NYC To Use French Bank Settlement For Criminal Justice Reforms


New York City will spend part of $447 million it is getting from a court settlement from French bank BNP Paribas SA on initiatives for its criminal justice system, including establishing a database to help speed up court cases and reduce incarceration rates, the Wall Street Journal reports. The bank was sentenced in federal court on Friday for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran, Sudan and Cuba and falsifying business records. It will pay nearly $8.9 billion in criminal penalties and forfeiture, including $448.7 million to the Manhattan District Attorney and $447 million to the City of New York.

Elizabeth Glazer, director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, said, “It's obviously a large amount of money. I think you want to do something transformative with it. When you have that amount of money what you want to do is look systemically, and fix things systemically for the long term.” Officials said the largest initiative would be a “data integration” project that would enable judges, district attorneys, defense attorneys, police and others involved in the court system to share information about individual cases and defendants to try to match them with appropriate intervention measures and reduce incarceration.

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