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Nearly half (48.5 percent) of people arrested for misdemeanors in New York City in 2014 were arrested outside of their home precincts—a finding that raises  questions about the efficacy of the neighborhood policing strategy for both police and prosecutors, according to a report released today by the Misdemeanor Justice Project (MJP) at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

“(The) principles of neighborhood policing focus on building strong relationships with community members with the goal of lowering crime and fostering trust between the police and communities,” writes John Jay College President Jeremy Travis in the introduction to the report, entitled “Mapping Mobility of Individuals Arrested for Misdemeanors In New York City 2006-2014.

“However, given the mobility of precinct residents who are arrested elsewhere, and the high levels of arrests occurring from non-residents, the philosophy of neighborhood policing might be adapted to reflect these realities.”

Travis says he hopes the study will persuade law enforcement authorities to address whether “the principles behind neighborhood policing [can] be effective in reducing arrest rates and crime when individuals are leaving their precinct of residence.”

The study, the first of four reports that will be released during the second phase of the Misdemeanor Justice Project (MJP), as part of its analysis of trends in misdemeanor arrests across the city, was presented officially today to New York’s Citizens Crime Commission.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first City-wide analysis of the relationship between precinct of arrest and precinct of residence, and our findings may surprise even informed observers of the criminal justice system,” declared the report, which was prepared by Todd C. Warner, Ph.D., Olive Lu, M.S., Adam G. Fera, M.A., Ervin M. Balazon, M.P.A., and Preeti Chauhan, Ph.D.

During the first phase, MJP released three reports focusing on misdemeanor arrests, criminal summonses, and the combined enforcement of felony and misdemeanor arrests, criminal summonses, and pedestrian stops, the report states.

Travis urged criminal justice practitioners to consider whether people arrested outside of their precinct of residence are more likely to miss court and be punished further, and whether diversion programs are better suited for the precinct where an individual lives rather than the precinct where they are arrested.

Additional findings of the report include:

  • The precincts with the highest precinct arrest rates (arrests per population of precinct residents) were not necessarily the precincts with the highest concentrations of arrests (arrests per precinct).
  • Nearly half (48.5 percent) of all individuals arrested for a misdemeanor in 2014 were arrested outside of their home precinct.
  • Nearly half (44.6 percent) of all individuals arrested for a misdemeanor in 2014 in Manhattan did not live in that borough. But individuals arrested in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island were more likely to live in that borough.
  • For arrests that occurred in home precincts among home precinct arrests in 2014, the most frequent charges were crimes against a person (24.5 percent) and offenses related to marijuana (16.8 percent).
  • For arrests that occurred outside an individual’s home precinct in 2014, the most frequent charges were property and theft-related (17.7 percent) and vehicle and driving-related (17.2 percent).

Read the full report HERE.

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