Number of Crimes and Crime Rates Rise for the First Time in Eight Years
- The number of crimes in seven categories increased for the first time since 2012, rising 1.5 percent to 341,908 in 2020, according to preliminary data reported to the State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). Motor vehicle thefts increased by the greatest percentage (54.1 percent), followed by murders (45.8 percent), burglaries (16.6 percent) and aggravated assaults (4.4 percent). DCJS recorded decreases in rapes (15.8 percent), robberies (3.2 percent) and larcenies (3.1 percent). Total crimes in the seven categories reported to the State are 107,006 (or 23.8 percent) lower than they were in 2011.
- Crime rates also increased in 2021, rising 2.1 percent to 1,769 crimes per 100,000 people.
Inmate Populations Keep Dropping
- As of March 2021, 46,823 inmates—a decrease of 9,314 (16.6 percent)—were held in 126 State and local correctional facilities, which include:
- 50 State correctional facilities;
- 63 county jail and correctional facilities; and
- 13 New York City correctional facilities.
- Between March 2012 and March 2021, the total inmate population declined by 38,341 (45.0 percent), with the majority of the decline occurring in State correctional facilities, followed by facilities in New York City.
- The number of State prison inmates declined 25.8 percent in SFY 2020-21 from the prior year.
- The number of inmates in county and New York City jail facilities grew by 11 percent, the first increase in nine years. In SFY 2019-20, statutory changes to eliminate cash bail for most misdemeanor and non-violent felony offenses contributed to a 33 percent reduction in local jail populations. These reforms were amended in 2020 to re-authorize bail for a limited number of offenses, likely contributing to the growth in SFY 2020-21.
- Over the last 10 years, the proportion of inmates aged 50 and over in State correctional facilities increased by 60.3 percent.
- From 2009 through 2021, New York has closed all or part of 22 State correctional facilities. The SFY 2021-22 Enacted Budget authorized the closure of an unspecified number of additional State correctional facilities during the year, as determined necessary for the cost-effective and efficient operation of the system, provided the Speaker of the Assembly and the Temporary President of the Senate receive 90 days’ notice of any closure(s).
Raising the Age of Criminal Responsibility to 18
- Adolescent Offender (AO) arrests occurring after full implementation of the State’s Raise the Age law in October 2019 totaled 3,774 for the 12-month period through September 2020, according to preliminary data reported to DCJS by the local law enforcement agency making the arrest. Under the law, cases against AOs (defined as 16- and 17-year olds charged with felony offenses) are no longer processed in adult Criminal Court, but are processed in the Youth Part of Criminal Court (YPCC) or transferred to Family Court or a county probation department. Youth who are 16 and 17 can no longer be held in adult jails or prisons. When confinement is ordered, 16- and 17-year-olds are now housed in specialized youth facilities operated by the State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS).
- Of the AO arrests reported to DCJS, 62 percent occurred in New York City and nearly 80 percent resulted in arraignments in the YPCC. Certain felony arrests, including those where a District Attorney’s Office has declined to prosecute, are not arraigned in YPCC and, as a result, are not included in the total number of arraignments. Over 80 percent of the AO arraignments were transferred to Family Court for adjudication or a county probation department and treated as juvenile delinquents with opportunities for diversion.