District 24

Rory I. Lancman

Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica

Report Finds Black Students In NYC Suspended Longer Than Others
CBS New York, October 30, 2018

“Instead of expelling them or suspending them the city should be guiding them,” Councilman Rory Lancman of the 24th District in Queens said.

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NYC Public Defenders, District Attorneys Demand Pay Parity
Law360, October 29, 2018

Councilman Lancman, who announced his bid for the Queens district attorney position in September, has proposed creating a temporary task force to study pay parity for public defenders and prosecutors. Thursday’s hearing allowed key players to make the case for why Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office should close the pay gap between those attorneys and ones with the same level of experience who work in the city’s Law Department.

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Low Pay for Public Defenders and Prosecutors Seen as Threat to Justice
City Limits, October 29, 2018

“Experienced, savvy, committed assistant district attorneys are necessary to faithfully exercise their immense discretion and ethical obligations,” said Councilmember Rory Lancman, who chairs the Committee on the Justice System. Lancman will run for Queens DA in 2019.

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LANCMAN OP-ED: City Must Seek Feedback on Family Justice Centers From DV Survivors
Queens Daily Eagle, October 29, 2018

We know that the services offered at the Family Justice Centers are comprehensive and serve individuals in many communities with a variety of needs. However, what we do not know is how the people using these services feel they are working. That is information that our city needs to know, especially as more individuals are reporting domestic violence incidents and are potentially in need of services and support. We can use this data to guide our decision making into what services need to be expanded, improved, or left alone.

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Low Pay for Public Defenders and Prosecutors Seen as Threat to Justice
City Limits, October 29, 2018

“No government agency is ever going to be able to compete with the private sector—people understand that—but we shouldn’t be in a scenario where the Law Department or the Department of Education is attracting people away from vitally important functions in the criminal justice system,” said Lancman.

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NYC Public Defenders, District Attorneys Demand Pay Parity
Law360, October 29, 2018

Lancman began by comparing salaries for public defenders to salaries for Law Department attorneys, who represent the city and its agencies in affirmative and defensive civil litigation, among other proceedings. He said the pay for starting public defenders ranges from $61,000 to $68,000, while Law Department attorneys start at $68,000; at the five-year mark, his figures showed public defenders make between $70,000 and $78,000, while the Law Department attorneys make $79,000. “It therefore comes as no surprise that city agencies have better retention rates than our district attorney offices and indigent service providers,” he said.

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‘Money and greed’: how non-compete clauses force workers to fight for rights
The Guardian, October 24, 2018

Other governmental bodies that introduced legislation have gotten less traction, including the New York city council, where Democratic Councilman Rory Lancman introduced a bill last year to regulate the use of non-compete agreements for low-wage workers. “The fast food industry … has been animated over the past few years” over the issue of non-compete and no-poaching agreements, Lancman said. His bill has yet to pass the committee on civil service and labor, but he vows to press on.

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Ticket to Jail (For Some): Study Finds Massive Racial Disparities in Fare Evasion Arrests
The Indypendent, October 22, 2018

“I don’t even think they [the NYPD] would say they are in compliance,” Councilmember Lancman told The Indy. “The police department is afraid the full disclosure of the data would reveal the extent to which fare evasion enforcement is discriminatory toward people of color and poor people. They dread the reckoning that will come from that.”

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Lancman To Host Screening of Eric Garner Documentary at Queens Library
Queens Daily Eagle, October 16, 2018

After the documentary, the film’s first-time director and producer, Damian Kudelka, will join Gwen Carr, Garner’s mother, and individuals featured in the documentary in a panel discussion on policing practices, police reform and use of force. “It is my hope that this documentary will enable people to better understand the problem of police chokeholds and demand policies that will prevent tragedies from happening again,” said Lancman.

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Director of documentary about Eric Garner case will speak at Queens screening of film
Queens Courier, October 14, 2018

Councilman Rory Lancman will host a film screening about excessive police force on Oct. 18 at the Central Library in Jamaica, which will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, the documentary filmmaker Damian Kudelka and more. Lancman, who is running for Queens District Attorney next year, introduced a “Chokehold Bill” to the floor of City Council shortly after the 2014 death of Garner. The Staten Island man died soon after police put him in a chokehold for selling loose cigarettes.

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Fight Breaks Out Near Republican Club After Visit by Gavin McInnes, Police Say
New York Times, October 13, 2018

Rory I. Lancman, a councilman from Queens who is the chairman of the Council’s committee on the justice system, said that video showing who he believes to be members of the Proud Boys beating someone should result in additional arrests. “How could we not arrest and prosecute white supremacists committing hate crimes in Manhattan?” Mr. Lancman asked in an interview. “The police rolled up and didn’t arrest anyone.”

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SEE IT: Proud Boys clash with protesters after East Side rally — three protesters arrested, Cuomo urges probe
New York Daily News, October 13, 2018

City Councilman Rory Lancman of Queens was outraged that no Proud Boys members found themselves in handcuffs.

“It is revolting to see white supremacists commit a hate crime on the streets of New York City — in full view of the NYPD — and for none of them to be arrested or prosecuted,” Lancman said in a statement Saturday. “We have seen this in other cities, but it is shocking to see it here.”

