Audit Finds New York City Bail System Costly And Discriminatory

Kalief Browder hanged himself inside his Bronx home days before he was due in court to face new charges. (ABC NEWS)

Kalief Browder, who killed himself after spending three years in solitary confinement on charges of stealing a backpack. (ABC NEWS)

Nearly two years after the suicide of a former Rikers inmate highlighted a punitive bail system, an audit released Thursday shows that it costs New York City $116 million a year to lock up mostly young black men awaiting trial for misdemeanors.

Next week would have been the 24th birthday of Kalief Browder, who killed himself after spending three years in solitary confinement on charges of stealing a backpack. Always maintaining his innocence, Browder was 16 at the start of his ordeal. He never went to trial.

The 22-year-old hanged himself on June 6, 2015, two years after his release, igniting a groundswell of protest and a six-episode documentary TV miniseries.

A month after Browder killed himself, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio invoked the tragedy in announcing a wide-ranging reform of the city’s bail system.

On Thursday, the city’s Independent Budget Office revealed how expensive, discriminatory and unjust the system remained as of last year.

“On an average day 2,627, or 34 percent, of the pretrial detainees were being held because they were remanded,” the office director Ronnie Lowenstein wrote in a 4-page letter. “The annual cost of detaining this population is approximately $78 million.”

The audit shows how many pretrial detainees fit Browder’s demographic profile: 52 percent were black, and 32 percent from 25 to 34 years old.

Another 22 percent were 18 to 24 years old, and 3 percent were 16 or 17.

“The most common type of charge, accounting for nearly 14 percent of the pretrial detainee population, was ‘Other Misdemeanors,’” the audit found. “The category ‘Other Misdemeanors’ encompasses various misdemeanor charges such as resisting arrest, criminal trespassing, criminal mischief, and possession of stolen property.”

Council Member Rory Lancman, a Democrat from Queens who chairs the Committee on Courts & Legal Services, and requested the audit, found that its conclusions are clear.

“Today’s IBO report confirms that the vast majority of people on Rikers Island are there because they cannot afford bail, are overwhelmingly black and brown, and many are there for nonviolent, low-level offenses — all at enormous expense to taxpayers,” he said in a statement. “It reaffirms the urgent need for Mayor de Blasio to put in place a real plan to close Rikers Island.”

De Blasio signed off this year on a plan to close Rikers Island over the next 10 years.

City Hall did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.

Watch The Kalief Browder Story Trailer:

© Courthouse News Service


The post Audit Finds New York City Bail System Costly And Discriminatory appeared first on MintPress News.


Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
Need To Know News 37
FEE 358
Marine Le Pen 92
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 50
HAX on 5July 121
Henrik Alexandersson 175
Mohamed Omar 42
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 32
Angry Foreigner 12
Fritte Fritzson 11
Teologiska rummet 25
Filosofiska rummet 27
Vetenskapsradion Historia 32
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 117
Les Crises 307
Richard Falk 23
Ian Sinclair 23
SpinWatch 16
Counter Currents 1047
Kafila 141
Gail Malone 20
Transnational Foundation 114
Rick Falkvinge 43
The Duran 1944
Vanessa Beeley 56
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 1415
Paul Craig Roberts 357
News Junkie Post 32
Nomi Prins 13
Kurt Nimmo 156
Strategic Culture 981
Sir Ken Robinson 11
Stephan Kinsella 23
Liberty Blitzkrieg 544
Sami Bedouin 58
Consortium News 1225
21 Century Wire 1709
Burning Blogger 194
Stephen Gowans 36
David D. Friedman 91
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1127
Tom Dispatch 216
Levant Report 17
The Saker 1848
The Barnes Review 271
John Friend 245
Psyche Truth 137
Jonathan Cook 109
New Eastern Outlook 1853
School Sucks Project 1030
Giza Death Star 846
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 482
GMWatch 996
Robert Faurisson 87
Espionage History Archive 33
Jay's Analysis 423
Le 4ème singe 60
Jacob Cohen 129
Agora Vox 4148
Cercle Des Volontaires 301
Panamza 838
Fairewinds 91
Project Censored 460
Spy Culture 198
Conspiracy Archive 42
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 241
PINAC 1265
The Conscious Resistance 358
Independent Science News 48
The Anti Media 3012
Positive News 543
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 47
Lionel 224
The Mind renewed 174
Natural Society 2215
Yanis Varoufakis 495
Tragedy & Hope 101
Dr. Tim Ball 49
Web of Debt 102
Porkins Policy Review 210
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 471
Libyan War Truth 232
DeadLine Live 1826
Kevin Ryan 54
Aaron Franz 144
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 101
Dr. Bruce Levine 87
Peter B Collins 944
Faux Capitalism 197
Dissident Voice 7127
Climate Audit 188
Donna Laframboise 232
Judith Curry 928
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 1284
Newsbud 1984
Syria Report 70
Human Rights Investigation 81
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 7117
Laura Wells Solutions 15
Video Rebel's Blog 383
Revisionist Review 438
Aletho News 13130
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 1994
Northerntruthseeker 1500
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4300 Blog 1979 Original Content 4583
Corbett Report 1636
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 924
Webster Tarpley Website 579

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public