Youth Truth

The Story

Mayor de Blasio recently announced a plan to expand eligibility for a supervised pretrial-release program for youth criminals. The Youth Engagement Track, as the program is known, looks to exempt kids in trouble with the law from having to post bail or go to jail while their cases are pending. The program has been restricted to minors involved in nonviolent crimes, but that would change under the new arrangement. The mayor’s proposal is likely part of his plan to reduce the jailed population in order to shutter Rikers Island—but in doing so, he is putting public safety at risk.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Violent: The city has already acknowledged that the Rikers population consists mostly of hard-core, violent offenders. Read more.

  2. Risk: Youths aged 16-19 who commit crimes such as first- and second-degree robbery, assault, and burglary are not a “low-risk” population. Read more.

  3. Welcome back: Three-quarters of Rikers inmates are repeat visitors. Read more.

“The challenges of running jails exceed anything that the academic world—and most of us—can begin to understand.”

Heather Mac Donald, Manhattan Institute senior fellow

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Why the Jails Didn’t Explode By Frank Straub Paul E. O’Connell (Spring 1999)

“How inspired management brought New York City’s jails back from the brink of anarchy to order and safety.”

And in other news...

“The state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority has a new acronym: OMNY. Friday, the MTA introduced its “One Metro New York” fare technology on much of the 4-5-6 line and Staten Island buses.”