Rep. Katko proposes bill to provide incentives for policies that hold repeat offenders accountable

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It’s a common concern about New York’s bail reform: “We are letting dangerous people back out on the street that should simply not be there,” said Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick.

Hearing those concerns, Congressman John Katko will introduce the Stop Enabling Repeat Violence and Endangering (SERVE) Our Communities Act this week.

“It’s very simple,” Katko explained. “We provide grant money to states to engage in anti-recidivism conduct. For states that have a component in their law which considers the dangerousness of the individual when they’re deciding whether to release pending trial.”

The bill would authorize $10 million in anti-recidivism grant funding from the Department of Justice. The funds could be used for New York State doesn’t have a policy with a dangerousness standard.

Katko was joined by members of 93-year-old Connie Tuori’s family. Tuori was found dead in her apartment at the Skyline apartments earlier this year.

“That review of her case had gone differently, the District Attorney had different options to keep her from off the streets that our aunt would still be here today,” said Guy Tuori, Connie Tuori’s nephew.

Victoria Afet, the woman charged with her murder had a long rap sheet before her arrest for Tuori’s death.

“The judge actually had the discretion to set some bail on her but denied that with about 20 seconds of inquiry,” Fitzpatrick explained.

Still, the family supports efforts to hold repeat offenders accountable to prevent another family from experiencing the same heartache.

“It’s all very new to us,” said Sandy Tuori Bell, Connie Tuori’s niece. “We feel as though we’re handling it as best we can.”

Katko said he started working on this bill after speaking with the Tuoris. While he isn’t trying to have bail reform rescinded he hopes this will be another tool to help keep people safe.

Katko said this bill has support from all New York Republicans in Congress.

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