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Transcript: Mayor Eric Adams, Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell Highlight Recidivism in the Criminal Justice System

August 3, 2022

Deputy Commissioner Julian Phillips, Public Information, Police Department: Good afternoon, everybody. How are you? Very quiet today, I say. Waiting for all this good information? Okay, Marcia. I got you later. Welcome to the One Police Plaza. We are here and you are all gathered here to hear very important information on issues of public safety that affect all New Yorkers. Joining us, of course, the honorable Mayor of New York Eric Adams, Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, First Deputy Commissioner Edward Caban, Chief of Department Ken Corey, Chief of Patrol Jeff Maddrey, Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael Lipetri, Assistant Commissioner of Legal Matters Oleg Chernyavsky.

Deputy Commissioner Phillips: By the way, before I do anything else, we're staying on topic only. Any other questions that you may have that can be addressed not related to this, after this press conference, we'll have people available for you. No repeat questions, as I've said before, I'll take them if they're creative.

Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell: Good afternoon everyone. In a moment you'll hear from Mayor Adams and then our Chief of Crime Control Strategies Mike Lipetri is going to describe in detail the challenges we are facing in New York City every day. This is about recidivists who cause New Yorkers to suffer needlessly. Every day as hardworking New Yorkers start their day or night of work or school or to simply enjoy what this city has to offer, recidivist criminals are planning or taking the opportunity to commit their next larceny, robbery, burglary or other crime. Their efforts are increasingly aided by the fact that after the NYPD has arrested them, the criminal justice system fails to hold them appropriately accountable for their actions. These offenders face very few, if any, repercussions, despite committing crime after crime and the number of victims continues to go up.

Commissioner Sewell: Your NYPD officers speak to these victims. We support them and proudly go to work for them with every resource we have, but for too many of these victims, justice is elusive. Justice and fairness go hand in hand. Public service has to work together on behalf of all of the people we serve. We are seeing tragedies every day on the streets of this city we love and serve. People are suffering and more and more are unnecessarily becoming victims. Victims of repeat offenders who have shown that their criminal behavior is given no consequences. They see that because they've been through the system before, sometimes dozens and some even more than 100 times and they are allowed out the door, back out onto the streets.

Commissioner Sewell: New York remains the only state that prevents judges from considering the threat to public safety when making custody determinations. That doesn't serve the next innocent victim, it doesn't serve our officers and it doesn't serve quality of life. We can and must do better. We always say that public safety is a shared responsibility. It cannot just be the NYPD. We know how to do this. We are continuing to address the needs of New Yorkers. The NYPD is out there helping people, protecting the public in their homes, in the streets and on the transit system. We need to do this job together with the right tools and with a focus on our victims. Mayor Adams.

Mayor Eric Adams: Thank you, commissioner, and thank you to the team of New York City police officers who are doing the right things for our city. It is crucial that the Police Department and our administration, we have made a clear decision that we are going to give the information to the public and let the public make the decision of the four components of the criminal justice process. Police, judges, prosecutors, lawmakers. They have to operate in unison. Public safety and justice are this administration's top priority as something that I decided to run on, that is something that I am committed to do as the mayor. They are the alpha and omega of our North Star. It moves us in a direction and the four components of public safety must do their job to reach that North Star.

Mayor Adams: Is the Police Department doing its job? Let me change that question mark into an exclamation point. Arrests have increased by 24% for a total of 109,000 arrests by August 1st of this year, as compared to 87,794 arrests made during the same period in 2021. Arrests for seven major felonies are up by approximately 29%. Firearm arrests are at a 27 year high. NYPD has taken over 4,300 illegal guns off our streets by the end of July and the numbers of murders and shootings are down for the year. What's not working are the other three pieces. They say the definition of insanity is to do the same thing repeatedly, but expect different results. Our criminal justice system is insane. It is dangerous. It is harmful and it's destroying the fabric of our city.

Mayor Adams: Time and time again, our police officers making arrests and then the person who is arrested for assault, felonious assault, robberies and gun possessions, they're finding themselves back on the street within days, if not hours after arrest and they go on to commit more crimes within weeks, if not days. We want to be clear here. This is not merely a reform of laws, action and call. Every piece of the criminal justice system must use the tools that are available to them and this is not attacking some of the needed reforms that we had. This is about a small number of people that are taking advantage of the existing laws to endanger our city.