“Hateful and violent behavior has no place in New York City, and those responsible must be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Lancman also called for the creation of a task force that would develop strategies “to combat white supremacist violence in our city.”

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Lancman leads hearing to examine ‘cost of justice’ in criminal cases
Times Ledger, October 9, 2018

The Committee on the Justice System, chaired by City Councilman Rory Lancman, held an oversight hearing Sept. 27 to examine the “cost of justice” in criminal cases. The committee discussed the effects of mandatory surcharges, fines, and fees for court-ordered classes that are offered as an alternative to incarceration on indigent defendants. These exorbitant fees and fines often trap the economically-challenged in a cycle of debt, which could lead to incarceration due to failure to pay. Communities of color are most likely to suffer from excessive fees and fines because of over-policing and poverty, according to Lancman.

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NYPD’s limited release of fare evasion data a ‘mockery’ of the law, councilman says
amNY, October 4, 2018

City Councilman Rory Lancman, who filed a lawsuit against the NYPD over its failure to disclose the information for over six months, called the NYPD’s limited data release “a sham” that “makes a mockery of the law.”

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Queens Council Member proposes bill that ensures individuals released from city jail know their voting rights
Queens Courier, October 4, 2018

“We know from efforts around the country that the opportunity to vote and have a voice in government actually decreases recidivism for former offenders because of the greater investment they feel in their communities and the laws that govern them,” said Lancman. “But having the right and knowing how to use it are two different things. My bill will bring those poles closer together and as a consequence make our city more democratic, more engaged and even more safe.”

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Kennedy family charity bailout plan set to spring NYC’s women and teen inmates Monday amid concerns for victims’ safety
NY Daily News, October 1, 2018

And Lancman noted that if a prisoner’s bail was paid for by a relative no one would give it a second thought.

In fact, he said he encountered a Canarsie woman who bailed out her son. On Sunday, he said, she showed to do just that, only to be told the system was down. “She had to take off work today to come back,” he said.

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Teens Moved Off Rikers Island As ‘Raise The Age’ Law Takes Hold
Patch, October 1, 2018

City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens), who chairs the Committee on the Justice System, also said he worries the guards’ presence will “fundamentally undermine (the) goals and spirit” of Raise the Age.

“Officers trained in adult jails should not be supervising kids,” Lancman said in a statement Monday.

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Editorial: Why de Blasio keeps dodging on turnstile-jumping arrests
New York Post, September 23, 2018

Lancman counters, “It’s complete b.s. to think bad guys are sitting around looking at fare-evasion arrest statistics to determine which subway station to commit a crime in.” He also notes that public CompStat maps reveal where “actual” law-enforcement activity occurs — down to the address.

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City Officials Fear Mass Bailout at Rikers Could Endanger Crime Victims
New York Times, September 21, 2018

Some City Council members called the positions of Mr. de Blasio and the city’s law enforcement officials hypocritical. Rory I. Lancman, a Queens councilman, said because there are protocols in place that allow judges to keep those who are a danger to others in custody, the bailout “is brilliantly exposing the fallacy of our bail system.”

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Councilman Sues City, NYPD Over Failure To Publish Subway Fare Evasion Data
Gothamist, September 20, 2018

Starting this year, the NYPD is required by law to publish quarterly reports breaking down fare evasion-related arrests and summonses by subway station, transit bureau district, and race, sex, and age. Those reports should have been published on January 30th, April 30th, and July 30th, but the NYPD has thus far kept the data to itself. The lawsuit, filed today by Lancman along with the nonprofit Community Service Society of New York [CSSNY] claims the NYPD has provided “no explanation beyond vague assertions that disclosure of the required data could create a risk to public safety.”

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Lawsuit Demands NYPD Release Data On Subway Turnstile Jumper Arrests
WCBS 880, September 20, 2018

City Councilman Rory Lancman believes once the data is released it will show similar racial disparities to that of marijuana enforcement, with blacks and Hispanics getting arrested at a higher rate. “The police department just doesn’t want to release this data because I believe it will show unjustifiable racial disparities,” Lancman said.

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Councilman sues de Blasio, NYPD commish over turnstile jumps
NY Post, September 20, 2018

Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD have ignored a law requiring them to post online reports detailing arrests and summonses for subway fare evasion, according to a suit filed Wednesday by a group including the city pol who backed the bill. The law — sponsored by Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens) and passed unanimously in 2017 — was intended to put turnstile-jumping data up for review amid claims that busts were “racially or socio-economically discriminatory,” the Manhattan Supreme Court suit said.

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Mayor, police commissioner sued for holding up release of subway fare evasion stats
New York Daily News, September 20, 2018

A city lawmaker and MTA board member are suing Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill for holding up the release of fare evasion data in the subway. Councilman Rory Lancman and David Jones, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority board member, sued over the NYPD’s reluctance to release fare evasion data by subway station and demographics under a law the City Council passed last year.

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What’s at Stake in Fight for Subway Fare-Beating Data
New York Times, September 19, 2018

Councilman Rory I. Lancman, a Queens Democrat, said the lack of information on fare-evasion arrests and summonses violates the law, and he and the nonprofit Community Service Society filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in state Supreme Court in Manhattan in an effort to compel the mayor and the Police Department to release the data.

