February 6, 2019

New York finds supervised release works

NY Times -Since [New York] began offering supervised release in 2016, more than 11,000 people have entered the program, and the mayor’s office estimates that it is responsible for 38 percent of the decline in the jailed population on Rikers Island since then. And it has done so in defiance of traditional notions that people who’ve been arrested pose a danger to public safety and are best detained until trial.

During this year’s State of the City address, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the number of people held on Rikers had fallen below 8,000 for the first time in 40 years, closing the distance to his goal of 5,000 inmates — at which point the notoriously brutal jail complex could be shuttered and the remaining detainees relocated to smaller facilities throughout the five boroughs.

....Defendants offered supervised release are required to meet regularly with case managers employed by independent nonprofits, who assist them in making future court appearances and offer to connect them with social services. Supervision lasts until the cases are resolved, which may be just a few months for misdemeanors and more than a year for felonies.

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