The NYPD is on track to spend $411 million on misdemeanor crimes this year, despite the fact that 90% of the cases will result in no significant jail time.
According to a new report by the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP) the number of misdemeanors arrests is up this year — 156,572 — compared to 155,831 for the same time frame last year. The Daily News reports:
From 2009 through 2013, the city declined to prosecute 9 percent of such cases and another 12 percent were dismissed at arraignment. In another 50 percent of the cases, the charges were dropped to a violation, which is not a crime.
PROP says that misdemeanor arrests are ineffective. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has publicly stated that he would prefer officers to correct a situation if possible, by warning instead of arresting. At the same time, however, he has pushed hard for policies based on Broken Windows policing, a theory that claims if you focus on low level crime, then high level crime will drop as well.
Critics of Broken Windows claim that it reinforces racism and doesn’t actually work at all. A spokesman for PROP says:
“We appreciate Bratton saying and encouraging admonition, but we’re not seeing that. We don’t see that translated to actual changes on the ground.”
(Photo: contort yourself)