Mayor Adams: Under the current law judges are not allowed to consider whether someone is a threat to public safety when deciding whether or not to hold them in custody. This is a big mistake. New York, as the commissioner stated, is the only state in the union that is not unified on the power of public safety as a prerequisite to how we judge these cases. As a result of this insane, broken system, our recidivism rates have skyrocketed and those who say that the predicted wave of recidivism wouldn't happen and the studies that claim to show that the rate of arrests for violent felonies has not changed since the reforms were passed, have one word for you, wrong. You are wrong.

Mayor Adams: Let's look at the real numbers. In 2022, 25% of the 1,494 people arrested for burglary committed another felony within 60 days. Within 60 days. That's 393 people who did the same. In 2017, however, just 7.7% went on to commit another crime. For grand larceny, in 2022, the 60 day recidivism rate was 16.8%, 310 people, compared with just 6.5% in 2017. For grand larceny auto, the rate is 20%, 125 people in 2022, compared to 10.3% in 2017. Look at that graph. Look at that chart. Burglaries almost tripled. Grand larceny. Look at the numbers. Grand larceny auto. Petty larceny. So from the days of the reforms, to where we are now, these numbers are not lying and it's just a small number of people who are abusing the righteous call for reform.

Mayor Adams: Then when it comes to guns, this year 2,386 people were arrested with a gun. Of those, approximately 1,921 are out on the street. Arrested with a gun, out on the street. Gun arrests in custody, 19.5%. Out of custody, over 80%. Over 80% are out on custody. How do you take a gun law seriously when the overwhelming numbers are back on the streets after carrying a gun?

Mayor Adams: This year, 165 people were arrested with a second gun charge. Of those, 82 are out on the street. Not one gun arrest, but two gun arrests, back out on the street. In comparison in 2019, we arrested 80 people for a gun crime who had an open gun arrest. And in 2021, the number was 259. In 2019, we arrested 20 people for a shooting who had a gun arrest. In 2021, the number was 77. Triple.

Mayor Adams: Between 2020 and 2021, all of New Yorkers arrested and charged with a gun crime — one in four were ultimately rearrested, on at least one occasion following the arrest. The numbers get even worse when it comes to more serious crimes, with repeat offenders, numbers in some categories having doubled or tripled since we put in place the call for a reform.

Mayor Adams: And let's not forget the everyday New Yorkers. Lost in this entire conversation, I keep saying this over and over again, no one is talking about the victims. No one is talking about the victims. All we hear is how do we ensure those who commit crimes get justice? How do we ensure those who are the victims of crime get justice? Can we have that conversation?

Mayor Adams: And unlike other studies, our analysis does not artificially lower the recidivism rate by counting low level one time offenders, or by looking at short windows of time to determine whether an individual reoffends. Our analysis focuses on the drivers of crime and the drivers of violence. Sadly, each crime, as I say over and over again, represents a person. And it's not just about the laws, and I want to be clear on that. It's about every piece of our criminal justice system. 100% of our system needs to be focused on keeping our children safe. The children who have committed most crimes should not be treated as adults. We said that over and over again, but repeated offenders must be identified and removed from harming other children. There's a real increase in the number of young people who are the victims of some of these crimes. This is not about 90% of the offenders who benefited from the reforms. This is about the small number who are using the reform to continue to inflict violence on our city.

Mayor Adams: And what's our plan for them? That's the question. No one is talking about that. No one that's making the laws, no one's that are sitting on the bench, and no one that should be aggressively prosecuting these cases. When it comes to violent repeat offenders or offenders who have multiple serious arrests, we have a situation that is almost unsustainable. This is unsustainable as a city, and that makes us less safe, and also undermines the moral of our communities and the Police Department that is sworn to protect them. And I know about proper policing, because I fought for proper policing, as a police officer and a member of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement. We could have safety and justice. They go together.

