UTICA–Certain inmates will be released when statewide bail reform takes effect, and many will not have access to the mental health care they need, according to Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol.
“If today was Jan. 1 we have approximately 120 inmates currently housed with us, that are being held on bail, with charges that don’t qualify them to be held on bail,” Maciol said.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, cash bail is off the table for judges to levy on people charged with most misdemeanors and non-violent felony offenses.
Inmates now held on these charges, who haven’t posted bail, will be released under the new changes.
“We’ve got inmates in this facility right now that are receiving Vivitrol–it’s a blocker to block someone’s desire to take heroin. if they can’t get themselves to that next shot that we can give them while they’re in here (OCJ), where are they going? They’re going right back to their heroin.”Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol
Maciol says he has discussed inmate “transition” with Oneida County Department of Mental Health Commissioner Robin O’Brien.
Law enforcement indicate bail reform also presents cause for concern of public safety.
After Jan. 1, offenses to no longer be allowed for consideration of bail include various assault and drug charges.
“If somebody that’s in jail right now that may be in jail because they resisted arrest, they assaulted a police officer or broke the property in the police car–whatever the case might be–that person is now released. I would assume they’re going to go home,” Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara said.