What The NYPD Slowdown Reveals: Are Too Many Being Arrested?

What The NYPD Slowdown Reveals: Are Too Many Being Arrested?

So what does the current NYPD slowdown tell us about how the justice system works? Previously the “broken-windows” theory has been a powerful influence on policing in the city, according to The Atlantic. The idea being that vandalism and low-level crime in an area will lead to more serious and frequent crime.

Former Mayor Bloomberg’s stop-and-frisk policy resulted in 685,724 stops in 2011, this was down to 38,456 in the first three quarters of 2014. Since the end of stop-and-frisk, New York crime levels have not spiked, they have dropped and the NYPD slowdown has made citations for traffic and other low-level violations fall off a cliff.

“The human implications of this question are immense. Fewer arrests for minor crimes logically means fewer people behind bars for minor crimes. Poorer would-be defendants benefit the most; three-quarters of those sitting in New York jails are only there because they can’t afford bail.” (The Atlantic)

However, what happens to those who were getting arrested for low-level crimes? They become criminals in the eyes of the system, this makes it harder to get jobs, to get housing, to get by in a way that is legitimate. Sen. Rand Paul has been a strong voice in calling for voter’s rights for felons who have served their time, as well as clamping down on police militarization and re-examining the criminal status of certain drugs.

But what happened to being tough on crime? Well, it’s still possible to support the police and be tough on crime, however a discussion needs to take place. In a tight economy how can locking up and removing people from society be an effective plan? Surely it has to be all hands on deck.

Things are made illegal through a massive bureaucracy of laws and institutions. The NYPD slowdown is another example of a congested political system. And Congress anyone? What do you think? Is it a good thing that arrests are down? Join the discussion below, on Twitter or Facebook.

Written by Abezier Coppe; Edited by staff

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