Home » A Model for Criminal Justice Reform: How New York City Lowered its Jail Population and Crime Rates

A Model for Criminal Justice Reform: How New York City Lowered its Jail Population and Crime Rates

by Cathy Brown
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The Congressional Judiciary Committee final month held a four-hour listening to, “Victims of Violent Crime in Manhattan” to know higher why New York Metropolis’s crime charges had been “uncontrolled” and what was incorrect with its legal justice system. Placing apart how the listening to spent some time particularly on any attainable position Manhattan District Legal professional Alvin Bragg performed in New York Metropolis’s crime charges, the listening to itself was not a foul thought. The issue was the Committee held its hearings about 30 years too late.

In 1990, there have been over 700,000 critical crimes reported to police with over 2,500 murders. Rikers Island was overflowing with nearly 22,000 prisoners, a lot of whom had been housed in rapidly constructed massive outside tents referred to as “Sprungs” or on floating barges.

Source: New York State Division of Prison Justice Companies

However by 2022, the whole variety of crimes had dramatically declined to beneath 200,000 with murders all the way down to 438, a exceptional 71% discount in violent crime and 82% decline in homicide.

These large reductions in violent crime and murders had been about twice the decline for the nation throughout the identical time interval.

Extra remarkably, because the crime and homicide charges declined, so did the jail inhabitants. At present, there are lower than 6,000 individuals incarcerated—a discount of 16,000 or 73% within the jail inhabitants. Clearly, NYC has proven that crime and jail populations might be drastically decreased on the similar time.

Sources: New York Police Division and FBI, Uniform Crime Experiences.

Each the present NYC homicide price (4.5 per 100,000) and the jail incarceration price (66 per 100,000) are nicely under the nationwide charges (6.5 homicide and 192 jail charges). NYC additionally has one of many lowest incarceration charges for Blacks within the nation.

If the remainder of the nation may match New York Metropolis’s charges of Black Incarceration, the nationwide jail inhabitants would decline by about 400,000 and there can be about 5,000 fewer murders per yr.

Relatively than disparaging NYC, the Home Committee ought to study what components and insurance policies have produced these wonderful outcomes. It’s true that since 1990, crime has dropped considerably all through the nation largely because of adjustments in socio-economic-demographic components like a declining birthrate, a smaller family measurement, an growing older inhabitants, and decrease inflation charges.

Sources: New York Police Division and FBI, Uniform Crime Experiences

The crime decline in NYC continues to be greater than twice that of the nationwide discount. However there are particular insurance policies which have accelerated NYC’s declines in crime and jail inhabitants.

These embrace strict gun management legal guidelines, the pioneering NYPD COMPStat analytic program, a pretrial companies company with a legitimate threat evaluation system, correct supervision of launched defendants, and the numerous funding of community-based packages and companies.

Regardless of these achievements, as with each different U.S. metropolis and state, there was an uptick in crime in 2021 which has been linked to disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and an related enhance in inflation – not bail reform. As COVID-19 and inflation have subsided, crime is once more declining in New York Metropolis and elsewhere.

The nation can study a lot from New York Metropolis on how you can scale back crime and the jail inhabitants. Maybe the Judiciary Committee can quickly return to Manhattan and maintain a extra well timed listening to on what was completed in New York Metropolis and how you can replicate it nationally?

James Austin is the founding father of the JFA Institute which he fashioned in 2003. Previous to that, he was the Director of the Institute of Crime, Justice and Corrections on the George Washington College, and Government Vice President for the Nationwide Council on Crime and Delinquency. He started his profession in corrections with the Illinois Division of Corrections at Stateville and Joliet Penitentiaries. He’s the co-author with John Irwin, It’s About Time: America’s Imprisonment Binge (Wadsworth, Cengage Studying, 2012)

Michael Jacobson is ISLG’s founding Government Director in addition to a sociology professor on the CUNY Graduate Middle (GC). Previous to becoming a member of CUNY in Could 2013 to assist create ISLG, Michael was president of the Vera Institute of Justice, serving from 2005 to 2013. He’s the writer of Downsizing Prisons: The best way to Scale back Crime and Finish Mass Incarceration (New York College Press 2005). He was New York Metropolis correction commissioner from 1995 to 1998, New York Metropolis probation commissioner from 1992 to 1996, and labored within the New York Metropolis Workplace of Administration and Price range from 1984 to 1992 the place he was a deputy funds director.

Source / Picture: thecrimereport.org

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