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Queens Councilman: Mayor needs to do more to fix racial disparity in pot busts
New York Daily News, September 18, 2018

“Predictably, the numbers show that the disparity in marijuana enforcement is going in the wrong direction,” Councilman Rory Lancman said. “There are two distinct problems with marijuana enforcement, and each needs to be attacked with equal vigor. Arrests are too high, and the disparity is unconscionable.”

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Brothels, Gambling and an Ex-Detective Mastermind: Officials Detail N.Y. Police Scandal
New York Times, September 13, 2018

Rory Lancman, a Queens councilman and candidate for district attorney, said one particularly surprising element of the scandal was the fact that one of the accused officers serves in the 109th Precinct in Flushing, which was the setting for a similar police protection case in 2015. “How is it possible that a cop in the 1-0-9 would think they could engage in corruption after seeing their colleagues hauled off in handcuffs within the last couple of years?” Mr. Lancman said.

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Tempers flare at heated Rikers Island debate
Times Ledger, September 13, 2018

Lancman, who is the chairman of the Committee on Criminal Justice, and may be preparing running for the Queens district attorney’s seat in 2019, said that closing Rikers Island would be cost-effective for the city and his constituents. “The effort to close Rikers Island is a movement,” said Lancman. “It’s part of a larger movement to reform a criminal justice system that is dysfunctional, broken and overwhelmingly falls on the backs of people of color.”

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Subway Policing in New York City Still Has A Race Problem
The Marshall Project, September 12, 2018

“It’s a question of what really belongs in the criminal justice system and what doesn’t,” said Lancman. “Should we be running people in the criminal justice system because they don’t have a subway fare?”

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In Bid to Close Pay Disparity, NYC Legal Aid Calls for Funding Boost
New York Law Journal, September 7, 2018

“Public defenders make sure that the right to counsel, which is both constitutionally guaranteed and morally required, is more than just an empty promise in New York,” said City Councilman Rory Lancman, chair of the committee, in a written statement. “Just as they would never shirk their responsibility to a client, we cannot shirk our responsibility to adequately fund their representation of New Yorkers.”

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Debate Highlights Contrasting Views On Rikers’ Future — And On Justice Reform
Queens Daily Eagle, September 6, 2018

Lancman, however, said that closing Rikers would be cost-effective for the city and his constituents. But he focused most of his attention on the importance of reducing the jail population and moving detainees off the island. Lancman and criminal justice reform advocates — like the team of Legal Aid Society defense attorneys seated in the third row of the auditorium — say closing Rikers is an inseparable component of a mission to reduce the number of low-income people of color in jail and prison. In Queens and nationwide, people of color make up a vastly disproportionate number of prison inmates and jail detainees. Many sit in jail simply because they cannot afford to make bail, Lancman said. “I cannot think of anything that is more worthwhile than building a criminal justice system that is fair,” Lancman said. “The criminal justice system I aspire to is one where no one is sitting in jail because they don’t have the resources to buy their way out.”

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New marijuana policy to go into effect in NYC on Saturday
WPIX 11, August 31, 2018

But Queens Councilman Rory Lancman said he doesn’t like that some New Yorkers will still end up in handcuffs. “Unfortunately the mayor’s policing and prosecution policy on marijuana still excludes people with prior involvement with the criminal justice system,” Lancman said.

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EXCLUSIVE: Off-duty cop beaten and choked by brothers in blue may receive $5.4 million — two years after federal jury awards $15 million
New York Daily News, August 28, 2018

When reached, Councilman Lancman (D-Queens) said in a statement that the attack on Jackson just bolsters his desire to get a bill passed that will make chokeholds illegal in New York City. “Larry Jackson’s experience surviving a chokehold by a fellow NYPD officer four years before a chokehold killed Eric Garner shows how long and deep is the department’s failure to prevent this dangerous maneuver from being used, even on an off-duty cop,” Lancman said. “We need to do something different.”

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CCRB records on police use of chokeholds sought by Queens City Councilman Rory Lancman
New York Daily News, August 23, 2018

A city councilman from Queens on Wednesday sought detailed records of police use of chokeholds from the board that investigates civilian complaints against police. Councilman Rory Lancman sent a letter to the Civilian Complaint Review Board demanding to know the number of police chokehold cases that occurred each year from 2015 to 2018 and the status of any investigations into the incidents.

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Mayor signs Lancman’s bail bonds bill into law
Times Ledger, August 20, 2018

City Councilman Rory Lancman’s (D-Hillcrest) legislation requiring bail bond businesses to provide customers with a bill of rights and to disclose information about financial charges was signed into law last week by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The Bail Bond Consumer Bill of Rights requires bail bond businesses to post the rules they are required to follow so that vulnerable New Yorkers are informed about the laws that protect them, Lancman said.

“Today New York City takes a meaningful step forward towards treating bail bonds as the dangerous consumer financial products they have always been,” said Lancman. “The city must do everything in its power to ensure that bail bond businesses follow the rules the state has already laid out.”

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In New York City, Marijuana Smokers With Open Summonses to Get a Lift to Court
Wall Street Journal, August 19, 2018

City Council member Rory Lancman said the policy doesn’t address what he noted is the core issue of the city’s marijuana enforcement: That policing the offense overwhelmingly affects people of color. Blacks and Hispanics accounted for 66.6% of the those who received a summons for a marijuana offense in 2017, according to NYPD data.

