Vision 2 Goal

Criminal Justice Reform

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New York City has implemented a broad, unified strategy to bring down crime and reduce unnecessary enforcement and incarceration. This comprehensive approach places legitimacy, fairness, trust, cooperation, and visible accountability at the center of the City’s criminal justice reform initiatives, organized around three dominant principles: reforms must be systematic, investments must be consonant with costs, and initiatives must draw on the vanguard of research. The strategy is spearheaded by the mayor but it involves agencies across City government, state and federal partners, community groups, networks and people in neighborhoods, and individual New Yorkers, allowing residents to play a role in establishing their own future.

IndicatorLatest DataPrevious Data
Decrease the crime rate98,991
major felony crimes (2017)
major felony crimes (2016)
Decrease the average daily population (ADP) in jail9,500
Decrease the percentage of domestic violence survivors not linked to shelters46%

Reduced crime to historic lows

Between 2014 and 2017, major index crimes in NYC were down 10 percent, homicides were down 13 percent, and shooting incidents were down 33 percent. The city ended 2017 with 290 murders—a historic low not seen since 1951. New York had a murder rate of 3.4 per 100,000 residents compared with other American cities, including four of the country’s largest: 7 murders per 100,000 in Los Angeles, 13 in Houston, 20 in Philadelphia, and 24 in Chicago. The City also recorded 790 shooting incidents in 2017—another historic low—compared to 1,172 in 2014. The drop in rates were made possible because of gains in the perceived legitimacy of criminal justice actors, citizen participation and community involvement, and government cooperation evolving into sharp crime-fighting tools.

Shooting Reduction

The Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence is the backbone of citywide efforts to partner with New Yorkers in reducing the remaining gun violence in New York City. The Gun Violence Crisis Management System is a citywide initiative to reduce gun violence in the 17 precincts that account for 51 percent of shootings across the five boroughs. Teams of “violence interrupters”—typically, credible messengers who have turned their own lives around—engage individuals most likely to be involved in gun violence. The teams work to deescalate disputes before crisis or violence erupts and to connect high-risk individuals with extensive networks that provide job training, employment opportunities, mental health services, and legal services to increase the likelihood of long-term violence reduction.

Lowered incarceration rate in City jails

These record crime lows fell alongside unnecessary incarceration rates. Between 2014 and 2017, New York City’s average daily jail population fell 15 percent—from 10,910 to 9,226. While incarceration rates at the national level did not drop, the city continues to shrink its jail population. Closing Rikers and further reducing the jail population is now official City policy. Reductions have been achieved without compromising public safety and by placing fairness and legitimacy at the center of the incarceration reduction strategy. On January 1, 2018, for example, the jail population was 8,705—its lowest level since 1980—compared to 11,089 inmates on January 1, 2014. This substantial progress in incarceration reduction was a result of the administration’s strategies to keep lower-level offenders out of jail and reduce case delays for violent and felony offenders.

Assisted over 58,000 victims of intimate partner violence at Family Justice Centers since 2016

In 2017, the City invested $10.9 million to fully fund the recommendations of the New York City Domestic Violence Task Force to reduce domestic violence in the five boroughs. The 32 recommendations, both criminal justice and social services interventions, included the creation of new programs, the expansion of existing programs, and policies to increase coordination across City agencies.

Family Justice Centers (FJCs) are co-located multidisciplinary domestic violence service centers that provide social services as well as civil, legal, and criminal justice assistance for survivors of intimate partner violence, sex trafficking and elder abuse victims and their children. With a fifth FJC opened on Staten Island in 2016, the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV) has worked to expand access and services, including 1) expanding hours of operation to enable clients to receive core services one evening per week at the three busiest FJCs; 2) expanding on-site mental health services to all FJCs; and 3) adding an additional Spanish speaking children’s counselor at the Bronx and Brooklyn FJCs.

In November 2017, New York became the first city to pass paid safe leave legislation that includes survivors of human trafficking, in addition to domestic violence, sexual abuse, and stalking. The new law will allow the nearly 3 million New Yorkers eligible for paid leave to attend to immediate safety needs without fear of penalty or loss of income. Workers who have been the victims of these offenses—or family members who need to assist them—can use Paid Sick or Safe Leave to care for their needs, whether physical, psychological, financial, or otherwise.