NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – On Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio came to the defense of a city program that critics say will reward criminal behavior.

The incentive program would give accused criminals – being released from jail under the city’s new cashless bail policy – things like New York Mets tickets and gift cards for showing up to court.

MORE: NYC To Offer Mets Tickets, Doughnut Gift Cards To Get Freed Inmates Back In Court After State Ends Cash Bail

New York City will be ringing in the New Year with a new set of criminal justice reforms to combat overcrowded jails.

A general view of the exterior of Citi Field on March 25, 2009 in the Flushing, Queens. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

About 900 accused criminals are expected to be released, and the city will be rewarding them with Mets tickets, movie passes, and store gift cards for making their scheduled court appearances.

Critics say the program rewards criminal behavior, but de Blasio is optimistic the plan will work.

“In a world where we want speedier trials and we want the justice system to work, if small incentives are part of what actually makes it work, then that’s a smart policy,” he said Wednesday.

Starting Jan. 1, the bail reform policy eliminates cash bail and pre-trial detention for misdemeanors and most low level felonies – with exceptions like murder conspiracy, domestic violence cases, and sex crimes.

“It’s not something we developed. It’s something that has been worked on by experts over time and proven to work and proven to be a good investment,” de Blasio argued.

Outgoing NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, who’s been vocal about his opposition to bail reform, didn’t hesitate to express his reservations.

“We have to make sure there are consequences for criminal behavior,” O’Neill said Wednesday. “Come January 1… we’re a resilient organization, we’ll adapt, but I have real concerns.”

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His successor, incoming Commissioner Dermot Shea, is keeping an open mind.

“Is it a good idea to give people Mets tickets? I don’t know, but I’m willing to try different things,” he said.

The mayor made it very clear that while he is a fan of bail reform and reducing mass incarceration, he is not a fan of a policy that takes away a judge’s ability to make case-by-case judgments based on how dangerous a defendant is.

The state’s office of court administration says defendants who qualify to be released under the new bail reform policy will start being released in mid-December.

Comments (13)
  1. Alexander Kulick says:

    This continues ..corrupt fools like Dilasioand his wife ( what is she up to 1 billion in missing funds?) and if Bernie gets elected I’m the one leaving this country

  2. Jerri Lynn Smith says:

    Honest hardworking people can’t afford tickets to the game …yea lets give them to criminals you stupid moronic fools…

  3. Robert Hoerner says:

    You voted them into office, you get what you are about to get!

  4. Mila says:

    Oh just great. Reward the law breakers, and have the ones who obey the law pay for it! There is no incentive to obey the law anymore.

    1. scribeofsolomon0522 says:

      All part of the plan. The more chaos there is the more people will be willing to give up liberty and freedom (chiefly the 2nd Amendment) for safety and security. The less freedom you have, the more power the Left has

  5. John says:

    Now the criminals have no skin in the game and the law abiding taxpayers have to foot the bill to reward them for going to court. INSANE, IDIOTIC POLICY.

  6. K Vigiano says:

    I blame the voters.
    A slap in the face to every victim.

  7. Leftists continue to be nothing but a p*i*ss stain on America and especially NYC

    1. scribeofsolomon0522 says:

      I’m not sure they’re that high up on the evolutionary scale

  8. Kevin says:

    Mass incarceration is a myth. There is no “mass incarceration”. There are individuals committing crimes and being punished for it. All of this “criminal justice reform” is simply a way to excuse a certain race from responsibility for their actions. Crime is their new entitlement.

    1. joe says:

      you’re an idiot

      1. scribeofsolomon0522 says:

        Says the idiot. Criminals are your storm troopers

      2. scribeofsolomon0522 says:

        Of course he does. Because criminals are the left’s STORM TROOPERS

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