New York City has seen a steep decline in serious crime since the early 1990s, accompanied by a dramatic drop in the use of jail, with the average daily jail population declining 53 percent from 21,688 in 1991 to 10,240 in 2015. The city is continuing concerted efforts to drive down both crime and unnecessary detention even further, including the recent citywide expansion of supervised release, a bail alternative program for individuals who can be safely supervised in the community while waiting for trial. The city has also taken steps to reduce the number of people with behavioral health needs cycling through jail and expanded effective reentry planning to curb recidivism. New York City plans to institutionalize systemic changes that will increase fairness, accelerate case processing times, and more precisely calibrate the criminal justice system’s response to risk and need.
Originally one of 11 jurisdictions selected in 2016 as a Core Safety and Justice Challenge site, New York shifted in late 2016 to Partner site status. As a Partner site, New York remains an integral part of the growing network of jurisdictions working to share knowledge and best practices and to create demand for reform across the country.