In its article covering my Sept. 23rd debate with Pat Dealy at Clinton Town Hall, incredibly, the Sept. 30th issue of The Hudson Valley News also printed this misinformation:
"Tyner would like to see nonviolent criminals with bails set under $2000 offered interest-free loans to cover the cost of their bail."
Fact: I have only proposed that Dutchess taxpayers save a million dollars a year with a bail loan fund for some in our county jail now merely accused of nonviolent misdemeanors-- not bailing out "criminals"-- but some ACCUSED of nonviolent misdemeanors.
Again-- nothing personal re: reporter here-- but frankly, it really is rather unconscionable that newspapers can print such misinformation with impunity-- email email@example.com to ask why they persist in helping local right wing with their propaganda campaign?...
Fact: "According to the jail statistics released by the NYS Commission of Correction probation report dated 6/15/09, the Dutchess County Jail housed 258 inmates and boarded out another 100 inmates with 85% of these unsentenced and only 15% convicted and sentenced."
[June letter to all Dutchess County Legislators from OAR Ex. Dir. Deborah Dietrich (firstname.lastname@example.org)]
Fact: Dutchess County could easily save well over a million dollars a year for local taxpayers with a bail loan fund like Tompkins County's-- solely for those merely accused of nonviolent misdemeanors-- with a program here like the United Way agency Opportunities, Alternatives, and Resources in Tompkins (long supported by G.O.P. and Dems there for thirty years now; see http://www.OARTompkins.com ).
Note-- again-- you're all invited to join me for a very special forum devoted exclusively to this topic-- Weds. Oct. 14th at 5:30 pm at Rhinebeck Town Hall at 80 East Market Street-- with Valerie Sykes of Opportunities, Alternatives, and Resources!...
Fact: The Daily Freeman published a strong editorial four years ago in support of a bail loan fund here, and even Dutchess County Sheriff Butch Anderson recently told me personally he was upset about the increasing waste of taxpayer dollars with so many people sitting in our county jail that used to be bailed out for low amounts by employers or family-- but aren't any more because of the recession.
Fact: Specifically, right now there are literally 55 folks sitting in our county jail with bail of $2000 or less (roughly the limit for Tompkins bail loan fund), and the vast majority of the judges in Dutchess County are Republican; anyone with bail set at $2000 or less is clearly not a serious threat to safety.
[don't let same old tired, idiotic, warmed-over, rehashed racist attacks from 2005 win!...(they didn't then;
who else remembers the disgusting mailings G.O.P. sent out all over Dutchess that year re: bail fund?)...sadly, my Conservative/Republican opponent wants to fight this same fight all over again from 2005; didn't work then-- don't ]
let it work now!]
For too too many years too too many closed minds in our county government have flushed too too many
county tax dollars-- and too too many lives down the drain-- enough, folks!...
[I am the only person who reads the papers and saw the front page of yesterday's paper-- how our County Executive is projecting literally a fifty-million-dollar budget gap for 2010?...we can't afford legislators who will ignore common-sense cost-savers like this one, folks...(unless you truly relish the prospect of massive budget cuts, massive layoffs, and giant property tax hikes-- as my opponent seems to, with head fully immersed in sand).]
Letters to editor needed to local ewspapers to get the truth out, folks!...
Pass it on...
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From http://www.OARTompkins.com ...
OAR Bail Funds Program
The Bail Funds Program addresses the economic stratification in our community by providing interest-free bail loans of up to $2,500 to rigorously screened Tompkins County residents, who lack the means to post bail.
Applications for bail may be denied if the prospective bailee has:
1. been issued warrants or detainers;
2. violated parole, probation, or orders of protection; or
3. been determined to be a flight risk.
4. has forfeited an OAR bail in the past or has failed to follow OAR's weekly contact requirement while released from jail utilizing OARs bail program.
The Client Service Worker cannot review specifics of the internal review process with the client. Bailees must maintain weekly contact with OAR pending resolution of their cases and are encouraged to use our services while they go through the court process.