“Giving somebody a lift to the court in the back of a police car is not my idea of reducing people’s exposure to the criminal justice system. And a scheme that limits enforcement to people with prior exposure to the criminal-justice system virtually guarantees that that scheme will focus even more on people of color,” said Mr. Lancman, a Democrat.

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Lancman: Pass my chokehold bill now
Politico, August 13, 2018

Council Member Rory Lancman revived his nearly four-year-long call to pass a bill criminalizing the use of chokeholds by police after the Daily News published a video of a Queens man locked in an apparent chokehold by an NYPD officer. “It is time to pass the chokehold bill, and for the mayor to commit to sign it,” Lancman said in a statement blasted out Monday.

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Councilman renews call for law banning police from using chokeholds following Daily News report
NY Daily News, August 13, 2018

A city councilman renewed his call Monday for a law banning cops from using chokeholds on the heels of a Daily News exclusive about a detective who appeared to use the prohibited technique to subdue a man in Inwood.

Rory Lancman (D-Queens) first proposed the measure in 2014 after the chokehold death of Eric Garner on Staten Island. But Mayor de Blasio signaled he would veto the bill, effectively blocking it.

Lancman brought the bill forward again in the current legislative session, and it’s now in committee.

“In light of what we all saw on the front page of the Daily News, it’s clear we need the bill now more than ever,” Lancman said. “We need the mayor to see that four years later chokeholds are still happening and we need to pass this bill before another tragedy occurs.”

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LANCMAN OP-ED: We need a new marijuana enforcement policy in Queens
Times Ledger, August 3, 2018

The time has come for Queens to follow the lead of Manhattan and Brooklyn and stop prosecuting low-level marijuana possession and smoking cases, once and for all. It’s not fair, it’s not right, and it’s not worth it.

I called for prosecutors to decline these cases in May for three simple reasons: marijuana enforcement in New York City is discriminatory; running people through the criminal justice system for smoking or possessing small amounts of marijuana is completely disproportionate to any possible harm caused to the public; and our law enforcement resources can be better spent combating real crime.

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City Council boosts funds to help sex trafficking survivors get back on their feet
NY Post, August 2, 2018

“I saw a stream of women who were desperate and unable to get out of this horrible life that circumstances and fate conspired to put them in, and with even modest assistance, they could break free and they could lead productive normal lives,” said Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens), who first began allocating money to the program back in 2015.

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NYPD will publish fare evasion data, de Blasio says, defending prolonged noncompliance
amNY, August 2, 2018

Queens Councilman Rory Lancman, the bill’s sponsor, said he expects nothing less than full compliance with the law.

“The city needs to comply with the law that the council passed and that the mayor signed,” Lancman said. “I guess we’re going through the stages of loss — the loss of their ability to ignore the law. There was grief and anger at first. And if we’re up to resignation and acceptance, that’s fine. But I’m getting that data.”

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LANCMAN OP-ED: Supervised Release Is Answer For ‘Fairer and Sensible’ Justice System
Queens Daily Eagle, August 1, 2018

If New York City is truly committed to making our justice system fairer and sensible for taxpayers, then expanding supervised release must be our way forward.

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New York City Fare-Beaters Get a Slide in the Subway
Wall Street Journal, August 1, 2018

Criminal-justice advocates and some prosecutors, however, have argued that arresting fare evaders was unfair to the poor and could lead to deportation.

“New York City should not be arresting or prosecuting anyone for fare evasion,” said City Councilman Rory I. Lancman.

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Turnstile jumpers with open summonses will no longer be arrested, NYPD says
amNY, August 1, 2018

Queens Councilman Rory Lancman, who sponsored that legislation, says the move doesn’t go far enough.

“New York City should not be arresting or prosecuting anyone for fare evasion,” Lancman said in a statement. “The Police Department’s new policy is a positive development since it will keep more New Yorkers out of the criminal justice system, but the Mayor should stop criminalizing the poor entirely and direct the NYPD to issue civil summonses only for fare evasion.”

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NYPD refuses to release required data on turnstile jumping enforcement
amNY, July 30, 2018

“I think they’re afraid of the same result which followed the release of data on where and how the police department polices marijuana possession,” said Queens Councilman Rory Lancman, who sponsored the legislation.

“The extraordinary racial disparity in marijuana possession is similar to that in fare evasion. “And I think once those numbers are fully revealed and analyzed there will be the same groundswell to completely overhaul the city’s fare evasion policing strategy and I think the police department dreads that,” he continued.

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LANCMAN OP-ED: I’ll protect all women’s right to choose abortion
Queens Chronicle, July 29, 2018

It is deeply concerning that the court in this case would disregard the testimony of the patients, escorts, staff, while seemingly bending over backwards to accept the testimony of the anti-choice harassers, especially in light of video testimony that showed what they were doing. These protestors deliberately created an entire atmosphere of intimidation and harassment that is anything but benign. These protests are not about persuasion; rather, those involved show up to shame and physically block women from accessing services that the constitution says they have a right to.

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Federal judge says anti-abortion protesters did not harass patients at Jamaica clinic
Times Ledger, July 26, 2018

“The court’s ruling is another blow to Roe vs. Wade, effectively limiting abortion rights to women willing to run a gauntlet of harassment, intimidation, obstruction, and humiliation,” said Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest), chairman of the Committee on the Justice System.

