Recipients of NYC bail reform are being arrested again for crimes at a higher rate than city projections
Accused New York City felons who were released under a state release program have been re-arrested for felonies at a higher rate than originally expected, statistics show.
The New York City Mayor’s Office for Criminal Justice (MOCJ) has estimated that in 2018, 9% of offenders who were released under the state’s “non-monetary release” program, which began in 2016, have been rearrested for felonies. Estimates of the city’s new criminal arrests reached 10% in 2019 and 13% on year after.
But statistics recently shared by New York State Unified Court System show that 23% of offenders charged were re-arrested for a felony from January 2020 to June 2021. Meanwhile, 41% of offenders were re-arrested for any type of criminal charge, whether felony or misdemeanor, according to the statistics.
Local news site The city was the first to report the gap and court system data.
A spokesperson for Mayor Eric Adams’ office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Supervised release, officially known as “non-monetary release”, was established by Adams’ predecessor Bill de Blasio in 2016. De Blasio’s administration rented the program as having “a proven track record of bringing the vast majority of participants back to court and providing connections to vital pre-trial services”.
The city’s program allows arrestees who pose a flight risk to be released on community supervision. According to MOCJ, one of its main purposes was “to secure a person’s return to court”.
The Bail Reform Act of 2020 eliminated cash bail options for most non-violent crimes and misdemeanors. In turn, supervised release provides another option for judges.
The probation program was expanded just before the new law took effect, removing all eligibility requirements that would have previously prevented a judge from releasing certain offenders on probation. In turn, those charged with violent crimes were eligible for supervised release.
Speaking to The City about the court data, former MOCJ director Elizabeth Glazer said the probation program “was never designed to prevent crime”.
“It was only designed to send people back to court,” she told the news site. “Although it had a modest effect on reducing crime.”
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Michael Rempel, director of prison reform at the Center for Court Innovation, noted that data released by the court system is limited. Speaking to Fox News Digital on Thursday, he said the data “doesn’t really test what we want to know, which is over the long term, does detaining people or releasing them favor public safety?”
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“I predict that when you do the analysis, you will always find that in this type of supervised release, the re-arrest rates are higher than MMR and possibly higher than bail,” Rempel said. “MMR” refers to when a person is released on their own recognizance or released without bail. “However…it’s not meaningful to make a simple comparison between people on unsupervised release and people who receive MMR because judges on average choose supervised release over MMR for a reason.”
He noted that judges will look at individuals’ backgrounds, such as their likelihood of skipping court and their likelihood of re-arrest, to determine whether to release them on supervision, bail or on their own recognizance.
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Rempel, soon to become director of the Data Collaborative for Justice at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, stressed the need to fully track what happens to individuals during and after their incarceration or pre-trial release phases.