New York has created three task forces aimed at streamlining the city’s justice system in an effort to reduce violence, officials announced Sunday.
During a two-day summit Saturday and Sunday with Mayor Eric Adams at the Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s residence, city officials touted candid conversations with criminal justice stakeholders about crime solutions. discuss.
The three task forces will address shared information and findings — which are related to obtaining evidence from defense attorneys — mental health and other urgent action items, such as modernizing the criminal justice system to speed up the time it takes to interrogate judges.
“The goal this weekend is to say, ‘Hey, let’s find what we have in common. What do we have in common?'” Adams said on a conference call with reporters, adding that despite the controversy, they found a way to areas for improvement.
“I believe, we do get 100 percent approval that the system is outdated and not in line with the aspirations of a 21st century criminal justice system,” Adams said in a one-on-one interview with CNN. “From technology to evidence collection, ( to) court time.”
“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t use a centralized portal to share this information,” Adams said on the conference call. “We’re going to look at the technologies that exist that allow us to look at the vast amount of information and evidence that defense attorneys and prosecutors have to look at and judges have to look at. There has to be a better way to do this.”
The mayor’s attorney, Brendan McGuire, spoke about providing mental health services, which will involve engaging with people outside the courthouse. McGuire said the city is exploring options such as parking a van outside the courthouse to provide full services for people fresh out of the criminal justice system.
“They won’t be offered an appointment in the future. Instead of asking them to be at a location on their own on some set date in the future, they will be approached immediately,” McGuire said.
At a news conference Saturday, the governor of New York. Kathy Hochul and Adams talked about beefing up their plans to fight crime and mental illness in the city’s subway system, increasing police presence and new training for officers to engage with the homeless.
Several recent high-profile violent crimes in the city — three murders on the subway this month alone, bringing the 2022 total to nine — have prompted officials to step up their crime-fighting strategies.
The new initiative will include a major investment from the state’s public emergency fund to support the addition of about 1,200 overtime workers to shifts on subway platforms and trains each day.
Transport authorities will also employ unarmed security guards at turnstiles to increase security presence and deter fare evasion, Hochul said.
Addressing the public’s fear of seemingly widespread violence in the city, Adams told CNN on Sunday: “I have to address that fear. So what are we doing? We have so many police officers everywhere. ”
He added that nothing would “dissipate violence” like having police “do actual patrols”.
Then we don’t passively deal with people who have real mental health issues on our subway system,” he told CNN. “We got out of camp. We took over 2,000 people off our system, they live on our system and can’t take care of themselves. ”
On a weekday, the New York subway system averages more than 3.5 million riders. The highest number of traffic crimes since police began tracking crime statistics was recorded in 1999, with 3,524 crimes from January to October, according to city data.