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Anti-Abortion Protesters at Queens Clinic Did Not Harass Patients, Judge Rules
New York Times, July 23, 2018

“We are all worried about Roe v. Wade being overturned, but the effect of this decision will whittle away at abortion rights,” said Rory I. Lancman, a Queens councilman who is the chairman of the Council’s committee on the justice system. The Choices Women’s Medical Center sits just outside his district. “What’s the value of having abortion rights if you can’t get to the clinic without being harassed or humiliated?”

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A Step Towards Supervised Release At Rikers Island
Queens Tribune, July 19, 2018

“Way too many people are sitting on Rikers Island because they can’t afford to buy their freedom, whether it’s $5 or $5,000,” said Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest), who is the chairman of the Committee on the Justice System.

Lancman said that when a person is granted bail, it is the court’s manner of saying that “you are free to walk the streets, if you can afford it.”

According to Lancman, the program would be good for reducing the population on Rikers Island, and would benefit taxpayers.

“This will prevent people from sitting on Rikers Island and wasting taxpayer money because they can’t come up with bail money,” said Lancman. “They will still be prosecuted for their crimes, and if they do not show up to their court proceedings, they will be issued a warrant and their supervised release will be canceled.”

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Despite winning demand, workers in the Bronx still do not recover salaries
El Diario, July 19, 2018

This was announced by the chairman of the Council’s Justice Committee, Rory Lancman, who explained that the initiative will include $ 2 million granted by the Mayor’s Office and $ 500,000 by the Council, for civil legal services to workers, through organizations that offer legal services. that represent employees in cases of wage theft.

“Wage theft and safety violations in the workplace are rampant in New York City, especially in low-wage industries,” the lawmaker said. “There was a clear need for additional legal services for workers who are being robbed of their hard-earned money. This initiative is a great step to ensure that low-wage workers have access to lawyers and can recover what they are legitimately owed.”

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LANCMAN OP-ED: Human Trafficking Courts are making a huge difference in New York
Times Ledger, July 6, 2018

As human trafficking continues to upend lives across our city, it is my hope that the city will continue to provide additional funding to support these courts in the years to come. Our justice system can be the driving force for good.

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De Blasio ‘Jails to Jobs’ Program Launches
Gotham Gazette, July 6, 2018

No organization told Gotham Gazette of having to turn away an individual for lack of space in an employment program; if anything, most are eager to grow. But, in the words of City Council Member Rory Lancman, who chairs the Committee on the Justice System, without a figure from the city, it is nearly impossible to assure that “every person serving a city sentence would have access to this job training, job placement program…it’s incumbent on the city to explain how it’s going to meet its commitment of serving every person serving a city sentence.”

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NYC Legal Aid Society Says City Should Provide More Funding for Pay Raises
NY Law Journal, June 29, 2018

City Councilman Rory Lancman, who chairs the council’s Justice System Committee, said in a written statement that he plans to hold a hearing on fair pay for practitioners across the criminal justice system this fall. “Our justice system depends on talented and experienced public defenders to advocate on behalf of indigent New Yorkers,” Lancman said. “We are grateful for the extraordinary work public defenders do every day, and as such, it is critical that they are compensated fairly, and in line with what the city pays its own employees.”

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Guv, Mayor Address Marijuana Laws
Queens Tribune, June 22, 2018

Not everyone was happy with the mayor’s announcement. Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) said that the mayor’s move doesn’t go far enough as it still leaves room for discrimination in some communities.

“The mayor’s new marijuana enforcement policy is a marginal improvement, but a real missed opportunity to fundamentally change how the city polices marijuana possession and smoking,” Lancman said. “No one should be arrested for smoking marijuana, period.”

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Mayor announces new marijuana enforcement policy will begin in September
Times Ledger, June 22, 2018

City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest), chairman of the Committee on the Justice System, was not impressed.

“The mayor’s new marijuana enforcement policy is a marginal improvement, but a real missed opportunity to fundamentally change how the city polices marijuana possession and smoking,” Lancman said. “No one should be arrested for smoking marijuana, period. Further, the mayor’s policy does not attempt to reduce criminal summonses at all, still allows arrests in certain circumstances that cannot be justified by public safety, will likely make marijuana policing even more discriminatory toward people of color, continues to expose noncitizens to deportation, and takes no steps to eliminate the collateral consequences which are in the city’s control.”

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New NYPD regs for low-level marijuana
Queens Chronicle, June 22, 2018

Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows), chairman of the Committee on the Justice System, was somewhat less impressed in a statement of his own. “The Mayor’s new marijuana enforcement policy is a marginal improvement, but a real missed opportunity to fundamentally change how the City polices marijuana possession and smoking,” Lancman said.

“No one should be arrested for smoking marijuana, period,” he added.

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Narcotics prosecutor says legal fake fentanyl is responsible for nearly 50 OD deaths in Brooklyn and Staten Island
NY Daily News, June 21, 2018

City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens) said Thursday’s hearing was called “to ensure that we are prosecuting the right people in the right way, that we are not overprosecuting, that we are focusing on the big shots and the ones who are leading the organizations and the operations that are spreading opioids in our city.”