Mayor Adams: We are going to recognize the progress of the system that reforms our criminal justice system. But we have to be honest about acknowledging how do we go back and make the necessary alterations? As soon as we mention those alterations, people believe we are attacking the true reform that was needed. And that is not what we're doing. We have a relatively small group of people who are recidivous and they are exploiting these reforms every day. They're making us unsafe. They're taking advantage of a system that does not adequately account for their criminal records. We acknowledge this and we must adjust to this. That's the only way we are going to deal with this crisis.

Mayor Adams: New York is demanding a higher standard for safety and justice, and we are ignoring the calls of New Yorkers. I promise to listen to those calls as we govern this city and as we protect this city, but we cannot do it alone. And that is what we're doing right now. The NYPD is doing their job. They're fulfilling their obligation in the criminal justice system. Every other piece of that system must do their job. That is how we move towards a safer, more productive citizen. These repeated offenders are dangerous to our city, they're dangerous to our recovery, and they're dangerous to the children and families of this city.

Mayor Adams: And we need that message to be clear. This is not a battle against those who saw the need to reform the criminal justice system. This is a battle against those who are exploiting those reforms. Our laser focus are on those repeated. Recidivous, dangerous. And violent people. That is what we are focusing on and we cannot turn our backs on New Yorkers as we pursue them.

Commissioner Sewell: I'll ask Chief Michael LePetri to come up and give some details please.

Chief Michael LiPetri, Crime Control Strategies, Police Department: Good afternoon. So I'd like to build on a little bit what the mayor and the police commissioner talked about when it comes to the drivers of, not only crime in New York City, but the drivers of violence in New York City. And make no mistake about it, we focus on the worst of the worst, and that is the NYPD's precision policing model. And I will explain what the precision policing model's about and how we do it.

Chief LiPetri: In New York City, we've identified 716 individuals, 716 individuals who are responsible for approximately 30% of the shooting incidents since 2021. So I'll say that again. There's approximately 2,400 shooting incidents in New York City since 2021. 716 have been responsible for 30% of those shooting incidents. We know who they are. Each one of those individuals are under investigation, but you know what? Each one of those individuals, 54%, almost 385, today have a felony. That's 0.008% of the New York City population responsible for 30% of the shootings in New York City over the past year and a half.

Chief LiPetri: And it is important to talk about the highest levels of gun arrests in 27 years. But what's even more important is to talk about the quality of gun arrests that the New York City police officer is delivering to the district attorneys and the federal prosecutors throughout New York City. And that is by not mistake. It is with a coordinated effort between those five district attorneys and two federal prosecutors. We are at the lowest levels of declined prosecution when it comes to gun arrests in New York City. That is relentless, precision, evidence based policing doing the most dangerous job in New York City.

Chief LiPetri: When we talk about seven major arrests, as the mayor alluded to, 21 year high. When we look at who we're arresting, we are arresting individuals that have been arrested sometimes 100 times since 2020. 100 times.

Chief LiPetri: We like to talk about credible messengers. When we work with our social service providers, when we work with [inaudible] violence. We're working on that credible messenger to deliver the message to the crew member about stop the violence. Unfortunately, the credible messenger today in New York City is the crew member that was arrested with a gun yesterday that's out today, that's telling that crew, well, look at me. I can carry a gun in New York City and I'm out today talking about it with the individuals or the individuals that continue to account for more than half the shootings in New York City.

Chief LiPetri: I'd like to get into some individuals that have long arrest histories. So we'll talk about recidivist number six. And I just want to let everybody know that every recidivist that I'm going to talk about today, and it's not going to be all of them, they all have extensive bench warrant history. 10, 11, 12, 14 times they were supposed to go back to court. They never returned. And most of the time, a bench warrant isn't even issued.

Chief LiPetri: Recidivist number six has an extensive long arrest history going back two decades to 2002. He has 71 career arrests. He's a commercial burglar who targets commercial locations, and he continues to target the same locations. 57, 5 - 7 arrests, mostly for burglary, since 2020. He's also a convicted predicate felon, as most of these individuals are. Most of them have multiple felony convictions and multiple misdemeanor convictions. You know who he impacts the most? The community of Manhattan and the Bronx, that continue to be victimized by this individual.

