Better by Half: How New York City Cut Crime and Incarceration at the Same Time
The Harvard Kennedy School Program in Criminal
Justice Policy and Management, Justice Strategies, and the Katal Center
for Health, Equity and Justice, present Better by Half: The New York City Story of Winning Large-Scale Decarceration while Increasing Public Safety.
In this new report,
co-authors Greene and Schiraldi examine New York City’s successful 55
percent incarceration rate decline from 1996 to 2014, coinciding with a
54 percent decline in violent crime. At a time when America grapples
with the challenges of and solutions to mass incarceration, New York
City provides an effective example of replacing incarceration with more
informal, less intrusive dispositions and community-based programs,
without jeopardizing public safety.
The paper examines the
grassroots advocacy and responsive public officials that made New York
City one of the least incarcerated cities in the United States. Given
the growing, bipartisan consensus to reduce mass incarceration, the
authors encourage other states to recognize the success that can be
achieved through bold reform agendas, organizational moxie and powerful
public engagement, as demonstrated by New York City.