Courtney Bryan is the executive director of the Center for Court Innovation, a New York City-based nonprofit that pilots innovative programs, conducts original research, and provides expert assistance to justice reformers to create a fair, effective, and humane justice system. Over the course of more than a decade at the Center, Bryan has served as the coordinator for domestic violence programs and the director of the Midtown Community Court. She also served as staff director for the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, which successfully argued for closing the jails on Rikers Island.
Hai Ning Ng: Many cities, including New York City, have seen a seeming spike in violent crime this year. Why might that be happening, and what can we do about it?
Courtney Bryan: As you said, it’s happening here in New York and also across the country. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it happened at the same time as the pandemic. Over the last several years, crime in the United States—including violent crime—has been going down. In New York City, we’ve seen a decline in incarceration as well. But with Covid-19, every city is experiencing a disruption to its social safety net. The pandemic is a significant driver of economic disruption, of disruption to education and schooling, and access to food and other basic essentials. The timing of this spike in crime tells me that the pandemic has to be an underlying factor.
Read the full article about street-level crime intervention by Hai Ning Ng at Brown Political Review.
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