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Incarceration Rate Hits New Low

Prevention Pgms. Dropping Jail Population

Outgoing Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Linda I. Gibbs, Correction Commissioner Dora B. Schriro and Probation Commissioner Vincent N. Schiraldi announced last Thursday, Dec. 26, that the city’s incarceration rate hit a new all-time low.

Between 2001 and 2012, the city’s incarceration rate has now fallen by 36 percent, while at the same time, the national incarceration rate grew three percent. In 2012, the city’s incarceration rate reached 30 percent below the national rate of incarceration.

The city has defied the national trend through significant public safety gains including a corresponding decline in major felony crime (32 percent decline between 2000 and 2012) as well as more recent gains in alternative-toincarceration programs for misdemeanors and substance use arrests.

Bloomberg also announced the selection of community-based service providers to operate New York City’s Court-based Intervention Resource Team program which will match defendants who have mental health problems with communitybased services and supervision based on their risks and needs, providing treatment and reducing incarceration while improving safety and further lowering crime. They will begin a phased rollout early in 2014 beginning in Manhattan and extending to all five boroughs over the coming year.

“New York City has not only kept our city safer; we’ve done so while locking fewer people up,” said Bloomberg. “While crime has decreased in our city, so has incarceration-through the end of last year, New York City’s incarceration rate was 30 percent below that of the nation’s. That success is neither accident nor coincidence: it’s the product of a coordinated focus across our entire criminal justice system.”

Between 2001 and 2012, the number incarcerated per 100,000 NYC residents in jails and prisons fell 36 percent (from 669 per 100k to 448 per 100k). During this period, the national incarceration rate per 100,000 grew 3 percent (from 622 per 100k to 641 per 100k)

In 2012, the NYC incarceration rate was 30 percent below the national rate. Between 2001 and 2012, the number of inmates from New York City courts incarcerated at year’s end fell 34 percent (from 56370 to 37142)

Between 2001 and 2012, the number of inmates, sentenced in New York City, who were housed in NYS prisons at year’s end fell 40 percent (from 41880 to 25316).

The number of inmates in New York City jails also fell 18 percent during that period (from 14490 to 11827).

The combination of felony drug courts, alternative-to-incarceration programs for substance abusers and Rockefeller Drug Reform sharply reduced the number of felony drug offenders sentenced to prison in the City.

Between 2004 and 2012, the number of inmates confined in state prison on felony drug charges fell 56 percent (from 15486 to 6811).

Between 2008 and 2012, (after Rockefeller Drug reform) the number of NYC commitments per year to state prison on felony drug charges fell 30 percent (from 2484 to 1500)

New programs like Bronx Community Solutions and CASES’ Day Custody program in Manhattan dramatically expanded alternatives to jail sentences for misdemeanants. After Bronx Community Solutions began offering alternative sentences to misdemeanor defendants in the Bronx in 2005, the percent of convicted defendants sentenced to jail fell from 23.7 percent in 2004 to 13.5 percent in 2012-a 43 percent reduction in jail sentences.

Between fiscal years 2009 and 2013, the number of probationers incarcerated for probation violations dropped 52 percent from 2859 to 1388

The Probation Department’s Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NEON), a program of our Administration’s innovative Young Men’s Initiative, is designed to keep young men who are on probation out of further trouble with the law and on course to getting their lives on track. NEONs have moved probation officers away from downtown courthouses and to neighborhood locations where they can directly link clients with community-based programs providing social services, education, and job training.

In two years NEONs have grown to include seven offices around the city and is producing positive results: the re-arrest rate for NEON probationers who are 16 to 24 years old is nearly 23 percent lower than it is for probationers in that same age range who aren’t in the NEON program.

The Correction Department’s “Individualized Correction Achievement Network,” known as “I-CAN,” identifies and then focuses on helping pretrial and city-sentenced adult inmates who are at heightened risk of committing new offenses after their release throughout their incarceration.

The Department’s “Adolescent Behavioral Learning Experience” (“ABLE”) is a cognitive-behavioral treatment program for its youngest inmates, ages 16 to 18.

ABLE, financed by the nation’s first Social Impact Bond, enables young adults to acquire and apply problem-solving and decisionmaking skills critical to their success in jail and after their release and return to the community.

I-CAN and ABLE promise to reduce readmissions to jail by 10 percent annually for both adult and adolescent inmates.

A partnership between the Department of Correction, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Criminal Justice Coordinator will match defendants who have mental health problems with community-based services and supervision based on their risks and needs.

Through borough-based resource teams, the Court-based Intervention Resource Teams (CIRT) will screen recently admitted defendants for mental health issues and then provide referrals for qualified defendants to community-based behavioral health programs and supervision based on their charges and either their risk of failing to return to court or their likelihood of recidivism as well as relevant criminogenic factors.

The Court-based Intervention Resource Teams will begin a phased rollout early in 2014 beginning in Manhattan and extending to all five boroughs over the coming year.

Through the CIRT program, the City’s Departments of Correction and Health and Mental Hygiene will gather and relay information on each eligible defendant’s mental health status, risk of flight (failure to appear in court as directed) and risk of reoffense to the court-based teams to work with defense attorneys on rapid referrals to appropriate programming and supervision.

The initiative will demonstrate how jurisdictions can use risk information to connect defendants with appropriate care in a less restrictive setting than jail, with the goals of decreasing the length of detention for defendants with mental health issues and reducing their likelihood of re-offending after release from jail.

The city has identified providers to deliver borough-based CIRT services, subject to contract processing and registration, including The Fortune Society in Queens and the Center for Court Innovation (CCI) and the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES) in Brooklyn.

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