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Criminal Justice
News: Criminal Justice

Even Model NYS Inmates Face Steep Barriers to Parole

The state's approval rate for parole applications has been sliced in half since 2005. Inmates convicted of high-profile crimes face almost insurmountable barriers—because of politics, not the penal code.

Bronx DAs Face Scorn, But Not Discipline

A judge recently found one prosecutor's conduct so bad he banned her from his courtroom forever. But she'll face no internal discipline from her office, which lacks a formal system for punishing rule violations.

Crime Low, But Citizens Still Want to Fight It

A movement in Brownsville to recruit volunteer crime-spotters would be one of several citizen patrols and blockwatch efforts active in New York, despite low crime and a massive police force.

Will New York Follow Texas In Criminal Justice Reform?

Defendants in New York don't get to see all the evidence against them. After several wrongful convictions, pressure is building to follow the Lone Star's lead and fix the system.

Brownsville: What Will NYPD 'Impact' Changes Mean?

Residents are divided over whether tweaks to the high-intensity policing program are cause for concern or celebration.

Sunset Park Cops Aim To Protect Lunar New Year Revelers

It's the time of year to exchange red envelopes containing cash—a signal to thieves and a focus of two Brooklyn precincts.

New Crime Site Data Needs More Detail

A new tool lets New Yorkers see where the crime is, but supporters of the law that mandated the map want to know more.

The 2013 Primary Candidates on Public Safety

Stop-and-frisk, the inspector general, Ray Kelly and Muslim surveillance: How do the hopefuls come down on the key issues of crime and policing in New York?

Push to Keep NY's Teens Out of Adult Court

New York is one of only two states that regularly tries 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. Efforts to reform the system have run into opposition.

Planning a Defense for Violence on the Basketball Court

Detecting a spate of shootings associated with basketball games—often involving pre-existing beefs—organizers in Brooklyn are teaching kids and coaches to "hold the ball" when violence threatens.

Prisons Get Grayer, But Efforts to Release the Dying Lag

Over the past 20 years, New York State's compassionate release mechanism has seen nearly three times as many applicants die behind bars as won freedom through the program.

Version of 'Occupy' Seeks to Deter Brooklyn Gun Violence

Activists in Bed-Stuy, Brownsville and other neighborhoods believe a few friendly faces on troubled corners can help stave off summer shootings.

Cops Want Crime Watchers on 34 Bushwick Blocks

The new block associations could address many issues but would emphasize crime prevention. Some neighbors question whether crime is truly a threat.

Bed-Stuy Eyes Block Watch to Stop Violence

A week after the shooting of an 11-year-old made headlines, community members gathered to talk about the causes of violence. Some trained for patrols aimed at thwarting it.

Public Finally to Have Access to Hyper-Local Crime Stats

Newly signed legislation will correct a blind-spot in the NYPD's crime-report transparency, one we reported on last year.

Pushing Cops to Consider Kids When Arresting Parents

While some New York police agencies already avoid having kids witness a parent's bust and take steps to ensure care after Mom or Dad are detained, advocates say want more done to limit the effect of arrests and incarceration on children

Top Issue in Brownsville: Fear of the Teens, Fear for the Teens

Ask people on Blake Avenue what's their No. 1 campaign concern, and they'll say "crime." But their worry seems to be less about violence and more about whether young people are on the wrong track.

Innocent of Crime, Tainted by Time: Exonorees Struggle

After years behind bars for crimes they did not commit, New York's exonerees are released into the free world—where a host of challenges confront them despite their innocence.

Push for More Crime Data Stalls in Council

While it regularly publishes precinct crime statistics, the NYPD largely refuses to release data on crime at the level of smaller patrol sectors. It's unclear if Council Speaker Christine Quinn will allow action on a bill to require more disclosure.

Brooklyn Bureau: NYPD Towers May Defuse Cop, Community Friction

Some Brooklynites who live and work near the borough’s two police watchtowers say the observation posts are affecting more than the incidence of crime.

Next 20 >

In New York, the criminal justice system’s goal is to protect citizens by preventing and stopping crime. However, more recently officers’ intentions have been questioned. Many feel that officers make arrests for small crimes, like riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, in order to meet quotas, and that the actual criminals are roaming around free. This question in general attests to our nation’s difficulty balancing capitalist intentions with moral code.

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Immigration Detainers in NYC: The Numbers - Jarrett Murphy

The city honored more than 3,000 such detainers over a recent 12-month period, declined to enforce 1,200 and received $42 million less than it wanted for doing Washington's immigration-enforcement grunt work.

Striking Disparities in Neighborhood Violence - Jarrett Murphy

Focusing on the rise in shootings citywide masks deep differences across precincts. Most have seen neither no increase or a decline in shooting victims.

The Death and Life of Stop-and-Frisk - Jarrett Murphy

A new report looks back on 11 years of a controversial policy.

What Was the Bloomberg Admin. Saying About Jail Violence? - Jarrett Murphy

A look back at annual reports on jail conditions shows an emphasis on progress being made, but also an acknowledgement of an increasing violence problem.

