Impact of NYC's Criminal Justice Reform Act

Impact of NYC's Criminal Justice Reform Act

Impact of NYC's Criminal Justice Reform Act

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 (New York, NY) – The Misdemeanor Justice Project at John Jay College of Criminal Justice has found that during the first six (6) months the New York City Criminal Justice Reform Act (CJRA) was in effect, there was a significant decrease in the number of criminal summonses issued for five low-level, non-violent offenses.

The analysis shows that the CJRA’s sizeable impact on summons issuance in New York City, has also dramatically reduced the number of criminal warrants.

“CJRA was enacted into law to dramatically reduce the volume of warrants issued in criminal court,” says Preeti Chauhan, Director of John Jay’s Misdemeanor Justice Project. “So far it is achieving its goal of reducing the number of people who are receiving a permanent criminal record for a low-level, non-violent offense.”

In an extensive analysis of the enforcement and court processing of summonses in New York City for the first six months after June 13, 2017, when the CJRA was implemented, the Misdemeanor Justice Project found five notable trends:

  1. A decline in the number of summonses issued for public consumption of alcohol, public urination, littering unreasonable noise, and all NYC Park Rules offenses.
  2. When summonses were issued, 89% of them were civil summonses not criminal. The criminal summonses issued were more likely to be issued to men, aged 35-65 in the Bronx or Staten Island.
  3. The most frequent disposition of a civil summons was paid without a hearing (38%), while the most frequent disposition for a criminal summons was dismissed (35%).
  4. Appearance rates for those charged with one or more of these offenses was similar, whether it was for civil or criminal court. Due to failure to appear, half of all civil summonses (51%)          were in default and nearly half of all criminal summonses (49%) resulted in the issuance of a warrant.
  5. The change in enforcement strategy led to a significant reduction in the number of warrants issued for criminal summonses for public consumption of alcohol, public urination, littering unreasonable noise, and all NYC Park Rules offenses.

 

Read the full report, which was funded by the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.

John Jay College
An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and a Minority-Serving Institution offering a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. John Jay is home to faculty and research centers at the forefront of researching and advancing criminal and social justice reform. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College engages the theme of justice and explores fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit www.jjay.cuny.edu.