In a five-day public safety experiment in one Brooklyn precinct, police withdrew from their posts and local anti-violence groups stepped in. “Together we can come up with the right answer when we work as a collective,” said Hailey Nolasco, director of our RISE Project, adding that she believes public safety should be led by community members.
Community courts are a way to holistically address underlying issues— like substance use disorders, mental illness, or unemployment— to improve public safety and reduce reoffending. “In these challenging times, Albany’s award reaffirms the important work being done by community courts,” said Aaron Arnold, our director of technical assistance. “It’s a huge accomplishment to win this highly-selective national competition, and we look forward to working with them.”
WNYC takes a comprehensive look at the factors fueling the recent rise in New York City's jail population, citing our recent analysis of the impact of COVID-19 and of the two waves of state-wide bail reform.
During a rise in gun violence in New York City, the New York Times looks to understand why. They share the findings from our year-long study in areas of New York with high rates of gun violence, showing that many people in those communities don’t feel protected by authority figures, including the police, and are facing cycles of trauma, violence, and systemic disinvestment in communities.
Citing our findings of the surging number of people in New York City jails awaiting trial, The New York Times looks at how COVID-19 is disrupting the city's courts—imperiling not only people's health, but their constitutional right to a speedy trial.
Barry has been arrested approximately 160 times, while facing drug addiction, homelessness, and a lack of job skills and opportunities. As our executive director Courtney Bryan and senior staff say, there are alternatives to the criminal justice system that can address the underlying factors that cause the behavior and find solutions for a new path forward.
“No one has ever stopped to say, what’s going on with Mr. Barry? Why did he keep getting arrested?” said Brett Taylor, a senior advisor on our team, speaking to the history of Mr. Barry's involvement in the criminal justice system. Underlying issues, such as drug addiction, homelessness, or a lack of education and employment opportunities, need to be addressed through customized services, like our programs provide.
New York City’s jail population is close to reaching pre-pandemic levels. The Appeal reports, "The city’s jail population, now over 4,700, is largely the result of a growing number of people held awaiting trial. According to a recent report by the Center for Court Innovation, between the end of April, when the city took emergency COVID-related decarceration measures, and Nov. 1, the pretrial population incarcerated in city jails has increased by more than 28 percent."
Brooklyn organizations, including our Save Our Streets team, came together to flood their communities with resources and access to quality programming to help combat a recent uptick in violence in the neighborhood and surrounding area.
The pretrial jail population in New York City has increased by nearly 16 percent since July, when the state amended a previously passed bail reform measure, reports the Hill. The article cites our study, which predicted the same percentage increase and found that under the amended law, 84 percent of total cases remain ineligible for bail.