Trends in Misdemeanor Arrests in New York, 1980-2017

This report examines trends in misdemeanor arrests in New York City, Upstate Cities (Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers), and the Rest of the State.  It includes analyses of trends by demographics, charges, and outcomes.

Key Findings:

  • New York City and Upstate Cities (Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers) experienced dramatic fluctuations in misdemeanor arrests from 1980 to 2017, with dramatic declines since 2010.
  • In New York City, Upstate Cities, and the Rest of the State, the misdemeanor arrest rates for Blacks were consistently highest, followed by Hispanics, and then Whites.
  • The difference between the rates of arrests for Blacks and Hispanics compared to Whites has changed little and has consistently been wider in New York City compared to Upstate Cities and the Rest of the State.
  • In all parts of the State, Misdemeanor crimes involving harm to a person (“person-related arrests,” such as simple assault) account for a larger proportion of misdemeanor arrests in 2017 as compared to 1980.