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PR- 271-13
August 8, 2013


Report Reveals 33 Percent of “High-Risk” Defendants Not Held at Arraignment In Spite of Higher Recidivism and Failure to Appear

One-Third of Defendants Arrested in 2009 Re-Arrested for a New Crime within 12 Months; Youngest Defendants Have Highest Rate of Recidivism 

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Criminal Justice Coordinator John Feinblatt today released the Summer 2013 Criminal Justice Indicator Report, a review of critical indicators across the New York City criminal justice system. This is the City's second Indicator Report, compiling criminal justice data for use by criminal justice professionals, policy makers and the public. The Criminal Justice Indicator Report provides insight into the functioning of the City's criminal justice system and ways in which it is changing. It is designed to promote public awareness and the use of data-informed decision-making. Among the report's findings is that citywide, 33 percent of "high-risk" defendants are released at arraignment in spite of having nearly three times the failure-to-appear rate of low-risk defendants. The report also shows that a third of defendants arrested in 2009 were arrested for a new crime within a year, with youth ages 16 to 19 having the highest re-arrest rates at 41 percent. A copy of the report is available at

"Reducing recidivism is a major focus of our Administration," said Mayor Bloomberg. "By using data to better understand risks to public safety, we can most effectively target our resources to continue driving down crime while also continuing to reduce our incarceration rate."

"Rigorous analysis is critically important for criminal justice decision-making – and that is why releasing the indicator report is so important," said Criminal Justice Coordinator Feinblatt. "The new Summer Indicator Report demonstrates that a significant percent of high risk defendants are released at arraignment in spite of their high rates of both recidivism and failure to appear in court."

The Summer Indicator Report presents the City's first analysis of recidivism among New York City's criminal defendants. The Criminal Justice Coordinator's Office analyzed the roughly 233,000 defendants who were charged in New York City's criminal courts in 2009, measuring their re-arrest rates in the year after they were arrested and providing comparisons based on age, borough, prior criminal history, severity of arrest charge, detention status at arraignment and risk of flight. Other new data presented in this edition of the Indicator Report includes: the number of felony arraignments; failure-to-appear rates for released defendants; and conviction rates for misdemeanor arrests.

The Summer Indicator Report also provides updates to data first reported in the January Report, including: release rates for high risk felony defendants; court processing times; mental health court and drug treatment court intakes; case dispositions and trials; conviction and incarceration rates; and sentences for chronic offenders and firearm offenders.

Findings presented in the Indicator Report include:

  • Citywide, 33 percent of "high-risk" defendants are released at arraignment with release rates ranging from 23 percent in Manhattan to 47 percent in the Bronx.
  • "High-risk" defendants have nearly three times the failure-to-appear rate of low-risk defendants (22 percent compared to 8 percent) and nearly twice the recidivism rate of low-risk defendants (48 percent compared to 26 percent).
  • Citywide, a third of overall defendants arrested in 2009 were arrested for a new crime within a year and 13 percent were arrested for a felony within a year.
  • The number of defendants arraigned on felony charges dropped 27 percent since 2000, with the most substantial drops in Manhattan (down 41 percent), Staten Island (down 39 percent) and the Bronx (down 33 percent).
  • Re-arrest rates for defendants with prior criminal convictions were nearly double (48 percent) re-arrest rates for defendants with no prior convictions (27 percent).
  • Defendants who were 16 to 19 years old were substantially more likely to be re-arrested than older defendants.
    • Ages 16-19: 41 percent
    • Ages 20-24: 35 percent
    • Ages 25-29: 32 percent
    • Ages 30 and older: 31 percent
  • The City's average arrest-to-arraignment time for January through June was 21.7 hours, a 10 percent drop since 2012. The biggest drop was in Brooklyn, where arrest-to-arraignment times decreased from 26.1 hours to 22 hours, an 18 percent decline.
  • The number of felony cases pending over 180 days in the City's Supreme Courts was down 14 percent compared to last year. The Bronx saw a 21 percent drop in cases pending over 180 days during this period.

The next Indicator Report will be released in December 2013.


Marc La Vorgna/John J. McCarthy   (212) 788-2958


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Read the report (in PDF)