Queens Sends More Pre-trial Misdemeanor Defendants to Rikers Island Than Any Other Borough, and More Defendants on Bail Less Than $1,000

New York Daily News: Queens leads the city in lockups for minor criminal infractions, city data shows

NEW YORK – Council Member Rory I. Lancman, chair of the Committee on the Justice System, issued the following statement in response to new City data, required by Local Law 86 of 2015, showing that in the final six months of 2018, Queens sent more individuals awaiting trial on misdemeanor offenses to City jails than any other borough. In the final two quarters of 2018, Queens sent 1,085 pre-trial defendants off to City jails on misdemeanor charges, followed by Manhattan with 1,037, and Brooklyn with 885. (Local Law 86: Individuals in DOC Custody, Fourth Quarter 2018, Table 7).

The recent data echos findings from the first two quarters of 2018, where Queens sent 1,416 pre-trial defendants to City jails on misdemeanors, again the most of any borough in the City (Local Law 86: Individuals in DOC Custody, Second Quarter 2018, Table 7).

The data also shows that during that same time period, 494 pre-trial defendants from Queens entered jail based on an inability to immediately pay bail of $1,000 or less — more than from any other borough.

“Queens is officially the misdemeanor incarceration capital of New York City,” said Council Member Lancman. “While other District Attorney jurisdictions in New York City are taking a variety of measures to end mass incarceration, Queens remains an outlier in continuing to send New Yorkers to jail for low-level offenses for no demonstrable public safety benefit and at an extraordinary cost to taxpayers. The end result is a criminal justice system in Queens that both over incarcerates and undermines citywide reform efforts.”