Incarceration Update

N.Y. jail program forces families to buy from online vendors that overcharge for basic items sent to inmates.

New York launched the pilot program at three correctional facilities, where families must buy from selected vendors to send goods to inmates.

Crime in the US

Murder in America is deeply local.

Homicides in the U.S. rose about 9% last year, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation- “Wall Street Journal”

Murder in America: What Makes Cities Safer. Killings fell in Los Angeles and Washington when police established closer ties with people living in the most violent neighborhoods; gentrification also played a role in Washington.

“New York City Set to Have Fewer Murders This Year Than Any Year Since the City Began Keeping Track”    Just days from the end of 2017, New York City is set to tally a record low number of murders for the year, and serious crime, more generally, will have declined for the 27th straight year.


Pretrial Risk Assessment study in Kentucky

Recent years have seen a rush towards evidence-based tools in criminal justice. As part of this movement, many jurisdictions have adopted actuarial risk assessment to supplement or replace the ad-hoc decisions of judges. Proponents of risk assessment tools claim that they can dramatically reduce incarceration without harming public safety. Using rich data on more than one million criminal cases, the paper shows that a 2011 law making risk assessment a mandatory part of the bail decision led to a significant change in bail setting practice, but only a small increase in pretrial release.
Assessing Risk Assessment in Action
George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 17-36
68 Pages ●Posted: 29 Aug 2017 ●Last revised: 13 Dec 2017

Closing Rikers News Update

Save the Date! Feb. 14th Closing in on Closing Rikers Forum with MOCJ Dir. Liz Glazer, NYPD Chief O’Neill and NYC DOHMH Commissioner Dr. Gary Belkin

Closing in on Closing Rikers
A Conversation with Officials from the de Blasio Administration about what they are Doing to Divert People with Serious Mental Illness from the Criminal Justice System and an Opportunity to Ask what More Should be Done to Close Rikers as Soon as Possible.

Co-Sponsored by
The Greenburger Center for Social and Criminal Justice
Metro Industrial Areas Foundation
The New York Daily News

February 14, 2018
8:30 AM – 11:00 AM

Hosted by Baruch College
55 Lexington Ave. (at 24th Street)


Policies driving mass incarceration, including the de-institutionalization of those with serious mental illness, have resulted in the incarceration of millions of people suffering from mental illness, substance use disorders and homelessness.  Plans to reduce mass incarceration and shrink jails and prisons must address this often high needs population. As New York City embarks on a path to close Rikers and reform its criminal justice system, this forum will focus on the key roles of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, the NYC Police Department and the NYC Department of Mental Health and Hygiene in the diversion process.  The speakers will discuss what they are doing to divert this population and provide alternatives to incarceration, how their efforts can help to close Rikers, and what resources and programs they still need to ensure that people whose mental illness leads to anti social behaviors are able to receive treatment instead of only punishment.  Audience members will be provided the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session following a moderated panel discussion. We hope to see you there. Seating is limited, please RSVP early to ensure a seat.