Chief LiPetri: I'd like to talk about another individual, this would be recidivist number one. 101 career arrests, 15 convictions. Three for felonies, two of those violent, 10 misdemeanor convictions. 88 arrests since January 1st of 2020. We all know what January 1st, 2020 was. He's considered a chronic petty larceny, grand larceny recidivist. He's hit one location 20 times. The same location 20 times. And again, we're talking about arrests here. We've arrested that individual 100 times. How many crimes do you think you really committed? 200, 300, 1,000? Guess what? There's a victim behind each one of those crimes.

Chief LiPetri: We always talk about grant larceny auto, right? It's a crime that we always talk about. You're not just victimizing the owner of that vehicle. What about the family that's dependent on that vehicle to get to school, to get to work, to go to the store? We forget about that. We don't. The NYPD doesn't. Because we've arrested grand larceny individuals, gave them a desk appearance ticket, they walk out of the precinct station house, and guess what? Two blocks away, they stole another vehicle. These are real life stories. This individual I'm talking about, recidivist number one. I'm going to get to 10, but I'm still on one. He has 14 failures to appear. And guess what? He's walking around the streets of New York City today, probably committing another crime as we speak, and we'll arrest him for it. Recidivist number 10, he's got 63 arrests, including assault on a police officer, as we had another assault on a transit police officer yesterday. Five time convicted felon, five time convicted felon, 13 convictions of misdemeanor. 39 arrests since January of 2000. He is a [inaudible] recidivist. He is a crime wave. And guess what? He's walking around the streets of New York City tonight, probably committing another crime right now and hopefully in handcuffs. So again, these are just some of the highlights that the mayor and the police commissioner were talking about, but we are laser focused on precision and we will continue to relentlessly arrest the individuals that prey on the most vulnerable New Yorkers. Thank you.

Deputy Commissioner Phillips:  All right. We'll take a couple of questions. Jeremy?

Question: Mr. Mayor, question. Have you brought this data to the attention of DA Bragg? What was the response?

Mayor Adams: I had a conversation with an Assembly Member Carl Heastie, who raised his concerns, and I shared the information with him. We're going to turn over this information and more information. I told him I would turn over some information based on our studies. My chief counsel and Deputy Mayor Banks, we meet repeatedly with the district attorneys and show them this data and continue to engage and we're going to turn over this package to them as well. We want people to see exactly what we're talking about.

Mayor Adams: There was just a study, and this is something that many people don't understand. There was a study that was released that says, well, only 2% of individuals are repeated offenders. Yes, but 2% of what numbers? If you have 2% of thousands of people, you're coming down to a substantial number of repeated offenders. You heard the number that Chief LiPetri stated. We're talking about a small handful of New Yorkers that are repeated offenders. And that is what we are continually explaining to the DAs, our prosecutors, our lawmakers, that this is not about destroying the reforms that were put in place. This is about going after those small number of people that are exploiting those reforms and they're dangerous.

Question: Have you spoken to the Governor's Office and what are you asking of the governor?

Mayor Adams: There's specific parts of the legislation we're asking them to modify and we put it in writing and we're going to continue to communicate that to them.

Question: Following up on that, Mr. Mayor, have you put a specific proposal to the governor, to the legislators, to allow the judiciary to interface and have a grounds of dangerousness consideration in setting bail?

Mayor Adams: To answer that question directly, yes. We've had a number of conversations about that, but I think we are making a big mistake as to the public, particularly the way this is being portrayed. I think there are three areas, we're making an error. Number one, that we are attacking reforms that were put in place, much needed reforms. We're not. Some of the reforms that were put in place were something that was needed. We're specifically going after the dangerous repeated offenders, particularly around gun possession and gun violence.

Mayor Adams: Number two, it's not just what happened in Albany. It is what the other parts of the criminal justice systems are doing, the failure to use the tools that are currently available. So that is very important. And lastly, I think, it's crucial that we are trying to distort this conversation, that it is about going after children who commit crimes. That is not what this conversation is about. This conversation is about the small number of dangerous people who are repeated recidivists, who have made up their minds that we could do whatever we want in this city and nothing is going to happen to us.

