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Understanding the Past, Imagining the Future: 30 Years of New York City Criminal Justice Data

Posted on May 8, 2018

Understanding the Past, Imagining the Future:  30 Years of New York City Criminal Justice Data

On April 30th, New York University Law School hosted a panel discussion “Understanding the Past, Imagining the Future:  30 years of New York City Criminal Justice Data.”  The panel was co-sponsored by the New York City Criminal Justice Agency (CJA) and the NYU Center on the Administration of Criminal Law.  Panelists included Elizabeth Glazer, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, Jim Jacobs, Warren E. Burger Professor of Constitutional Law and Courts at New York University School of Law, Freda Solomon, Senior Research Fellow of the New York Criminal Justice Agency, and Michele Sviridoff, Deputy Criminal Justice Coordinator Emeritus for Research and Planning at the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.  CJA Executive Director Aubrey Fox moderated the discussion.

For the past 30 years, CJA has published either a Semi-Annual Report or Annual Report on pretrial criminal justice statistics.  For the first time, CJA has analyzed trends from these reports with the goal of informing a number of current policy questions.  Panelists presented and discussed highlights from a report presenting these trends (available here), including:

  • A lively opening discussion about how research can influence policy, and the value of the data CJA has collected and routinely presented in its Annual Report Series
  • An analysis of how rates of defendants released on recognizance (i.e., without conditions) have increased in every CJA recommendation category since 2004
  • An identification of the need to involve other agencies and disciplines outside the realm of criminal justice in conversations about pretrial issues
  • The observation that, despite dramatic shifts in other pretrial data points, the proportion of felony bails paid at arraignment remained about the same between 2007 and 2016
  • An analysis of how changing policy environments help explain the dramatic fluctuations in the volume of desk appearance tickets (DATs) issued each year since 1987
  • A reflection on the need for future research about how the trends CJA identified might differ by borough, neighborhood, and offense type.

To view the live video click here.



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