The New York City Service Sentencing Program (Fourth Interim Report)

Overview

This is Vera's 1984 interim program report on the impact of the New York City Community Service Sentencing Program, which was intended to enforce a sentence of supervised, unpaid community service as an alternative to short jail terms given primarily because no enforceable alternative punishment is available. Highlights of the impact analysis are: 

1) of the 1,028 property misdemeanor recidivists sentenced to the project in 1984, 588 (57%) would have drawn jail sentences without the project; 

2) in 1984 program operations reduced the demand for jail cells by 114 cells; and 

3) the jail terms that would have been drawn are short, but the number of cells needed to be reserved was significant, and given Rikers Island at and over capacity, the economic value to the city of reducing cell demand is substantial.