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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
 

Criminal justice reform

Criminal justice reform

  • whats the data point


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 52 -- 5,000, with Liz Glazer, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    glazer elizabeth pod...

  • tish james tishjames

    Letitia James (photo: @TishJames)


    While initial polls show that many voters are too unfamiliar with their choices in the Democratic primary for Attorney General to have a preference, Public Advocate Letitia James has led the polling among those who do make a choice. The latest poll from Siena College, of Democratic voters likely to cast a ballot on September 13, has James at 25 percent, with U.S.

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  • rikers renditions

    Jail space rendering via "Justice in Design"


    The first part of the plan is clear: the jails on Rikers Island will be closed. Less

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  • cmreynoso34 cynthia 2

    Antonio Reynoso, the author, endorses Cynthia Nixon (photo: @CMReynoso34)


    Last week, I endorsed Cynthia Nixon for Governor because her campaign is focused on making sure young people of color across New York thrive in school, rather than wither away in jail. As a City Council member from a predominantly black and brown community in Brooklyn, I constantly hear from young people who know what they need to succeed in school and what stands in their way.

    Right now, there are more police in New York City schools than there are guidance counselors

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  • Rikers jails to jobs

    On Rikers Island (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Judith is a newly-minted head chef. She had previously been a line cook, and was nervous about interviewing for a job running her own kitchen, but decided to take the plunge after some convincing. When it came time to speak to the hiring manager, Judith, in her own self-assessment, “killed it.”

    Before Judith was head chef, before she was a line cook, before she knew kitchen skills, she was incarcerated. But it was her time in “Rosie,” the Rose M. Singer women’s jail on Rikers Island, that placed

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  • gov cuomo tours greene correctional fac

    (photo via the Governor's Office)


    Regardless what one thinks of presidential pardons, we should reflect upon a simple truth – convictions and sentences meted out at one point might not be appropriate decades later. That is especially true for many people currently serving life or massive prison sentences.

    Many have argued for sentence commutations for specific classifications of people. In recent years, the Supreme Court has recognized that judges sentencing young people, even for violent crimes, must

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  • mxm logo

    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    June 5, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Criminal Justice Reform in New York

    fortune society reps for 277

    The Fortune Society is on the front lines in the fight to keep people out of jail, help those leaving jail successfully reenter larger society, advocate for criminal justice reforms, and make sure that

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  • mayor depart cc ponte rikers island

    (Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The City of New York, like many cities and states across the country, profits from people experiencing poverty who come into contact with the criminal justice system. New York imposes a plethora of fees on persons charged with and/or convicted of a crime or minor infraction, ranging from a fee to support the DNA Bank, to an incarceration fee, to a fee for parole or probation.

    Among the most egregious of these fees involve phone calls in New York City jails. New York City

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  • mbdb graduation

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Social media was full of despair as advocates bemoaned the failure of New York state government to approve bail reform legislation in the recently-passed budget. The push to eliminate cash bail brought together dozens of organizations and hundreds of concerned citizens to advance an important reform. This kind of mobilization is not atypical – advocacy campaigns tend to focus on passing legislation or electing officials.

    Eliminating cash bail is a good idea, and over time, our bet is that it will end up

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  • de Blasio Rikers jail

    Rikers Island (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Due to the work many have done to illuminate the dehumanization and torture rampant on Rikers Island, city officials are finally proposing tangible steps to shut it down. This Monday, December 4, the New York City Council will hear testimony on progress being made toward closing the Rikers Island jails. Much of the discussion around closing Rikers jails, sure to continue Monday, centers on reducing the overall jail population in the city, but also on replacing available jail

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  • Andrew Cuomo

    Gov. Cuomo at an update prison (Governor's Office)


    Anyone following New York City politics knows about JustLeadershipUSA’s mission to close the jails at Rikers Island. In less than a year, the #CLOSErikers campaign successfully pressured Mayor Bill de Blasio to commit to shuttering the jail complex. It is no longer a question of if Rikers will close, but when. But the campaign has always known that

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  • Cuomo prison break

    Gov. Cuomo at Dannemora correctional facility (photo: Governor's Office)


    Last week, State Senator Jesse Hamilton mailed a flier to his constituents strongly denouncing broken windows policing. The senator, who represents Crown Heights and surrounding neighborhoods in Brooklyn, called on the city to end arrests for minor quality-of-life offenses that “are often used to police black and brown bodies.”

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  • cuomo prison

    Gov. Cuomo on a prison tour (photo via Governor's Office on flickr)


    According to The Sentencing Project, New York State has led the nation by reducing its prison population by 26 percent between 1999 and 2012, while the nationwide state prison population increased by 10 percent. During these years of decarceration, violent crime rates fell at a greater rate in New York than national averages.

    Yet, despite New York’s lead in simultaneously decarcerating its prison system and reducing crime, racial disparities throughout New York’s criminal justice system remain

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  • Cuomo speech better NY

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)


    Have an issue you want addressed in Albany? Perhaps you’d like the state to legalize your new multi-million dollar venture into the “sharing economy” -- one that terrifies existing business interests and labor unions; maybe you want to change the protections offered by New York’s civil rights laws; or maybe you want in on the hundreds of millions of dollars the state allocates to economic development programs. No matter the issue, you’re going to want Governor

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  • cuomo prison visit dannemora

    Gov. Cuomo in Dannemora (photo via The Governor's Office)


    As Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders rush to deliver an on-time budget, criminal justice reform advocates aren't holding out hope that any of their major legislative priorities will be included in the final document. Advocates are resigned that many of their priorities, which are backed by Cuomo and included in his executive budget, will be pushed to the post-budget legislative session.

    A budget is due by midnight Thursday, with the new fiscal year beginning on Friday, April 1,

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  • courtroom


    City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito should be commended for using her State of the City address, titled "More Justice," to call for criminal justice reform. She rightly observes that "we need more justice in the justice system" and ticked off some specific goals, including reducing the population at Rikers Island, creating civil procedures for minor violations, and improving the warrant process. However, the speaker

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  • mmv speech 2016 

    Mark-Viverito delivers her State of the City (photo: William Alatriste) 


    During her second State of the City address, titled “More Justice,” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced on Thursday a slew of new criminal justice reforms, including efforts to minimize the number of New Yorkers that end up in the city’s jail by clearing old arrest warrants for low-level, nonviolent offenses, and creating more programs to help reduce recidivism. She also said that as the number of inmates on Riker’s Island decreases, a plan

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  •  bratton times sq group

    NYPD ceremony in Times Square (photo: @CommissBratton)


    Monday morning the City Council will begin consideration of a series of bills, called the Criminal Justice Reform Act, which would limit the use of criminal penalties to manage a variety of low level “quality of life” offenses such as public drinking, park code violations, noise, and public urination.

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  • Cuomo announcement infrastructure

    Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)


    Lawmakers returning to Albany this week to kick off the 2016 legislative session are faced with a litany of unresolved issues from last year and the spectre of the recent convictions of two former legislative leaders.

    Add to that impending elections for all 213 legislative seats, some of which will be critical for the future of state Senate control and the prospect of future indictments hinted at by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and you have a recipe for potential

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