Criminal Justice Reform Act Evaluation

The Misdemeanor Justice Project, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, is conducting an evaluation of New York City’s Criminal Justice Reform Act (CJRA). The CJRA is a set of legislative and policy changes which create the presumption, absent certain aggravating factors, that some lower-level offenses (i.e., public drinking, public urination, littering, and noise and park violations) will result in a civil rather than a criminal summons. The CJRA is expected to reduce the number of open warrants for arrest (due to non-appearance or non-payment) and to reduce the financial penalties and collateral consequences (i.e. immigration, housing, and employment) resulting from summonses for these offenses.

The Misdemeanor Justice Project is conducting quantitative analyses of summons data from the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) and the Office of Court Administration to examine how the issuance and disposition of summonses vary pre- and post-CJRA implementation, including by charge, precinct, and demographic group. The evaluation also includes a qualitative analysis conducted by Dr. Carla Barrett, which examines the implementation of CJRA at the OATH civil court sites, including perceptions of the ease of use and procedural justice of the new adjudication process among system users.