Mayor de Blasio working to expand program to free more teens charged with robbery, assault from jail

The more the Democrat Party’s progressive criminal justice policies fail, the more they double down on them. But then, Ronald Reagan told us that the more the plans fail, the more the planners plan.

New York City’s hard-left mayor, Bill de Blasio is out to expand a no-bail Supervised Release Program for teens, the goal being to “more than triple” the number released from city jails, the New York Post reported.

Teens with charges as serious as armed robbery, assault and burglary.

It would appear that while previous mayors in the Big Apple looked to put criminals behind bars, de Blasio is trying to free those charged with felony crimes.

The only certainty here being that the media will be slow to report on victims who fall prey to those who would otherwise be behind bars.

The Post obtained a memo the mayor’s office sent to city judges that said the mayor wants to “significantly” expand the number of adults eligible for Youth Engagement Track — the cap was at age 17, but as of Saturday will let defendants between ages 16 and 19 qualify.

Intended for “high-risk” teens charged with misdemeanors or nonviolent felonies, it will be expanded to include first- and second-degree robbery, assault and burglary — offenses that often involve using a deadly weapon or inflicting physical injury, the paper noted.

“Based on 2017 bail numbers for the affected ages and charges, these changes should more than triple the number of defendants eligible for the Youth Engagement Track,” wrote Miriam Popper, executive director of diversion initiatives for the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.

The new policies will raise the threshold for defendants to be labeled “high risk,” by increasing the number of “risk points” needed for that designation from five to nine, and will no longer require defendants to prove their “community ties” to qualify for supervised release, the Post reported.

“Even in the fraction of cases where ties cannot ever be verified, judges are encouraged to allow SRP participation to continue as ‘presumptive’ and to impose sanctions only if the defendant did not appear in court or for other good causes,” Popper wrote.

New York City is not only a sanctuary for illegal immigrants but is moving to be a safe haven for criminals too.

Yet, residents there keep electing left-wing progressives — see Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

And make no mistake, de Blasio is proud of his efforts.

 

The policy expansion is part of de Blasio’s controversial plan to shut down the Rikers Island jail complex, which is now a campaign talking point in his upstart bid for the White House.

“In our city, we have reduced our jail population about 30 percent already,” he said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“We’re going to close the infamous Rikers Island jail,” de Blasio added. “We are ending the era of mass incarceration in New York City.”

The mayor pledged to close the island by 2026 and part of the effort will be to replace the facility with a new jail in every borough expect for Staten Island — with a cost of $8.7 billion, according to Curbed NY.

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Tom Tillison

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