of gun violence in our communities,” Speaker Heastie said. “By investing in services that provide treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, we can help New Yorkers get the help they need and avoid pretrial detention and additional encounters with the criminal justice system.”

“Our criminal justice system needs to be reformed, and the Assembly Majority has fought to ensure that all New Yorkers are being treated fairly and are able to access the justice that they deserve,” Assemblymember Dinowitz said. “This justice needs to reflect both the impact on crime victims as well as address the root causes of crime and violence. The Assembly’s budget continues that fight to keep New Yorkers safe by investing public resources in programs that steer individuals out of pretrial incarceration and instead get them the mental health and other services they need.”

Pretrial Services

The Assembly Budget includes an additional $5 million in funding, bringing the total to $15 million, to help justice system involved New Yorkers access pretrial services, including job placement programs, substance use disorder treatment and counseling services. The budget includes an additional $5 million for Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) programs throughout the state, for a total of $24 million. ATI programs are designed to reduce reliance on pretrial detention and incarceration while maintaining public safety, and include mental health programs, drug and alcohol programs, educational and vocational programs, community services and supervision. The budget also provides $50 million for municipal and nonprofit organizations to increase capacity and an expansion of ATI, mental health and substance use disorder treatment programs.

Anti-Gun Violence Programs

Also included in the Assembly’s SFY 2022-23 Budget are critical investments in fighting gun violence. The Assembly Majority has included an additional $19 million for SNUG, Cure Violence, the Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) Initiative and other programs aimed at reducing gun violence, which builds on the governor’s budget, which includes $20.9 million for SNUG programs and $18.2 million for the GIVE Initiative. Additionally, the budget ensures that funding included in the Executive Budget would be distributed as follows:

  • $50 million for Capital Gun Violence Reduction grants;
  • $28.5 million for Community Based Gun Violence programs; and
  • $20 million for Aftermath of Gun Violence funding.

The Assembly spending plan includes legislative restorations, including:

  • $17 million to support criminal justice programs, including reentry programs, community dispute resolution centers, community based organizations, civil and criminal legal services and crime prevention programs;
  • $1.2 million in additional funding for the New York State Defenders Association;
  • $1.2 million in additional funding for Prisoner’s Legal Services for a total of $3.4 million;
  • $609,000 in domestic violence related civil and criminal legal services support;
  • $600,000 for immigrant legal services; and
  • $147,000 in additional funding for rape crisis centers, for a total of $6.5 million.

Indigent Legal Services

The Assembly Budget includes an additional $212.5 million in funding for the Office of Indigent Legal Services, to provide increased representation to persons who are entitled to counsel in court matters and are financially unable to obtain representation. This funding includes:

  • $210 million for grants to counties for an increase in hourly compensation for assigned counsel in criminal court;
  • $60 million of which will be suballocated to the Unified Court System for expenses related to increased rates paid to counsel representing children in family court; and
  • $2.5 million to support parental representation in family court.

Additionally, the budget provides $250 million for the final year of the Hurrell-Harring settlement, related to counsel for the indigent.