"The focus right now appears to be on safety and not just strict compliance monitoring,” says David Lucas, a clinical adviser at the Center for Court Innovation, on how drug courts across the country are responding to COVID-19.
Jails across the U.S. are releasing people to stop the spread of COVID-19 behind bars, but a lot of people remain. Julian Adler, our director of policy and research, says that some of the population who remain likely pose little threat to public safety, and that he "hopes the current push to rethink who should be kept inside will change public attitudes in the longer term."
Red Hook, Brooklyn, has the second largest public housing development in New York City, home to roughly 6,000 people. Ross Joy, a housing coordinator at the Red Hook Community Justice Center, explains our work to support tenants through the legal process to resolve critical repairs and prevent evictions.
Our director Courtney Bryan tells Gothamist that our supervised release program continues to operate, currently with 1,500+ NYC participants. Without the program, many would be on Rikers, where officials are trying to lower the population to slow the spread of COVID-19.
New York City’s new law—approved last week by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council—will require the city’s most reckless drivers to complete a program modeled on the Driver Accountability Program that we pioneered at the Red Hook Community Justice Center or risk having their vehicles impounded.
Comparing it to the eternal debate between Spock and Captain Kirk on Star Trek, our director Greg Berman
writes about the public debate around New York’s bail reform law and how—and when—to judge the success of this new law.
A new grant from the CITIES Rise program will train and hire community ambassadors to help Syracuse residents find solutions to housing issues. Leah Russell from our Syracuse office says the grant shows the community that their voices have been heard.
Bail reform and risk assessment algorithms have been closely entwined, but amid concerns about the role of algorithms in criminal justice, Julian Adler, our director of policy and research, says, "It raises a lot of questions about what’s to come."
In an article looking at crime rates in New York City in the immediate aftermath of New York State's bail reform, our director of jail reform, Michael Rempel, points to the potentially crime-producing effects of pretrial detention itself, arguing that, in the long run, such detention can make the public less, not more, safe.