Make no mistake: New York’s soaring recidivism rates are even worse than they look. What will it take before the state’s leaders admit they need to seriously fix their recent criminal-justice reforms?
The Post’s review of NYPD data on burglary and theft suspects shows a tripling of re-arrests within 60 days after an initial charge from 2017, before the state’s controversial bail-reform law took effect.
That is: Cops catch a perp, then catch the same one again within two months — three times as often as just four years earlier, because the perps almost all now walk free shortly after each arrest.
And re-offending rates are surely higher. That is, the perp has likely committed other crimes in the interim without getting nabbed.
The stats show how revolving-door justice boosts crime rates:
- Suspects arrested last year for shoplifting went on to quickly commit more serious crimes — with 21.6% charged with felonies less than two months later.
- 23.7% of last year’s burglary suspects were re-arrested within 60 days, down a bit from 27.6% in 2020 but up from 7.7% in 2017.
- For those charged with grand larceny, recidivism jumped to 19.7% in 2021 from 6.5% four years before.
- Accused auto thieves’ re-arrest rates doubled from 10.3% in 2017 to 21% last year (down a bit from 26.8% in 2020).
Among the city’s rogue’s gallery of alleged repeat offenders are these “all-stars”:
- Serial burglar Charles “Teflon con” Wold told The Post how “grateful” he was that judges repeatedly released him from custody amid a three-month crime spree in Manhattan and Brooklyn last year. Prosecutors were finally able to get him jailed on $10,000 bail after he twice failed to appear on previous court dates and repeatedly violated probation and parole.
- Michelle McKelley has been arrested over 100 times for shoplifting, repeatedly released without bail.
- Days before his alleged assault on a cop at a Manhattan subway station, the accused 16-year-old had been arrested for robbery and released without bail.
- Lorenzo McLucas was arrested for shoplifting one month after he was let go on supervised release from a previous shoplifting charge. He’d been arrested 128 times and missed 22 court appearances.
All because New York’s “reformed” laws allow for bail only for the most serious burglaries — where the perp is armed with a deadly weapon or injures someone. And virtually all larceny suspects get released without having to post bail or bond.
Top state Senate Democrat Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Gov. Kathy Hochul keep citing data analyses by the Times-Union that claim to show bail reform hasn’t goosed crime. But they ignore analyses debunking the T-U’s work.
Anyway, if they’re trusting one newspaper, they’re giving away their true bias if they ignore The Post’s work.
Stewart-Cousins’ No. 2, Sen. Mike Gianaris, is worse, claiming Adams is just spouting “right-wing propaganda” when the senator knows full well that progressives like Albany DA David Soares make the same points, and with gobs of data to back it up.
Last week, Mayor Eric Adams said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie had agreed to review the same NYPD repeat-offender data with an eye on making new bail-reform tweaks. But a Heastie flack offered a contrary account: “The bulk of the speaker’s conversation with the mayor centered on the fact that the crimes he was referring to were bail eligible and detention eligible in family court.”
Even if those claims hold, “eligible” simply means it’s technically possible a judge could do the right thing. But, at the very least, judges across the state are interpreting the laws to make bail near-impossible. Was that Heastie’s intent, or not?
Crime is on the rise across the state, Mr. Speaker, and you have a duty to address it. You don’t get to play Pontius Pilate and simply wash your hands.