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NYC pot policy: NYPD to issue summonses instead of arresting smokers
amNY, June 20, 2018

Some critics, however, said there shouldn’t be arrests for pot use at all.

“No one should be arrested for smoking marijuana, period,” Queens Councilman Rory Lancman said in a statement. “The mayor’s policy does not attempt to reduce criminal summonses at all, still allows arrests in circumstances that cannot be justified by public safety, will likely make marijuana policing even more discriminatory toward people of color, continues to expose noncitizens to deportation, and takes no steps to eliminate the collateral consequences which are in the city’s control.”

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Advocates: De Blasio marijuana plan won’t end racial disparities
City & State, June 20, 2018

One city lawmaker said the policy will likely further contribute to racial disparities in those arrested for smoking marijuana. In a statement, Councilman Rory Lancman, who chairs the Committee on the Justice System, called the policy a “marginal improvement” and said it “does not attempt to reduce criminal summonses at all, still allows arrests in circumstances that cannot be justified by public safety, will likely make marijuana policing even more discriminatory toward people of color, continues to expose noncitizens to deportation, and takes no steps to eliminate the collateral consequences which are in the city’s control.” Lancman added that district attorneys should use their power to choose not to prosecute further low-level marijuana arrests.

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Cheers and Skepticism Greet NYPD’s New Marijuana Enforcement Policy
WNYC, June 20, 2018

City Councilman Rory Lancman, who chairs the Committee on Justice, predicts those exceptions could have significant effects. “Given the discriminatory and disproportional nature of our criminal justice system, you’re going to more likely pull in more black and Latino people,” he said, because whites don’t have as many prior arrests. “It’s just math.”

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De Blasio plans summonses instead of arrests for marijuana smoking — with exceptions: sources
NY Daily News, June 19, 2018

Some elected officials and advocates are already underwhelmed by the news — particularly with it being rolled out a day after the state Health Department said it would recommend legalizing marijuana.

“I think that the train has left the station and the mayor needs to get on it. It is very clear that the state is moving toward legalization,” said City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens).

He argued the racial disparity could actually increase under the proposal due to the broad exemptions, and that immigrants could be at particular risk.

“It perpetuates all the inequalities that already exist in the criminal justice system,” Lancman said.

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NYC Sets Aside Funds to Support Legal Services in Wage-Theft Cases
NY Law Journal, June 19, 2018

The New York City Council has set aside $2.5 million to support legal service providers in the city representing workers who say they have fallen victim to wage theft, which by some estimates results in $1 billion in lost wages each year.

The city will use the funds, included in the city’s budget for its 2018-19 fiscal year, to support legal service providers like the Legal Aid Society in representing workers who were paid below minimum wage or cheated on overtime—disputes that might get passed up by private law firms, especially in cases involving low-income litigants, said City Councilman Rory Lancman, who chairs the council’s Courts and Legal Services Committee.

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Marijuana policies under the spotlight
Queens Chronicle, June 15, 2018

Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) believes “too much of the policing policy and the criminal justice policy falls on the backs of black and brown people and it does so intentionally.

“Police won’t police what prosecutors won’t prosecute,” he said, pointing out that the Manhattan and Brooklyn district attorneys have announced they will longer prosecute the vast majority of marijuana cases that are brought to them.

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LANCMAN OP-ED: How should prosecutors fight the opioid crisis?
Queens Chronicle, June 14, 2018

New York City, like so many other areas around the country, is in the midst of a harrowing opioid epidemic that has devastated communities and torn families apart. This is a crisis that knows no bounds. In 2016, there were more than 1,000 overdose deaths in New York City that were attributed to opioids, including heroin and fentanyl. Here in Queens, last year there were more overdose deaths than murders.

These alarming statistics raise the question: What role should our criminal justice system play in combating the opioid epidemic? Experts overwhelmingly agree that addiction is a disease and should be treated as a health issue. However, opioid possession is usually treated as a felony, which can result in long prison sentences for users and dealers alike, and leave those struggling with opioid abuse with limited access to treatment.

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NYC DAs to Get Combined $15M Funding Boost From City Budget
NY Law Journal, June 14, 2018

Lancman said increasing pay for prosecutors could help the DA’s offices better implement a “vertical prosecution” model in which the same prosecutor can stay with a case from arraignment to adjudication.

“You can’t have a well-functioning criminal justice system when the front-line prosecutors are doing three years and out,” he said. The budget also allocates $2.5 million for the offices to hire additional staff to review body cam footage.

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Top detective defends NYPD’s database of suspected gang members
NY Post, June 13, 2018

Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens) repeatedly quizzed NYPD brass about when they share the information with prosecutors and what, if any, rules the department has to guide the process.

“There is a difference in the criminal justice system for someone who is identified as a gang member, this is not without consequence. Do you acknowledge that?” Lancman pressed, pointing out that suspected gang members may face enhanced charges or higher bails.

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Queens lawmaker slams the city’s new online bail system
New York Daily News, June 10, 2018

“Why create an online bail system that’s so difficult to navigate and so restrictive that few people can actually use it? said Lancman, who heads the Committee on the Justice System.

