New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has just announced that the city’s prison population has just fallen to the lowest it has been since 1982.
For the first time in 35 years, the amount of Big Apple inmates has fallen to below 9,000, which puts the city on track for a December average of 8,980 people.
This is largely credited to a continuously declining rate of crime and homicides within the city. Additionally, the city waived over 640,000 warrants for New Yorkers who had forgotten to pay fines for low-level offenses, such as spitting and walking a dog without a leash.
“Someone who owes a $25 fine should not be arrested and brought down to central booking and spend 20 or 24 hours in a cell next to a hardened criminal. That’s not fair, and that’s not justice,” said acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, according to the Associated Press.
The AP also says that Mayor de Blasio hopes that the falling rate of incarceration will lead to the closure of Riker’s Prison, a facility that has racked up a large rap sheet of abuse and corruption allegations over the years.