Bail loans are made from private and county dollars donated or loaned to the agency explicitly for this purpose.
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This sent to us in June from OAR Ex. Dir. Deborah Dietrich (email@example.com)...
Dear Dutchess County Legislators,
I recently read about the effort to pass a Bail Fund in Dutchess County in Dutchess Democracy. Our agency here in Tompkins County, Opportunities, Alternatives and Resources (OAR), was cited as an agency providing interest free bail loans to those incarcerated in our county jail. OAR has been around since 1976 and since then has provided bail to those unable to afford it themselves if they meet certain criteria. Since 2006, the County Legislature has allocated funds to OAR to supplement those funds raised by private donations. Last year, the Legislature appropriated $10,000 for this purpose and OAR bailed out 70 individuals. This resulted in substantial savings to county taxpayers through a reduction in the number of inmates boarded out to other county jails. In fact, it saved approximately $466,000 in board out costs. OAR makes interest free loans of up to $2500. A large number of OAR bailees are acquitted, have their charges dismissed or are given non-jail sentences. Without bail assistance, these individuals would have spent unnecessary time in jail at considerable taxpayer expense. In 2008, this program saved both our clients and TOmpkins County an estimated 5300 incarceration days. OAR also has had a very modest forfeiture rate over the years. Last year, for example, OAR had 5 bails forfeited out of the 70 bails made.
According to the jail statistics released by the NYS Commission of Correction probation report dated 6/15/09, Tompkins County jail housed 67 inmates and boarded out 12. Of these 63% were unsentenced and 37% had been convicted and sentenced to jail time. On the same day, Dutchess County housed 258 and boarded out another 100 inmates with 85% of these unsentenced and only 15% convicted and sentenced.
I urge you to consider the creation of a county funded Bail Fund in the interest of justice. I would be glad to assist you in any way to achieve this goal.
[below from October 2006]
Where did the bail fund money originally come from?
OAR records show that starting in 1984, community members and organizations were invited to invest in the bail fund. 46 investments, from $50 to $3000, were made. 8 were returned to the investors 10-15 years after they were given. The fund is now made up of the 38 remaining investments plus interest minus monies from forfeited bails. The total of the fund is $15,734 of which $13,400 is presently being used for active bails. By the end of today, we expect to have lent out an additional $1500 leaving just $834 in the fund.
Our records do not show any county monies yet in the fund. An infusion of $10,000 from county funds will immediately increase the number of bail loans and immediately decrease the number of people in our jail and who are being boarded out to regional jails.
What are the criteria for lending bail money?
Bail fund clients must be Tompkins County residents who plan to stay in Tompkins County. Their co-signers must live and work in the County. If a client has warrants or detainers outstanding or has been charged with criminal contempt they are not eligible. A pre-trial release agreement must be signed which obligates the client to contact OAR at least once a week and to behave in a "fully lawful manner." If a client forfeits the bail, a warrant is issued for their arrest and their co-signer is responsible for paying their OAR bail loan. The fund has lost $8600 to forfeitures over its 22 year history. We ask clients to reimburse the 3% court fee as well as the bail itself.
How many bail fund loans have been given by OAR? How many are outstanding at this time?
1060 bail loans have been given through the years. 21 are outstanding as of today.
Why do we give bail loans?
Judges often call our staff directly after assigning a bail to ask if we can loan the bail amount so the person need not wait in jail. The people we bail out have not been sentenced. They are simply waiting for their turn with the courts. If they are sentenced they will serve their assigned jail time. Others will have their charges dismissed or be assigned alternatives to incarceration. Waiting in jail disrupts the productive parts of life such as employment and family responsibilities, costs taxpayers about a $100 a day, and over burdens our limited jail space. Thus lending bail monies to those without means increases reentry success, reduces recidivism, provides equity to people living in poverty and saves tax dollars. It is one of those rare win-win situations.