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ADAMS, LANCMAN, MILLER AND RICHARDS OP-ED: Marijuana reform is necessary in Queens
Times Ledger, June 5, 2018

Marijuana enforcement has become the new stop, question, and frisk. These policies serve no public safety purpose, yet provide law enforcement with the opportunity to search and arrest individuals of color.

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4 Years After Eric Garner’s Death, Secrecy Law on Police Discipline Remains Unchanged
New York Times, June 3, 2018

Councilman Lancman said in an interview that the shifting position on whether it could comply with the disclosure law showed that the Police Department has “no coherent policy for how 50-a should be interpreted and applied.”

“It really amounts to a game of three-card Monti,” he said.

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DA Brown sticking to fare evasion policy
Queens Chronicle, May 31, 2018

After a March 19 bond hearing was canceled in his case, he sued the federal government. A judge ruled in his favor, arguing the burden of proof was on the authorities to show the Haitian immigrant is too dangerous to be released or would be a flight risk.

“We cannot claim to be ‘the fairest big city in America’ when the Mayor’s fare evasion policy recklessly criminalizes the poor and puts immigrant New Yorkers in ICE’s crosshairs,” Lancman said in a prepared statement.

The councilman is the chairman of the Committee on Criminal Justice. His stance, one many advocates share, is that fare-beating should be treated only as a civil, rather than criminal, offense.

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Lancman introduces new bill for ATMs in courthouses
Times Ledger, May 29, 2018

Lancman introduced the legislation for ATMs at a Council hearing May 9 to reform the process of bail payment which would reduce the population in jail, long lines and wait times for family members to pay.

“It is mind-boggling that the de Blasio administration could not do something as simple as install ATMs in every criminal courthouse,” said Lancman, chair of the Committee on the Justice System. “At a time when we are doing everything we can to reduce unnecessary incarceration, their incompetence made it more difficult for New Yorkers to pay bail in a timely manner. My bill will ensure that the city follows through on its promises.”

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Queens pol wants to force Correction Dept. to inform inmates when bail is only $1
NY Daily News, May 23, 2018

A Queens lawmaker wants to force the city Correction Department to notify detainees when they are being held on a mere $1 bail.

City Councilman Rory Lancman, who heads the Committee on the Justice System, plans to introduce a bill Wednesday to amend the city administrative code to require a notification system. “I don’t believe someone should be held on $500 bail, let alone $1,” he said.

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Amid new calls to legalize, decriminalize pot, NYPD to study enforcement
ABC, May 15, 2018

The City Council’s Justice Committee is also calling for action from the five city district attorneys. “To exercise their discretion, their authority to not prosecute marijuana possession cases,” chair Rory Lancman said.

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New York City to Overhaul Marijuana Arrest Policy to Fight Racial Disparities
Observer, May 15, 2018

At a City Council hearing on Monday, Queens Councilman Rory Lancman, chairman of the Committee on Justice Systems, asked the city’s five district attorneys to decline to prosecute individuals who are arrested for low-level marijuana possession for misdemeanors. On Tuesday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced that his office will no longer prosecute the majority of low-level offenses.

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City Council member asks DAs to drop low-level misdemeanor marijuana cases
NY Daily News, May 14, 2018

The head of the City Council’s justice committee is asking the city’s five district attorneys to refuse to prosecute people arrested for low-level pot possession for misdemeanors. Councilman Rory Lancman said he’s appealing to the DAs because of a massive racial gap in people busted by the NYPD for pot use.

Lancman (D-Queens) says DAs should automatically knock down the charges for people arrested for public pot smoking from misdemeanors to violations. For people slapped with summonses for possessing less than 25 grams of pot but not smoking it in public view, he says prosecutors should throw out the charges altogether.

“The city has proven itself completely unwilling and unable to end discriminatory marijuana possession policing,” Lancman said. “Prosecutors…need to step in here because the situation is becoming intolerable.”

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Two District Attorneys May Stop Prosecuting Most Marijuana Offenses
New York Times, May 14, 2018

Rory Lancman, Democrat of Queens, pointed to the 105th Precinct, which covers Queens Village. The Times showed the marijuana arrest rate there is more than 10 times as high as in the precinct that serves Forest Hills, Queens, despite both getting marijuana complaints at the same rate. The 105th Precinct is just over half black, while the one covering Forest Hills has few black residents.

“If that’s not setting off alarm bells, then someone’s not paying attention,” Mr. Lancman said. He added in an email, “They’re chasing a rationale for the very simple but uncomfortable reality that our criminal justice system unfairly impacts people of color, and they haven’t done anything to fix it.”

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Surest Way to Face Marijuana Charges in New York: Be Black or Hispanic
New York Times, May 13, 2018

Rory Lancman, a councilman from Queens who pressed police officials for the marijuana data at the February hearing, said with the police still arresting thousands of people for smoking amid a widespread push for reform, the police “blame it on the communities themselves because they’re the ones calling on us.”

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City Councilman demands NYPD reveal precinct-level use of force data, rips police department for violating law

NY Daily News, May 10, 2018

Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens), who sponsored the use-of-force law, blasted the department’s refusal to comply. Law stops NYPD from making cops’ disciplinary histories public “That’s nonsense,” he said. “You have the city’s primary law enforcement agency violating the law that the mayor signed, with impunity and complete disdain for logic and reason.” Lancman said “no reasonable interpretation” of the law would support the NYPD’s position.

