How NYC Probation Agency Helps Keep City’s Incarceration Rate Down


The fact that New York City has cut its incarceration numbers 32 percent while the U.S. total increased 6 percent in the past decade “should also serve as a wake-up call for communities across the country,” New York City probation commissioner Vincent Schiraldi writes in the New York Daily News. “In today's tough fiscal environment, we simply can’t keep wasting money on unnecessary incarceration.”

Schiraldi says the city’s police department “has been at the forefront of driving down crime,” and adds that “the city is targeting supervision and services to people with criminal records who pose a high or moderate risk of reoffending, while redirecting precious resources — including incarceration — away from those who are much more likely to stay on track.” The city's network of treatment-oriented courts has been diverting incarceration-bound defendants from jail and into treatment, with positive public safety outcomes, he says. An employment program targeted at parolees returning from prison successfully reduced re-offense rates by helping them get jobs.

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