Jail in New York City: Evidence-Based Reforms
The Center for Court Innovation, together with the Vera Institute for Justice, published a report based on extensive analysis of data from the New York City jail system. This report is part of a growing body of evidence and support for decreasing the jail population and decreasing jail time for individuals.
Findings from the report include:
- Of those detained awaiting trial because of an inability to make bail, the majority posed no significant risk to public safety.
- An improved bail payment system would allow large numbers of defendants to avoid short-term jail stays.
- The city could make more use of early diversion before cases enter the court system, especially in the case of young, misdemeanor defendants.
- The reliance on short sentences in misdemeanor cases may be counter-productive inasmuch as research shows even brief jail stays increase the risk of future criminal behavior while providing no benefit to public safety.