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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
 

Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice

  • mayorsoffice police

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    How should police respond when someone is drinking a beer in the street, dropping litter, or engaging in other minor offenses? Up until a year ago, a criminal summons was the only answer, and if the person didn’t show up in court, he or she could be arrested on a warrant.

    As a result, New Yorkers had as much contact with the system for low-level offenses as for serious crimes.

    Consider that in the first half of 2017, there were 112,000 criminal summonses compared to 98,000 misdemeanor arrests

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  • vanessa gibson city council john mccarten

    Council Member Vanessa Gibson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    A City Council bill that creates an alternative to the state’s “disorderly conduct” statute, and mandates lower punishment for the infraction, became law on Friday along with numerous other bills relating to protecting undocumented immigrant New Yorkers. The bill, sponsored by City Council Member Vanessa Gibson, chair of the public safety committee, also adds another plank to the Council’s broad agendas of criminal justice reform and

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  • nypd appreciation night

    (photo via @NYPDnews)


    Tyrone Tomlin was standing outside of a deli holding a soda and drinking straw when two police officers from Brooklyn North Narcotics arrested him for possession of drug paraphernalia. The officers asserted that, “based on their training and experience,” Tomlin possessed an item commonly used to package heroin -- the drinking straw. An Assistant District Attorney took the officers at their word and recommended bail,

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  • mccray bassett thrivenyc

    First Lady McCray & Health Comm. Bassett (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    There is a hot topic trending in the debate over the war on drugs: should there be safe places for intravenous drug users to inject? A panel of experts from around the world convened a symposium in New York City to share their experiences and the panelists and their sponsor, VOCAL NY, called for such a facility in the city. They are completely correct.

    There are an estimated 100 supervised injection

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