In 2021, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) engaged the assistance of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (JohnJayREC) to support several research and data analytic projects associated with the City’s efforts to improve public safety and the effectiveness of the justice system. John Jay College’s involvement in the NYC Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative was coordinated by the College’s Office for the Advancement of Research and supported by $1.6M provided to the City University of New York (CUNY) and managed by the Research Foundation of CUNY (RF-CUNY), fiscal agent for all research projects housed at CUNY campuses.

City officials asked JohnJayREC staff to collaborate with NORC at the University of Chicago and researchers in other CUNY offices to conduct three distinct research projects:

Project 1: Assessment of Disparities in Justice Processing

Assess racial and ethnic disparities in the use and impact of justice and law enforcement tools in New York City, including police warnings, summonses, arrests, desk appearance tickets, District Attorney charging practices, and returns to jail and prison. Examine the presence and extent of demographically related differences in legal handling controlling for the severity of each instant offense and the prior records of individuals.

Project 2: Citizen-Police Contacts on Public Transportation and Their Subsequent Effects

Review policies and City agency practices governing access to public transportation for low-income New Yorkers and the frequency and consequences of police actions affecting riders and their subsequent contacts with the criminal justice system. Analyze geographic patterns of transit use and criminal justice contacts using qualitative and quantitative components. Consider the role of City legal codes as a predictor of changes in key outcomes, including the number and type of criminal justice system contacts and the spatial distribution of criminal justice contacts.

Project 3: Collateral Consequences of Justice Processing for Violations of Drug Laws

An array of collateral consequences may follow contacts with law enforcement and justice processing for drug-related offenses. Examine patterns of arrest, convictions, and sentencing for violations of controlled substance laws and consider their association with later and sometimes life-long effects on individual social and economic well-being. Analyze differential recidivism risks using individual criminal career trajectories and identity clusters of trajectories to define: 1) the possible paths of repeated justice system contacts after a drug law violation, conditional on prior contacts, compared with expected trajectories for those with system contacts but no drug violations and 2) the spatial distribution of repeat system contacts for drug law violators to test whether repeated contacts are concentrated in communities of color and neighborhoods characterized by social and economic disadvantage.

Funding
$1.4 Million over 24 months.

JohnJayREC Staff
Jeffrey Butts (PI), Rebecca Balletto, Patricia Cobar, Sheyla Delgado, Richard Espinobarros, Gina Moreno, Rhoda Ramdeen, and Kathleen Tomberg with John Roman (NORC) and Kevin Wolff (affiliated CUNY faculty).