Some Police Agencies Revive Restraints Involving Neck - Jarrett Murphy

Chatter on law-enforcement message boards suggests that what was applied to Eric Garner was not a chokehold but a “carotid restraint," a police tactic gaining new acceptance nationwide despite past controversy.

City Libraries Target Jailed Readers - Jarrett Murphy

The man in charge of the Brooklyn Library's correctional services talks about the challenges of providing books to an incarcerated customer base.

Heard Here First: Questions About Infamous 1990 Murder - Jarrett Murphy

Civil rights lawyer Ron Kuby is seeking to overturn the conviction of Johnny Hincapie in the infamous subway slaying of Brian Watkins. City Limits first reported doubts about the case three years ago.

Prison Reformers Hope De Blasio Keeps Promises - Julia Alsop

His campaign platform embraces some of the policies they want for ex-offenders. But advocates were unable to meet face-to-face with the Democrat or his Republican opponent, Joe Lhota.

De Blasio Stumped by Crime Wave. Wait, There's a Crime Wave? - Jarrett Murphy

A tabloid is taking the Democratic nominee to task for failing to offer a solution to an increase in shootings. But a stroll through the archives suggests recent crime spikes have come and gone.

Stop-and-Frisk Ruling: Key Background - Jarrett Murphy

In light of the federal judge's ruling that the NYPD practice violated people's rights, check out our coverage of the neighborhood that saw the most intense use of the strategy.

Doubts on Hate-Crime Laws Amid Rash of Anti-Gay Crimes - Jarrett Murphy

Some suspect the current bias-crime statutes aren't strong enough to deter or punish violent bigots. Others wonder if extra jail time is the best way to change mindsets.

Gun Violence in NYC: The Killer You Avoid Could Be Yourself - Jarrett Murphy

While New York's gun murder rate is lower than most big cities', it's our low firearm suicide rate that makes gun violence half as likely in the city than in the United States as a whole.

New York's Top Judge Echoes Our 2007 Bail Investigation - Jarrett Murphy

Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman called for reforms of the bail system, including limiting the use of financial bail to detain defendants in non-violent cases.

Opponents Of Over-Policing Target 'Vague Laws' - Leah Robinson

When you bump someone on the subway, is it a mistake or a misdemeanor? One advocacy group wants New York State to clarify vague laws that it says grant police too much power.

City Limits' Sex Abuse Investigation Now Available As Podcast - Kelly Virella

You can now listen to a discussion of our May investigation into the sexual abuse of female prisoners by New York State prison employees, thanks to local radio stations who have interviewed us about it.

Ex-IMF Chief Bailed Out. Thousands Aren't. - Jarrett Murphy

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is off Rikers Island. Most of the inmates he left behind haven't been convicted of anything. They're awaiting trial. And most are waiting behind bars because they can't afford to be free.



Foundation Center's Open House

Wednesday, November 05, 2014
09:00a - 05:00p

What Does the Future Hold for New York's Immigrants?

Thursday, November 06, 2014
:p - 8:00p

Benefit 4 Change

Wednesday, November 12, 2014



When Subway Dancers Get Busted, City's Culture is Bruised

By Gerard May

When Subway Dancers Get Busted, City's Culture is Bruised

What time is it? Showtime or "No" time? A visitor to New York wonders why the city is cracking down on one of the things that makes it unique.

Eyewitnesses Exposed: Odds Are You'd ID the Wrong Man

By Roxanne Palmer

Eyewitnesses Exposed: Odds Are You'd ID the Wrong Man

A video lays bare the problems with eyewitness testimony: At a recent conference, a robbery was staged, and 83 percent of people in the audience couldn't identify the right guy in a lineup.

Rikers Scandal: Key Leaders Are Between Policymakers, Prisoners

By David A. Fullard

Rikers Scandal: Key Leaders Are Between Policymakers, Prisoners

The revelations about systemic brutality in the city's jails point to the critical role that captains—the first layer of leadership over correction officers—play.

Are New Yorkers Desensitized to Violence?

By Gerard May

Are New Yorkers Desensitized to Violence?

Many murders make the front pages. But others don't. When a foreign visitor to the city learns of a killing near his home, he encounters resignation and dark humor.

Law and Disorder: A View on Broken Windows from Journal Square

By Mike Rowan

Law and Disorder: A View on Broken Windows from Journal Square

The supposed link between disorder and serious crime is as controversial as the policing strategies based on the assumed connection between the two. In one New Jersey city, disorder is common—and rarely threatening—in a public square.



Sector Map for 50th Precinct (courtesy Riverdale Press)

Map of the sectors within the NYPD's 50th precinct in the RIverdale and Kingsbridge Heights section of the northwest Bronx. Courtesy Riverdale Press.

Crime to Scale

Here's one way to compare crime among America's largest cities. Supplemental data from City Limits' January/February issue on urban policy in the presidential campaign.