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De Blasio wants to fight NYC's anti-Semitism problem with a weakened criminal justice system

Failed presidential candidate NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has responded to the recent wave of anti-Semitic violence in his city with plans to beef up law enforcement presence on the streets. But against a backdrop of soft-on-crime policies at the state and local levels, it is unclear exactly how effective such a move can be over time.

On Sunday, de Blasio increased police patrols in multiple neighborhoods and announced “multi-ethnic interfaith Neighborhood Safety Coalitions” and public school anti-Semitism programs on Sunday. According to the press release, each affected police precinct will have an extra four to six officers per tour, and there's going to be increased NYPD presence at religious events. The neighborhood coalitions "will have physical presences in the community with neighborhood safety walks and corner watches."

But this deterrence response is undercut by the fact that state and local officials have embarked on implementing brazen soft-on-crime policies in the name of "reforming" the criminal justice system, with little apparent regard for the effects on public safety.

As my colleague Daniel Horowitz has been chronicling for months, the state of New York is on the verge of fully implementing a new law under which people arrested for roughly 400 categories of misdemeanors and felonies will be released immediately without having to post any cash bail. Some prisoners are already being released under the policy.

In an October interview with Blaze Media, Sandra Doorley, district attorney of Monroe County, N.Y., explains why the law is bad news for public safety in general, but especially for victims and potential witnesses. “The majority of them are going to be out of custody because even those who commit violent crimes, it’s not going to be cash bond,” Doorley warned. “Our governor said that 90 percent of the people arrested for crimes will be subject to mandatory release; they will not be held before trial.”

These new bail policies have already come into play in the recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks after multiple suspects in such incidents were released without bail. One of those suspects racked up an additional assault charge the day following her release.

For de Blasio's part, the New York Post reports that his administration has been giving out things like $25 gift cards and seven-day metro cards to released inmates. Supposedly, these handouts are supposed to be incentives for defendants to return to court in lieu of cash bail, but a source tells the Post that the program covers everyone being released from Department of Correction custody.

Perhaps a more visible police presence and "Neighborhood Safety Coalition" corner watches will deter some future anti-Semitic attackers from wreaking even more havoc on the area's Jewish community. If they don't, however, the revolving-door policies of a "reformed" criminal justice system appear more than ready to put those offenders right back out on the streets, perhaps even with some extra cash in hand.

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