Question: Governor Hochul today said that judges are the ones that have all the tools that they need in the toolbox right now. They're the ones not doing their job correctly. Do you agree with this?

Mayor Adams: No. I think Governor Hochul and I are aligned on the public safety issues. We have been in total alignment on… Public safety is important. In spite of what people are attempting to say, Lee Zeldin and I are aligned at the hip, we must have a broken hip because he clearly doesn't get it. He has voted against all of the responsible gun laws in Congress. He has voted against that. We are not aligned. I'm aligned with Governor Hochul on this issue. That is who I endorse, that's who I support, and that's who I believe is a real partner. Her belief that the judges have the tools they need. Yes, they have tools that they need. They're not using them. They need to use all of their tools, but they need additional tools in the process as well.

Question: Do you think they should have continuing education then to maybe make some better decisions, getting [inaudible] more people in jail? Because she was saying that some of these issues and cases are eligible, just judges not taking that extra step.

Mayor Adams: No, I think it's... That's why we are going to continue to not only educate the judicial system, but we need to educate our lawmakers so they can have a full understanding of what we're saying and everyone that's involved in this process. The judges have tools that they are not using, but they do need more tools, such as public safety. If public safety is in jeopardy based on the actions of someone, judges need the tools that 49 other states currently have to make sure that person is not dangerous to our communities.


Question: Is it accurate to say that your main request of Albany then is to have the judges be able to keep people in jail based on their perception of their dangerousness? Secondarily, why do this now when the legislature is not in session and Governor Hochul is facing a tough election battle against someone who has made this their primary issue?

Mayor Adams: Well, first, we are not doing this now. I've stated this over and over again, over and over again. So for anyone that states that Eric started talking about this conversation now, that is just untrue. The numbers continue to trend in the wrong direction, continue to show that these repeated offenders are coming out. It would be irresponsible of me to ignore what is happening right now on our streets every day. Every day, we're seeing the dangerous people repeatedly committing these actions. So this is not a new conversation for me.

Mayor Adams: This is a conversation that I had over and over again, and dangerousness is important, but we also want to look at several other aspects of allowing dangerous people to continue to carry out these dangerous actions that we're seeing on our streets. But I'm going to say this over and over again, I hope that it resonates, it's not just about Albany. It's about prosecutors prosecuting. It's about our criminal justice system becoming un-bottlenecked. It's about judges making the right decisions. We keep going back to Albany, no matter how many times I say this, we keep talking about just Albany. Don't let others off the hook for not doing their job. They must use all of their tools that are part of the criminal justice system the way the police is doing. The police, they're doing their job.

Question: You've been talking about this since you were running for mayor.

Mayor Adams: Yes.

Question: And you've been trying to get Albany to do something since you were running for mayor and the battles have been [inaudible]. But the question is, what kind of a handle do you have that you can force the judges to use the tools that they have, the prosecutors to use the tools that they have, and the criminal justice system has to be [inaudible]. Otherwise, you're just going to have press conference after press conference after press conference. [Inaudible]

Mayor Adams: No, I differ with that. This is how things happen. Every major change we've had in the history of America came from people not remaining silent. If I just had a press conference when I was running and never talked about this again, we would've not gone back up to Albany and looked at the criminal justice reforms. It was that constant drum beat and that is how change is done. We must continuously educate the public.

Mayor Adams: There's nothing wrong with Ms. Jones who was robbed. There's something wrong with the person that robbed her. There's nothing wrong with the 11 year old girl that was shot in the head just trying to move through our streets. Something is wrong with the person that shot them. So what I must do is use the full scope of my powers. One scope is my Police Department. The city's Police Department is making arrests. We're at a high. We're taking the guns off the streets. Then I have to use this, this pulpit, to talk about these issues and educate the public so they can reach out to their lawmakers to be align with them. And think about this, Marcia. Yesterday, we had a congressional debate. Sounds like everyone that was debating at that debate talked about the issues that I'm saying right now. They weren't saying it before.

Question: So here's a follow-up question. You have judges who were appointed or who run for election being put up by political organizations that pick liberal judges progressive judges or whatever. So we have to change the system of selecting judges or picking judges, so that judges will actually use the tools in their toolbox that you talk about, will actually use them? Or should there be an overhaul [inaudible]?

