In NYC, More Criminals Are Free, Producing More Crime

At long last, it seems some Democrats are realizing how destructive their criminal justice reforms can be. Last week, Mayor Adams called on the Legislature to meet for a special session to revisit the 2019 reform that sharply limited the use of cash bail. Amid rising crime and the seasonal summer spike in violence, Adams seems to understand that letting large numbers of arrestees walk free before their trial is partly to blame.

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The latest NYPD statistics show that overall crime in New York City is up more than 37% over the last year. This should be no surprise to anyone keeping an eye on the Legislature’s mismanagement of the jail population. When bail reform was passed in New York in April of 2019, the number of inmates in NYC jails stood at 7,809. Eight months later, by the time it became fully effective, more than 2,000 inmates, most of them career criminals with long criminal records had been released from city custody with little to no supervision.

Almost immediately, crime began its now-historic rise. After 27 years of steady reductions in the rate of crime, 2020 saw increases in crime that have not been seen in decades. By mid-March of 2020, even before the COVID pandemic became a factor, overall crime in NYC had risen 20% year-to-date over the same period in 2019. Burglary was up 26.5%, car theft 68%, grand larceny 15.8%, and robbery 33.9%. In the last full year before bail reform (2019), there was a 1.1% decline in crime for the full year.

Nor was this a fluke. When you compare the crime rates for the first two-and-a-half months of 2019 (before bail reform) to the first two-and-a-half months of 2022 (two-and-a-half years into bail reform), the crime rate rose 36.6%, with significant hikes cross the various index crimes — the eight main crimes used by the FBI to measure overall criminal activity.

In the face of this chaos on the streets, criminal justice advocates have sought additional ways to reduce the population of city jails, a necessity if the city is to close Rikers Island and replace it with borough-based jails with a maximum capacity of 3,300 inmates. To meet that limit, 2,300 inmates currently in the jail system must be released, a concerning prospect when crime is rising, and 74% of the inmates currently held pretrial are being held on violent felony charges. 94% are being held on felonies.

The push to end systemic racism has not only resulted in Black people constituting a higher percentage of inmates on Rikers Island than before bail reform (from 55.3% pre-reform to 58.8%), but also has unleashed a deadly crime wave that is most significantly affecting the poor and people of color. Black people and Hispanics constitute 48.5% of the city’s population, but account for 90.7% of murder victims, 96.9% of shooting victims, 71.5% of robbery victims, 79.8% of felony assault victims, 52.8% of grand larceny victims, and 75.5% of misdemeanor assault victims.

Data released by the state’s Office of Court Administration pursuant to the 2019 reforms show that the people for whom bail would have been set under the old law — those with prior or pending cases and who also showed that they were a flight risk — are driving the increase in crime, at least in the non-violent felony and misdemeanor categories where judges cannot set bail. Half of the felony defendants who were released on non-monetary release, the city’s alternative to bail, get re-arrested while their case is pending. The re-arrest rate is 70% for commercial burglary, grand larceny, and robbery. It is 62% for home burglars, 79% for shoplifters.

Click here to read the full article in the Daily News


  1. Really??? says

    Geeeeeeeee think it is an accident…L.A. & New York with the same outcomes.

    Birds of a feather…..

  2. Rico Lagattuta says

    Obviously most Americans don’t understand the contributions these criminals make. They recycle the goods and money of the economy so that the “have nots” and the “I want” can live outside of poverty!

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