“It’s as if the mayor has completely abdicated any responsibility for criminal justice in this city, and he’s just letting the NYPD run hog wild over the law and the public’s right to the most basic information,” he said.

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Judge urged to curb ICE arrests at New York State courts

NY Daily News, May 9, 2018

“We won’t have a system of justice if people are afraid to come and be a part of that system,” said Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens).

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Cash Is Still Hard to Find in New York City Courthouses
New York Times, May 2, 2018

Mr. Lancman is drafting legislation that will require the city to work with the Office of Court Administration to install A.T.M.s near arraignment courts or bail payment windows at every criminal courthouse. The A.T.M.s will include signage and a number to call for repairs. “At some point the city has to rethink how it executes the criminal justice reform policies they send press releases about,” Mr. Lancman said.

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Is New York City ready to implement Raise the Age?
NYN Media, April 26, 2018

Kaplan pointed out that use of the facility was one of a number of items, spelled out in a recent letter, that the city was waiting to hear back from the state about. Lancman was aware of the letter. “The letter set off alarm bells. Because it seemed to be establishing a rationale for blaming the state for not being ready,” Lancman said. “(Too) often this administration is blaming the state, the government, Mike Bloomberg, for things that, at least I believe, the city should be doing itself.”

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Fax machine mishap kept detainees stuck at Rikers Island
NY Daily News, April 26, 2018

City Councilman Rory Lancman, who heads the Committee on the Justice System, has slammed the repeated delays. “If there’s a better example of the criminal justice system being screwed up in New York City, I struggle to think of it,” he said. “A guy is sitting in jail because the department’s fax machines don’t work.”

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Council members urge de Blasio to fund lawyers for low-wage workers fighting abuse
NY Daily News, April 24, 2018

City Council members are asking Mayor de Blasio to spend $5 million to hire lawyers for low-wage workers fighting abuses on the job.

In a letter to de Blasio, legal services committee chairman Rory Lancman and 15 other pols pushed for the funding in the upcoming executive budget.

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Harry Siegel Column: What the NYPD Wants Us To See
NY Daily News, April 21, 2018

Finally, there’s the breakdown of “good faith” Rory Lancman described in his letter to Commissioner James O’Neill on Wednesday after the NYPD blew by its deadline under a new law written by the councilman to post a full list of fare-beating arrests and summonses broken down by station, race, age and gender.

Lancman is using that fight as a proxy for an even bigger one, about how proactive we want policing — and particularly policing of young black men — to be in New York.

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LANCMAN OP-ED: City Should Combat Wage Theft
Queens Tribune, April 20, 2018

For thousands of New York City workers, a hard day’s work does not always result in a fair day’s pay. The reason: wage theft.

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NYPD turnstile arrest data must be released to the public, councilman says
amNY, April 19, 2018

Councilman Rory Lancman criticized the NYPD on Thursday for not releasing detailed arrest data for fare evasion, broken down by subway station and demographics, adding that he’s considering filing a lawsuit to force the statistics’ release.

Lancman, chairman of the City Council’s Committee on the Justice System, said the NYPD is required to release the data to the public as part of Local Law 47, passed in December.

“If the NYPD does not comply in short order, we . . . are contemplating filing a lawsuit to compel the NYPD to comply with the law. That’s how you get people to obey the law, you file a lawsuit,” Lancman said. “They will not be allowed to ignore the law, so help me God.”

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Councilman Rory Lancman blasts NYPD on failure to produce fare-beating arrest reports
New York Daily News, April 19, 2018

The law is the law, police will tell you, and we’re the law enforcers not the lawmakers. You don’t like it, change it. That tune changes when the law does, and the police don’t like that change. Then, they start sounding like lawyers.

Take Local Law 47 of 2018, which took effect on Jan. 11 and requires the NYPD to produce public reports on fare-beating arrests and summonses broken down by station and race, age and sex four times a year, starting Jan. 30.

Seventy-nine days and no such report later, the bill’s author, City Councilman Rory Lancman, has come out blazing with a letter to Police Commissioner James O’Neill accusing the NYPD of, well, breaking the law.

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City, state, advocates trade accusations over ‘Raise the Age’
Politico, April 18, 2018

At a City Council oversight hearing Wednesday on the city’s efforts to implement the law, Council Member Rory Lancman, chair of the justice committee, criticized the city’s efforts and seemed to take the state’s side, saying the administration’s letter was blaming the governor’s office for what sounded to him like the city’s own unpreparedness for implementing Raise the Age.

“The timing of the letter and the substance of the letter suggest that the city might be more interested in setting up a scapegoat or an excuse for its failure to be ready [rather than] being ready,” Lancman said.

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Cuomo administration undermines plan to move teenagers off Rikers, city says
New York Daily News, April 17, 2018

On Tuesday, City Councilman Rory Lancman, who heads the Committee on the Justice System, said it appears like the de Blasio administration is looking to blame the state for expected delays.

“It sounds like the mayor is setting up a scenario to blame the state for the city’s failure to properly implement Raise the Age,” he said, noting the letter was sent a day before a scheduled hearing on the progress of the plan.

“Raise the Age has been one of the holy grails of criminal justice reform for a number of years,” he added. “And now that we have this opportunity the city should be all hands on deck to make it happen.”