City Hall expanded supervised release to create an alternative to Rikers Island and ensure defendants show up for trial. The number being rearrested far exceeds projections.
High-flight-risk criminal defendants are being rearrested on felony charges at a much higher rate than city officials projected after being freed without bail under an alternative-to-jail program, newly released state stats show.
Under criminal justice reforms that went into effect in 2020, judges can no longer impose monetary bail against defendants for a vast array of charges. As before, they also cannot factor in whether a defendant is a potential danger to the community.
But for defendants judges consider prone to blow off returning to court, supervised release allows them to be freed pending trial without putting up bail. Instead, they are monitored by social workers to ensure they return to court.
Starting with these programs’ launch in 2016, city officials have insisted that only a small number of supervised release participants were being rearrested on felony charges while on release.
A November 2019 announcement of the program’s expansion by the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) estimated that only 8% had been rearrested for felonies.
But the numbers began to slide: MOCJ listed that rate as 9% in 2018, 10% in 2019, and 13% in 2020, according to annual scorecards on the program the office later released.
But an analysis by THE CITY of data compiled by the state Office of Court Administration and the state Division of Criminal Justice Services reveals a much higher rate more recently: 28% of those freed on supervised release were re-arrested on felony charges from January 2020 through June 2021.
And the data show that participants in supervised release are re-arrested at an even higher rate when misdemeanor rearrests are factored in: 50%.
In all, one out of every two individuals placed in the supervised release program from Jan. 1, 2020 through June 2021 was rearrested after being freed.
That includes 8% rearrested for violent felonies — nearly twice the 5% rate for those released without any restrictions on their own recognizance, according to the data.
Elizabeth Glazer, MOCJ’s former director, was heavily involved in the formation and then expansion of supervised release. Speaking with THE CITY, she acknowledged that the program “was designed for a higher risk population.”
Glazer contends that supervised release defendants are similar to defendants for whom bail is set, estimating that re-arrest rates for both are similar.
During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens.
The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.
Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.
Op-Ed, Jan. 30, By Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas
In a time of rampant economic inequality and environmental injustice, it is easy to feel defeated. Here in Queens and across New York State, however, communities are organizing for a better future. New Yorkers from different backgrounds and with different lived experiences are proving that we can build community, organize, and create a future that reflects our shared values.
In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.
Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.
More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.
Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946 to 1950 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.