Yesterday, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio announced that the City's jail population has fallen by 18 percent over the last three years. The Center for Court Innovation has produced a pair of in-depth analyses of New York City’s criminal justice system.
Commissioned by the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, these reports make a practical, data-driven case for how the city’s historically low jail population can be further reduced.
Jail in New York City: Evidence-Based Opportunities for Reform traces the path from arrest to sentencing. Among other things, it establishes that many defendants who could be safely released before trial are instead being detained, and that the system is making excessive use of short-term jail sentences. The Center’s research director, Michael Rempel, discusses the report’s major findings in a new episode of our podcast, New Thinking.
The other report, Navigating the Bail Payment System, documents the difficulties of simply paying bail and how this leads to unnecessary jail stays.
These reports offer concrete measures to meaningfully reduce the city’s jail population. They also represent the work of our research department at its best: practical, analytical, and focused on uncovering unexploited opportunities for reform.