11:31 am Jun. 1, 2012
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said he could lower the recidivism rate to "single digits" if the city would fund an expansion of programs aimed at rehabilitating recently released inmates.
"It makes no sense not to expand these ATI [Alternative to Incarceration] programs," Hynes said at a press conference outside City Hall yesterday. Hynes said if he could expand his program, from 1,000 participants to 2,000, "you would see a significant reduction" in crime and "an increase in public safety."
One program Hynes said had support from the police and courts but not the mayor's office would allow police officers, instead of judges, to issue Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismisals (ACDs) to first-time marijuana-possession offenders.
"The cops are on board because it would save on overtime," he said. "The courts are on board because it's efficient. It's ready as a pilot project, but it's in the black hole called the Criminal Justice Coordinator's office, and it may never emerge."
Hynes' comments come weeks before the city budget is set to be finalized, and amid a vigorous debate between the Bloomberg administration and the Democratic mayoral candidates looking to replace him next year about whether there would be an increase in crime if the number of stop-and-frisks conducted by the NYPD were reduced.
"I don't know what the data is to connect it," Hynes said, declining to take a side.