NEW YORK, NY — For the first time in decades, the number of city jail admissions fell below 40,000.
The total number of jail admissions between July 2018 and June 2019 fell to 39,420. This follows a 20% drop over the past year alone. Fiscal Year 2018 ended with approximately 49,500 admissions. The term “admissions” is not meant to indicate the number of individuals jailed. A person could enter the jail system more than once and each time count towards the total admissions.
“The safest big city in America is ending the era of mass incarceration,” said Mayor de Blasio. “For decades, we’ve been told we can only arrest and imprison our way to a safer city. Under my Administration, New York City has proven that’s not true. Instead, we can keep fathers at home and kids in school and get even safer.”
Since the Mayor took office, the City has invested tens of millions of dollars in pretrial services and alternatives to detention. Supervised Release, a diversion program used by judges, has alone served more than 13,600 people since launching citywide in 2016, ensuring that they stay in their communities rather than going to jail.
“These reductions result from a paradigm shift in our approach to public safety, with New York City at the leading edge of what works,” said Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice Director Elizabeth Glazer. “New Yorkers are committing fewer crimes, police are arresting less often, and our courts are releasing more people, resulting in a dramatic decrease in the numbers entering the jail system—all while New York City remains the safest big city in the United States.”
During the last legislative session, Albany legislators passed historic bail reform into law, which will further reduce the jail population. The Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice has convened a taskforce of criminal justice partners that includes the district attorneys’ offices, public defenders, city agencies, representatives from the court system, and advocates. The task force is helping to identify and coordinate operational and resource needs to implement the new reforms, which take effect January 1, 2020.
“New York City continues to show that less incarceration does not lead to more crime and closing Rikers is a reality that we can reach,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, chair of the Committee on Public Safety. “Reducing senseless marijuana arrests, prioritizing alternatives to incarceration and reforming the bail system has allowed tens of thousands of New Yorkers a second chance at leading a more successful life while avoiding the more serious pitfalls of the criminal justice system.”