Mayor Bloomberg, along with Chief Policy Advisor and Criminal Justice Coordinator John Feinblatt, today released the January 2013 Criminal Justice Indicator Report, a review of critical indicators across the New York City criminal justice system.
For the first time, criminal justice professionals, policy makers and the public will be able to access a range of City criminal justice data from various State and City agencies in one compilation. Users will gain insight both into the functioning of the system and ways in which it is changing. The Indicator Report is an initiative designed to promote the use of data-informed decision making in the criminal justice system. A copy of the report is available at www.nyc.gov.
“Data driven decision making is one of the reasons New York City is the safest big city in America,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Just as data helps us reduce crime, prevent fire fatalities and keep incarceration levels low, we believe understanding data can help us work with judges and criminal justice agencies to further improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our criminal justice system.”
“There are many agencies involved in New York’s criminal justice system including the Police Department, the courts, the defense bar and the five district attorneys’ offices, and sometimes it can be a challenge for the public and the agencies to get an overall picture of performance,” said Criminal Justice Coordinator Feinblatt. “By compiling critical data about criminal justice system performance together into a single report, we can better measure the effectiveness of our efforts, compare trends across boroughs and identify efficiencies.”
The Indicator Report provides information about: court processing times; detention rates; trends in major crime and incarceration; conviction rates; prison sentences for firearms charges; use of mental health and drug treatment courts; and cases handled by type of indigent defense provider. The data comes from City agencies, the courts, and the non-profit Criminal Justice Agency.
Among its findings, the report shows how major crime among both adults and juveniles has been steadily declining even while our jail and juvenile detention populations have also declined. This runs counter to national trends over the last decade where the incarceration rate has increased by five percent. The Indicator Report also highlights dramatic reductions in school crime. Since the City created Impact Schools as a crime reduction strategy in the 2003-2004 school year, crime in the schools is down by 33 percent, with major crime and violent crime declining over 40 percent each.
Other findings in the Indicator Report include:
- New York County had the lowest release rate for felony defendants who presented with the highest risk of failing to return to court.
- Citywide, new felony cases decreased by 22 percent between 2000 and 2011, but the number of cases pending in court over 180 days roughly doubled.
- Queens County had the highest conviction rate for defendants arrested for felonies and violent felonies.
- Richmond County had the highest conviction rate at trial in felony cases.
- New York County had the highest incarceration rates for felony arrests and violent felony arrests.
- Since 1999, major crime has declined by 46 percent and the City’s jail population has declined by 30 percent.
- The percentage of defendants arrested for illegal possession of a loaded firearm who were sentenced to prison varied by county and was approximately 50 percent citywide.
- Citywide, about 5% of felony cases were resolved with a trial.
- Kings County sends the most defendants to drug treatment courts.
- Queens County and Kings County send the most defendants to mental health treatment courts.
The City anticipates releasing a total of three Indicator Reports during the remainder of the Bloomberg Administration. The following two will be released in July and December 2013 and will include additional data as it becomes available.