Eighty percent of the cases in American criminal courts are misdemeanors. On any given day, more than 220,000 people are behind bars for a minor offense. That's too many.
We have long been dedicated to reducing the number of minor cases that end up behind bars through path-breaking programs like the Midtown Community Court, Red Hook Community Justice Center, and Bronx Community Solutions, which offer meaningful alternatives to incarceration.
We have also made a deep investment in pre-court diversion by launching Project Reset with the support of local prosecutors and police. A new evaluation documents that Project Reset cases were resolved 72 percent faster, and participants had fewer new arrests and new convictions compared to arrestees who experienced conventional prosecution.
We are focusing on the importance of rethinking misdemeanor justice by highlighting new research, cutting-edge thinkers, and valuable resources for reformers. This includes a number of special episodes of our New Thinking podcast, such as this interview with scholar Alexandra Natapoff, who describes the American misdemeanor system as an engine of racial and social inequality.
Join the conversation around #MisdemeanorsMatter and add your voice in support of a fair, effective, and humane justice system for all.