As Los Angeles County has recently shown, decreasing incarceration overall doesn't necessarily reduce racial disparities in the criminal legal system. Early diversion programs can make a much-needed difference.
Any time in jail can be life-threatening for incarcerated people, many of whom are awaiting trial and cannot afford to pay bail. The rising death tolls on Rikers Island and in jails across the country underscore the need for safer, more humane responses to the challenges facing our communities.
Judge Jared R. Rice discusses the first two years of New Rochelle's Opportunity Youth Part, a program that addresses the needs of young people in the legal system by connecting them with the resources to divert or reduce their charges.