The Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform released its long anticipated report on April 2, 2017.
This report is the culmination of more than a year's worth of research, community outreach, and conversations with elected officials, business leaders, law enforcement, academics, criminal justice advocates, and those who have spent time behind bars.
In these pages, you will find the Independent Commission's recommendations on how the City can reform its criminal justice system to the point that the jail population is cut in half; jails are made safer, more humane, and closer to the courts; and we can finally close Rikers Island and reuse the land to benefit all New Yorkers.
This report is not just the product of the Commission's deliberations. Throughout last year, the Commission met with over 650 New Yorkers - and heard from hundreds more online - on how we ought to reform our criminal justice system. Those insights were incorporated and made part of this report.
We hope you will take the time to read it in its entirety, and as always, we welcome your feedback.
New York’s criminal justice system is outdated, violence ridden, and fiscally draining for the city. The isolation of a majority of the detainees in ten facilities on Rikers Island exacerbates the violence, deterioration, and failure that symbolize a neglect of civic responsibility toward those who live and work within the justice system and the communities that are affected by it. Those convicted and awaiting trial deserve healthy, safe, and rehabilitative living conditions.
Justice in Design — a team comprised of architects, designers, planners, social and environmental psychologists, and incarceration reform advocates — was asked to produce a set of programming and design principles for future jails in New York City.
This work began as an outgrowth of a partnership between Van Alen Institute and The Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform.
Click here to read a copy of the report.