The June 2019 expansion of New York City’s Supervised Release Program increased the number of people released into supervision. Regardless of charge level, the program supervised more individuals charged with both misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. In addition, the expansion reduced pretrial detention among people charged with non-violent felonies. There was no decrease in pretrial detention for those facing misdemeanors. This suggests that these individuals would likely have been released on recognizance—with no supervision requirements—prior to the expansion.
The program expansion studied in this brief took place prior to a broader set of bail reforms implemented in 2020, which eliminated bail and pretrial detention for nearly all individuals arrested on a misdemeanor or non-violent felony. The 2020 reforms dramatically reduced both bail and pretrial detention. By contrast, the current findings show that the more modest reforms led to more modest results.