ISLAND PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Scrolling through her daughter’s photos, Maria Campione’s heartbroken mother doesn’t want Maria to become the poster child for what’s wrong with bail reform.
“It’s devastating, because there is no place to turn,” Campione’s mother told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.
Maria, 20, is mentally ill, not a criminal, according to her mother.
As a repeat offender, Maria has been released four times in the past seven days without having to post bail. She got out of jail on Dec. 31, when the criminal justice reform act became law. She had been held on $25,000 for burglary.
“She is not the only one in this situation. These are all these mentally ill kids, and there is no help for them,” Maria’s mother said.
The latest crime allegedly took place Monday night. Maria is a accused of throwing rocks through a Wantagh 7-Eleven after allegedly stealing a beer. She faces criminal mischief charges, which is now releasable on an appearance ticket.
“We are working with the DA’s office to try to get her remanded, and speaking with judges to make sure we can try to hold her,” said Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.
“And when she isn’t being held, she continues to commit these crimes?” asked CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.
“That is correct. She’s been in and out of the system, she’s had over 17 arrests. How many more times do we have to keep putting her in? The judges have to get back their discretion. To their credit, Albany is listening,” Ryder said.
Maria Campione has been released after allegedly throwing a rock in Wantagh, defacing a bank with graffiti in Oceanside, theft from a car in Rockville Centre and breaking into a school in Hewlett.
“The system needs to be fixed. Part of that is giving judges the ability to mandate psychiatric and substance abuse evaluations. The state moved forward with this very, very quickly and did one piece of it,” said Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds of Family and Children’s Services. “[Lawmakers] didn’t take the second step. The second step making sure there is a safety net waiting for those folks ushered back out of the system so we get them the care they need.”
Later Tuesday, a Nassau judge ordered Maria held for criminal contempt: Failure to wear an ankle monitor.
Maria’s mother calls her daughter’s actions a cry for help.