Providing alternatives to incarceration, the Center's Midtown Community Court's new Misdemeanor Mental Health Court (MMHC) will support individuals suffering from mental illness. Low-level offenses, such as shoplifting and illegal drug use, will now have social services and community service options that are restorative to both the community and participants. The Court's Youth Part has also been expanded to include young adults ages 18 through 25, reducing the risk of recidivism by targeting the root causes for criminal justice involvement.
Using the example of parents and caretakers stealing diapers and baby products, the New Yorker looks at the debate happening in New York about low-level prosecution. The article cites our new report on shrinking New York's misdemeanor system and Michael Rempel, co-author of the study, shares that the harms that jail produces "are criminogenic—leading to higher rates of recidivism than would have otherwise arisen had people been released.”
Christina Swarns argues against the dangerousness assessment that is being considered as a bail determinant in New York City. Citing our research, including the impact evaluation of the Center's SOS Brooklyn and "Closing Rikers Island" report, she advocates that these evaluations would not make our justice system better or our communities safer, rather they would further entrench discrimination into an already biased legal system.
Center researchers explain how their experience and credibility influenced how they approached interviewing New York City youth for our study on gun violence, "Gotta Make Your Own Heaven." They share the importance of centering community voices through this anecdotal narrative of their experience.
Gothamist reports on our study, supported by the Robin Hood Foundation, that finds vast over-involvement of Black and Brown people in misdemeanor prosecutions. While few of these cases result in criminal convictions, there is a heavy burden and cost to these interactions with law enforcement and the court system.
Those who have lost loved ones in traffic accidents often feel the legal system fails to hold drivers accountable. Highlighting our driver accountability programs that use the principles of restorative justice, KPBS radio in San Diego quotes our Amanda Berman, "Having to confront [the impact of your actions] and reckon with that is much more powerful and much more likely to change behavior."
Discussing the city's Blueprint to End Gun Violence, Elise White, the deputy director of research at the Center, shares findings from our latest study on gun violence, which interviewed young people who use guns, and advocates for larger systems of support and resources to advance public safety and wellbeing.
In Slate, John Pfaff compares gun violence reduction strategies in both Philadelphia and New York City, citing our August 2020 report that looks at reducing this type of violence by addressing the root causes, often systemic, that negatively impact already marginalized communities.
An important piece from Emily Bazelon in the New York Times on crime, prosecution, and public safety. Citing a body of research, including our own, she showcases the "strong evidence that less prosecution and incarceration pays off in improvements in public safety."
Marisol Rivera is a violence interrupter with our Save Our Streets. This anti-violence program works to stop violence and prevent shootings before they escalate. "You can't tell a young person to put a gun down and don't replace it with a job, with a trade, or something they are interested in," Rivera tells abc7 New York of our approach.
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