Rethinking Incarceration News Archive

Press Results

  • People With Serious Mental Illness Need Housing, Not Jail

    Vital City

    Who winds up on Rikers Island and why? What will it take to close the troubled jail complex? Those are some critical questions raised in Vital City’s special issue on New York City’s jails. In their contribution to the issue, our policy experts Daniel Ades and Virginia Barber Rioja make the case for investing in supportive housing, not jail, for people with serious mental illness—a desperately needed alternative that is cheaper, more humane, and safer for us all.

  • Turning the Gears of Justice: A Conversation with Chidinma Ume and Erin Pilnyak

    Vital City

    In Vital City’s special issue on New York City’s jails, Chidinma Ume, Senior Director of Community Justice at the Center, joins IntegrAssure’s Erin Pilnyak to share what it was like to be part of a citywide effort to reduce unnecessary case delays that leave people languishing in jail. Their conversation sheds light on how collaboration, data, and what Ume calls “a combination of patience and urgency” can help us safely reduce jail populations and ensure all people are treated with dignity as they navigate the legal system.

  • The Women of Rikers

    The routine violence and inhumane conditions that have become synonymous with the jails on Rikers Island are well documented but to get a full picture of the harms we must also look at the impact on women and families.  

  • Mental Health and Justice: The Manhattan Misdemeanor Mental Health Court


    Far too many people struggling with a mental illness lack the support they need, leading to a host of challenges – from housing insecurity to unemployment – that often drive contact with the justice system. For more than 25 years, the Center has helped build court programs where people with mental health needs can find care and support. This article for the Practising Law Institute profiles the Misdemeanor Mental Health Court we help operate in Manhattan, which provides supportive responses for people with mental illness facing low-level charges.

  • 10 Wins for Justice in 2023

    Read stories of justice, new perspectives, and bold ideas to share with your family and friends this holiday season.

  • The Human Cost: Five Podcast Episodes on Rikers Island

    With the launch of the Lippman Commission 2.0, New York City has taken a decisive step towards closing Rikers Island. Much is at stake, first and foremost the lives of the people detained in the jail complex. In these five episodes of our New Thinking podcast, we take a closer look at the human cost of Rikers through the testimony of advocates, researchers, and—most importantly—those who have experienced the harms of Rikers Island firsthand.

  • America Is the World Leader in Locking People Up. One City Found a Fix


    Supervised release programs in NYC, including those run by the Center, keep people out of jail and connected to the world; however, these programs are facing heavy caseloads as cash bail laws change. Fola Akinnibi and Sarah Holder explore the successes and effectiveness of supervised release in reducing incarceration and trauma, along with its future needs.