Collateral Consequences: The Effects of Justice Processing for Violations of Drug Laws in NYC

This report from NORC at the University of Chicago is aligned with reform initiative 84 of the Plan as directed by MOCJ and overseen by John Jay College’s Research and Evaluation Center (JohnJayREC).


Drug-related arrests in New York City neighborhoods have far-reaching consequences beyond individuals and families, impacting community well-being, education, socioemotional outcomes for children, crime dynamics, and property values. These arrests tend to cluster in certain areas, potentially making them more conducive to illegal drug activity and less viable economically. Researchers from NORC at the University of Chicago utilized data from various sources to measure these collateral consequences, finding that drug arrests negatively affect property tax assessments, particularly in economically disadvantaged and communities of color, with a lag of up to three years before the effects fully manifest. This analysis underscores the complex interplay between drug enforcement, community economics, and social dynamics.