Mass Incarceration

News Article The Marshal Project

Better by Half: How New York City Cut Crime and Incarceration at the Same Time

In this Op-Ed penned by Better by Half co-authors Vincent Schiraldi and Judith Greene, we describe the changes in New York State drug sentencing reforms and New York City policing and prosecutorial practices, from 1996 to 2014, that led to unprecidented reductions in the City's combined jail and prison incarceration rates of fifty-five percent, while, at the same time, serious index crimes were reduced by fifty-eight percent.  Follow the links provided to read the editiorial and our related publication Better by Half.

News Article New York Daily News October 28, 2016

NYC jail, prison incarceration rates drop by over 50 percent as crime falls

With quotes from Judith Greene and Vincent Schiraldi, Daily News reporter Dareh Gregorian covers our latest publication, Better by Half, that describes how the City cut jail and prison incarceration by fifty-five percent from 1996 to 2014, while also decreasing serious crime by fifty-eight percent during the same time period.  This feat was accomplished even as incarceration rates in New York State have grown, as a whole, and incarceration is up nationally by twelve percent.  Follow the link to read the original news article and the findings of Better by Half.

JS Publication October 28, 2016

Better by Half: The New York City Story of Winning Large-Scale Decarceration while Increasing Public Safety

Released in the midst of a growing national discussion about ending mass incarceration, a new publication highlights New York’s reversal on incarceration and offers lessons on how other cities and states can substantially reduce incarceration while promoting safety. 

In Better by Half, co-authors Judith Greene, Director of Justice Strategies, and Vincent Schiraldi, Senior Research Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government Program in Criminal Justice, describe how New York City, which once struggled with overflowing jail populations and high rates of violent crime, cut its combined jail and prison incarceration rate by 55 percent and reduced serious crime by 58 percent between 1996 and 2014. 

By contrast, the national incarceration rate grew by 12 percent during the same time period, and was accompanied by a more modest decrease in serious crime of 42 percent. By 2014, New York City earned the distinction of having the lowest crime rate of the nation’s 20 largest cities, and the second lowest jail incarceration rate. And New York State had become one of three states (along with New Jersey and California) leading the nation in terms of prison population reductions. Read more »

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