Data Report: Trends in the Pretrial Jail Population in New York City, 2000–2019

In this data report, the Data Collaborative for Justice (DCJ) presents trends in pretrial admissions and custodial factors (i.e., bail amount, length of stay, and how an individual is discharged) in the New York City jail system between 2000 to 2019. This report updates a prior DCJ report which analyzed these same trends from 2000 to 2015 (Trends in Custody: New York City Department of Correction, 2000-2015). In this updated analysis, we outline trends in bail set at admission, length of stay, and discharge type across this 20-year period overall for pretrial admissions, by charge level (felony and misdemeanor), by charge category (person-related, property and theft-related, weapons charges, drug charges, and other charges), by demographics (sex, race/ethnicity, and age), by borough, and by discharge type.

This report is one of four that collectively examine the New York City jail population within the context of significant policy reforms in an effort to close Rikers Island. DCJ hopes these data provide metrics that can help the public and policymakers identify opportunities for further reductions in the jail population to meet the City’s stated goal of closing Rikers Island by 2027. Further, these data will serve as baselines to examine 2020 changes in New York City jail populations, particularly in light of Covid-19.