Brentin Mock at CityLab: “…In New York City, 40 percent of the jailed population are there because they couldn’t afford bail—most of them for nonviolent drug crimes. The city spends $42 million on average annually incarcerating non-felony defendants….
Wednesday, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law legislation aimed at helping correct these bail problems, providing inmates a bill of rights for when they’re detained and addressing other problems that lead to overstuffing city jails with poor people of color.
The omnibus package of criminal justice reform bills will require the city to produce better accounting of how many people are in city jails, what they’re average incarceration time is while waiting for trial, the average bail amounts imposed on defendants, and a whole host of other data points on incarceration. Under the new legislation, the city will have to release reports quarterly and semi-annually to the public—much of it from data now sheltered within the city’s Department of Corrections.
“This is bringing sunshine to information that is already being looked at internally, but is better off being public data,” New York City council member Helen Rosenthal tells CityLab. “We can better understand what polices we need to change if we have the data to understand what’s going on in the system.”…