Mayor Adams: That's outside my span of responsibility, but what's within my span of responsibility are those judges I appoint. And I'm going to make sure the decision I make of appointing judges is going to be on behalf of the people of this city, that our city is safe.

Question: Chief LiPetri, a few questions, actually. One regarding the gun data. Does the data take into cases in which, for instance, five people were arrested because there's a gun in the car and ultimately one person [inaudible] not prosecuted. And B, for the worst of the worst, how many of those arrests, beginning January 2020, was the person in fact eligible for bail, the DA he sought, did not seek bail or did seek bail and the judge wouldn't grant it?

Chief LiPetri: For gun arrests, Rocco? Gun arrests are always a bail eligible offense. As far as the five in a car with one gun, I'm just going to tell you this. We are at more incidents of gun arrests than we've ever been at. So we're arresting more individuals with a gun, than five in a car with a gun. The data that I did give is all gun arrests, so that would include everybody within that car with one gun. But I like to say it again, we were at the highest number of incidents, which shows we're laser focused on the individuals that are carrying the guns.

Question: Another question, you mentioned at the last press conference, [inaudible] to discuss, that you would like to see [inaudible] DAs win more cases than ask for bail. So regarding the worst of the worst, all those arrests that were analyzed, these being arrests post bail reform to where we're now, how many instances was the person bail eligible because they had allegedly reoffended? And in how many of those instances was bail not sought or granted?

Chief LiPetri: Again, now you're getting away from gun arrests and you're talking about all-

Question: About the worst of the worst.

Chief LiPetri: Okay. So the vast majority of the worst of the worst that I talked about, were arrested for non bail-eligible felonies. All right, so only one subdivision of burglary would be bail eligible or another subdivision of burglary would not be. As far as grand larceny, grand larceny of an auto, petty larceny, those are non bail-eligible offenses.

Question: But if they're out and they're rearrested for the same crime, there is a motive that allows the DAs to ask for bail, is there not?

Chief LiPetri: There is, but it's not exactly how you're explaining it. I could explain it offline to you. It has to be a violent felony or a felony moving forward. There's more to it.

Question: Mayor, if you could be crystal clear on the number one solution you're bringing to all aspects of this issue?

Mayor Adams: To empower judges, to utilize public safety as an aspect, gun arrest crimes involving juveniles stay in criminal court. It's very important. And the team will list off for you some other specific alterations that we are requesting, but that is a huge part of this conversation. A judge has a person in front of them who has made up their minds that they're going to be a criminal, a violent criminal, that judge should have a determination under the public safety that we are putting that criminal back into our society.

Question: Hi, Mr. Mayor.

Mayor Adams: Yes.

Question: I'm just curious, you said transparency is important to you. Why not release the names of these [inaudible] so the public can watch out for these folks.

Mayor Adams: Trust me, I want to. Sometimes I don't know why we hire lawyers. They said we can't show the name and faces, so I have to abide by the rules. But people in the public need to see the names and faces of these individuals who are repeatedly creating violence in our community. But I am restricted by the rules of my counsels.

Question: So, mayor, you're-

Mayor Adams: Who's it for? Who was the question-

Question: WNYC. For you. You're speaking about wanting to stop crimes from happening, and that's why you send people to jail, to stop crimes. But people who are incarcerated at Rikers also have ways to commit crimes, surrounded by lots of other people who have lots of tools and resources to commit crimes. Do you think that just locking people up will stop the crime from happening or could it actually just empower people to have more people with skills to commit crimes at their fingertips?

Mayor Adams: I didn't quite understand. Do I believe just locking people up... Part of public safety is sending a message. As the chief just talked about, the five people in the car with a gun, that's the new hustle now. "Hey, I'm carrying a gun. I'm [inaudible] five people, let me leave the gun on the floor, so they can't pinpoint it to any one of us." That's the new hustle that's going on. Let me let the young person carry the gun and I'm an adult.

