At today’s Stated Meeting of the New York City Council, District 22 Council Member Tiffany Cabán introduced the first part of the “Light of Day” package of legislation, consisting of two reporting bills aimed at bringing transparency and accountability to the criminal legal system.

“All too often, we give our institutions of policing and incarceration unquestioning deference, even when they conceal the outcomes of programs they claim are data-driven,” said CM Cabán. “This set of reporting bills will chip away at the wall of secrecy the NYPD and DOC have built around their operations, enabling us to better assess their reported efficacy.”

Bills included in this package:

  1. NYers in Custody Programming Reports [Int 385] with Council Majority Leader Keith Powers

New York City has a commitment to guarantee our neighbors in and returning from Department of Corrections custody the educational programming, mental health services, and other community-based supports necessary to empower them to build lives that reduce their risk of winding up in custody again. Unfortunately, it is hard to develop an accurate assessment of how successfully we are meeting that commitment, because we lack the requisite data from DOC. This bill would help us obtain that information, develop those assessments, and make any changes we need to, in order to keep our neighbors free, healthy, and safe.

  1. NYPD Misconduct Monthly Reports [Int 386] by request of Queens Borough President Donovan Richards

The NYPD receives numerous claims of police misconduct, ranging from misuse of force, to harassment, to offensive language, and beyond, but by and large, that information never reaches the public. We deserve to know more. This bill would require the department to submit a monthly report of these claims, disaggregated by patrol precinct, to the Council and the Mayor, and to post this report on the department’s website. The reports would include any actions the department takes in response to the complaints, including investigations or disciplinary actions.

“The best way to prevent recidivism and promote healthy re-integration for formerly incarcerated individuals is through comprehensive discharge planning and re-entry services,” said Council Member Keith Powers. “This legislation will not only provide transparency and accountability that we are setting up each individual for success after incarceration, but ensure that job placement and mental health services are adequately established for post-release. As the former Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee, I’m proud to join Council Member Cabán on this bill, and commend her work on this important issue.”

“Law enforcement without proper oversight and accountability is not enforcement at all. Publicizing police misconduct complaints and the NYPD’s actions to address them, broken down by precinct, will help ensure our officers are upholding their sacred oaths to protect and serve while improving trust between the NYPD and the communities it serves,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “I urge the City Council to promptly pass this common-sense, data-driven reporting bill and bring a new level of transparency to law enforcement across the five boroughs.”

Cabán indicated that further reporting bills aimed at bringing transparency and accountability to the criminal legal system would be forthcoming and round out the full “Light of Day” legislative package.