Report examines pretrial detention in New York City

April 6, 2017, The City University of New York
Report examines pretrial detention in new york city
Credit: The City University of New York

As counties and cities around the country look for ways to reduce the levels of pretrial detention, a new report from the Misdemeanor Justice Project (MJP) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice examines trends in custody status including bail amount set, length of stay, and discharge status for individuals admitted to the New York City Department of Correction (DOC) from 2000 to 2015. According to the study, the average pretrial length of stay increased significantly over a fifteen year period, 2000 to 2015, even as the admissions for pretrial detention decreased by almost half.

President Jeremy Travis and Professor Preeti Chauhan presented key findings of the this morning at a forum co-sponsored by the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City.

"With the support of Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito, the Lippman Commission's recommendation for significant reductions in the City's jail population now moves from concept to implementation. Two overarching findings of this report shed light on that challenge," said President Travis. "First, as the number of New Yorkers held in Department of Correction custody has dropped sharply over twenty years, the profile of admissions to corrections custody has changed dramatically. Second, even though average bail amounts and length of stay have increased, the analyses reveal many areas for reform that could further reduce the DOC population. Given the broad-based support for the goal of reducing New York's jail population, the stage is set for the next chapter in criminal justice reform."

The report, Trends in Custody: New York City Department of Correction, 2000-2015, shows that the profile of those admitted to DOC custody changed in important ways. The incoming cohorts were less likely to be admitted for felony drug charges. Further, the admissions cohorts reflected a higher percentage of individuals charged with violent crimes. By 2015, the highest crime category was for violent crimes.

"Understanding trends in custody is complex and impacted by the characteristics of those coming through the front door of corrections," said Professor Chauhan. "In this report, we examine trends in bail amount, length of stay and discharge status by charge level and category, demographics and borough, and seek to provide background information about how the pretrial admissions population has changed over time. We hope this report adds to a better understanding of those detained pretrial in New York City; an understudied group."

Key findings of the report include:

  • The average pretrial length of stay increased significantly, from 40 days to 55 days. The average pretrial length of stay for felony admissions increased from 62 days to 80 days and for misdemeanor admissions from 13 days to 17 days.
  • For pretrial admissions, the charge categories with the largest increases in pretrial length of stay were violent crimes, burglary, and weapon charges. The average pretrial length of stay for increased from 89 days to 119 days (a 34.9 percent increase), for burglary increased from 71 to 96 days (a 35.1 percent increase), and for weapon charges increased from 40 to 72 days (a 78.4 percent increase).
  • The average bail amount set for pretrial admissions more than doubled, from approximately $7,800 to $16,800. Average bail amounts increased for felony admissions ($12,600 to $26,000) and misdemeanor admissions ($1,500 to $2,100).
  • For pretrial admissions, the highest proportion of discharges were for bail paid, 30.3 percent in 2000 and 35.4 percent in 2015. Discharges for ROR, the second highest proportion of discharges, accounted for 23.3 percent in 2000 and 21.5 percent in 2015. The average length of stay for these discharge categories increased from 10 days to 14 days and 30 days to 36 days, respectively.
  • Pretrial admissions that resulted in a transfer to state prison had the highest bail amount set and highest average length of stay. Notably, the average bail amount set this category increased from $22,560 to $74,253, an almost three-fold increase (229.1 percent); and the average length of stay increased from 170 days to 284 days, a 66.4 percent increase.

"Even as our city experiences record low crime, we still have much more work to do to improve our criminal justice system – especially when it comes to pretrial detention," said Richard Aborn, President of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City. "And, as New York looks to close Rikers Island in the next decade, reforming pretrial detention is a critical step towards making our city more safe, just, and compassionate. The John Jay report clearly highlights the urgent need to change the way we detain individuals accused of a , each of whom has a right to a speedy trial granted by the 6th Amendment. I would like to thank John Jay for putting forth this insightful and important report."

Explore further: Shorter length of stay tied to earlier readmission for seniors

More information: Trends in Custody: New York City Department of Correction, 2000-2015: misdemeanorjustice.org/publica … orrection-2000-2015/

Related Stories

Shorter length of stay tied to earlier readmission for seniors

March 17, 2017
(HealthDay)—For older patients discharged from the hospital to post-acute care (PAC) facilities, shorter length of hospital stay is associated with earlier readmission, according to a study published online March 3 in the ...

Discharge before noon tied to longer length of stay

January 7, 2016
(HealthDay)—Discharge before noon is associated with longer length of stay among adult medical and surgical patients, according to a study published online Dec. 30 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Death highest in heart failure patients admitted in January, on Friday, and overnight

May 25, 2013
Mortality and length of stay are highest in heart failure patients admitted in January, on Friday, and overnight, according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. The analysis of nearly 1 million ...

Patient navigators tied to shorter hospital stays

August 21, 2015
(HealthDay)—Use of patient navigators (PNs) as inpatient care facilitators shortens hospital length of stay, according to a study published online Aug. 10 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Recommended for you

Researchers borrow from AIDS playbook to tackle rheumatic heart disease

January 22, 2018
Billions of US taxpayer dollars have been invested in Africa over the past 15 years to improve care for millions suffering from the HIV/AIDS epidemic; yet health systems on the continent continue to struggle. What if the ...

A nanoparticle inhalant for treating heart disease

January 18, 2018
A team of researchers from Italy and Germany has developed a nanoparticle inhalant for treating people suffering from heart disease. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the group describes ...

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

January 10, 2018
Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests.

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.