Mayor Adams: This is what we did during the drug trades. So our goal is to create the right climate, our goal, we don't want to lock up all New Yorkers. We want to lock up the dangerous people that are among us. You have to work really hard to get to Rikers right now. Let's be clear on that. Because of what we have done, if you are on Rikers right now, you didn't steal an apple. You didn't just commit an innocent crime. If you are on Rikers, you did something really bad. That is what has happened.

Question: So we're here talking about crime and the perception for the public doesn't make it seem like the city is really safe, but a Bloomberg analysis found that digital and print media on crime has increased 800 a month since you took office, and during de Blasio's eight years, it was 130. So my question is, with these press conferences, do you feel like you're making a problem worse?

Mayor Adams: Well, part of the analysis, if they were doing analysis with me when I took office, if you were to do an analysis of how many press conferences I did on crime, and then see how many stories the media wrote without me doing anything else on crime, then the real question is, is the media driving the narrative? Not, am I driving the narrative? I do press conferences every day just about, sometimes two a day. And the subjects of my press conferences have nothing to do with crime. Putting the ferry system in place, that's not a crime. What I did yesterday with the heating and air conditioning, that's not a crime.

Mayor Adams: So it's not that, is Eric driving the crime? The real analysis should be, let's look at how many press conferences Eric did on crime, which is an important issue for our city. But look at how much coverage the media is doing on crime, do an analysis of how many front page stories talked about crime in this city. So what's driving the narrative? Is it Eric? Or is it Bloomberg LP?

Question: Thank you. What are some of the programs and strategies that do work against recidivism, that do deter the repeat offenders or the worst of the worst?

Mayor Adams: Great question. Crisis management team. What we're doing with probation, with youthful offenders and how we're partnering them up with almost a mentorship, what we're doing around dyslexia screening. You heard me say over and over again, almost 40% of the inmates are dyslexic. What we're doing with employment. First time in history, 100,000 summer youth in jobs, keeping our schools open, 110,000 Summer Rising, we didn't close the schools. There was a waiting list to do so. What we're doing around the paid internship program. Young people that live in shelters, if you grow up in a shelter, you're less likely to graduate from high school and if you don't educate, you are going to incarcerate.

Mayor Adams: There has not been an administration that has been more forward thinking with upstream's way of dealing with preventing crime like this administration, but we have to be... Intervention, right now someone is doing a stick up with a gun. I cannot try to convince him not to rob this person. Police got to do their job. And so, yes, we're a big prevention group. My administration is a big prevention and we have some great programs that we have rolled out and we're going to roll out to continue to erode what is creating some of these young people to be criminals.


Question: [Inaudible] lawmakers would make a case that we need significant changes [inaudible] for a couple of reasons. [inaudible] they need to be given some time to work. For example, all gun crimes are now bail eligible, but previously [inaudible].

Mayor Adams: Yeah. We're saying this again, and I'm glad you raised that question. This is not an attack on righteous reforms. This is an attack on those who exploited the reforms. So leave what's in place for 90% of the people. Those first time offenders, they made a bad mistake. I know what it is to make a bad mistake. As a child, I made bad mistakes. So let's leave in place of that. Now let's zero in on those 10 percenters that have made up their mind, they're going to be repeat offenders. That's all we're saying. Let's alter what you've done. Let's do an analysis, and we've done this before, let's do an analysis of what has been done and go after those who are exploiting the righteous reforms that were put in place. We did this with sex crime offenders. We went back and said, "Listen, there are folks who are exploiting this. Let's adjust this."

Mayor Adams: So we have to get it right. We're talking about public safety. When you're talking about public safety and justice, you can't be ashamed to say, "Let's tweak to get what we want to get." No one is arguing with the numbers we've shown. There's a substantial number of repeated offenders who have made up their minds, they are going to offend, and they're going to create crimes and carry out crimes in our city. These are the numbers.

Mayor Adams: Before we even took this position, we reached out to our statisticians and we said, "Show us where we are losing this battle. Are we losing this battle because our police are not working?" They said, "No, we have an increase in felony dangerous arrests. We have an increase in gun crimes. We have an increase in all of these areas. Here's where we're losing this battle." And that's why we're here and that's why we're going to continue to push forward on this issue.

Deputy Commissioner Phillips:  All right. Thank you, everyone. Thank you. 


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