The Mission

From start to finish, our criminal justice system is profoundly unfair to poor and working people, people of color, women, and immigrants; wasteful; opaque; and needlessly diverted from attacking real wrongdoing. We overpolice and criminalize black and Latino communities while devoting too few resources to investigating sexual assault, solving murders, and fighting wage theft; we excessively charge for minor offenses, and fail to consider the collateral consequences for immigrant New Yorkers; we needlessly rely on cash bail that ordinary people can’t pay; we haven’t remotely realized our capacity for cost-effective alternative forms of accountability and rehabilitation; we make it nearly impossible for people to fairly and expeditiously get their proverbial “day in court”; we brutalize inmates and correctional officers alike in our jails and fail to prepare offenders for reentry into society; and we place too many obstacles in the way of the wrongfully convicted to demonstrate their innocence.

Thought Leadership

Councilman Lancman is a thought leader on criminal justice reform issues.
A selection of his pieces, published in news outlets across New York, are below.

New York City has long held the unfortunate distinction as the “Marijuana Arrest Capital of the World.” It is a title the city earned after years of heavy-handed enforcement of low-level marijuana possession cases, which served virtually no public safety…

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The “broken windows” policing strategy at the heart of today’s emotionally charged debate on public safety and community relations was born of a foot-patrol experiment in Newark 40 years ago that didn’t actually reduce crime rates. But it did reduce…

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In November 2016, Mayor de Blasio announced that the city was planning to create an online bail payment system to make it easier for individuals and family members to post bail. These are individuals who a Court already deemed could…

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About Councilman Rory Lancman

Councilman Rory Lancman chairs the Committee on the Justice System, overseeing the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, the district attorneys in all five boroughs, the City’s special narcotics prosecutor, the public defender organizations, the civil legal services providers funded by the City, and the courts.

As Chairman, and as a member of other Council committees that oversee the police department and Rikers Island, Councilman Lancman has been a leading advocate for ending overpolicing, mass incarceration and racial inequality in our criminal justice system, for focusing more criminal justice resources on protecting women, immigrants and wage earners, and for making legal services available to poor and working people in New York City.

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